Pull out your digital bookmarks and flag our new Story Corner, “The First 100 Days.” (It’s a sneak preview of the content in the Spring issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine.) Written for grades 3–5, this story is perfect for the back-to-school season and for a time when the presidential inauguration is on everyone’s minds.
“The First 100 Days” is set in Ms. Allen’s classroom, where students have recently elected a new class president. Students are divided about the election results and emotions are heated—until Ms. Allen comes up with a class activity. Designed to restore unity to the classroom, the activity prompts students to work together to make a 100-day plan with goals and commitments for how they will support each other and people in their community.
“The First 100 Days” can help your students focus on perhaps the most important part of moving forward after an election: treating each other with respect.
The story comes with text-dependent questions, an audio recording (available in our free literacy-based curriculum tool, Perspectives for a Diverse America), and a toolkit for creating a 100-day (or fewer) classroom plan. The toolkit includes a worksheet for brainstorming and choosing classroom values and priorities and helping priorities—ways students can help others in their classroom and community. Establishing a classroom plan will not only foster empathy, respect and friendship, but having this articulated plan in place can also help your classroom or school bounce back from a crisis or a conflict.
Dive into the story, and then start planning with your students! For additional resources and tools for teaching about elections, see the Teaching Tolerance web package “Voting and Elections: Resources for a Civil Classroom.”
Botello is a teaching and learning specialist with Teaching Tolerance.