ARTICLE

Mix It Up Year Round: What Divides Students at Your School?

Deploy your students’ toolbox of empathy to probe deeper into the meanings of acceptance and difference.

This fall, we’ve been providing strategies for building a foundation of trust among students in the classroom. Once students have practiced empathetic listening and established safety and support, they’re ready to have deeper conversations about how to recognize and celebrate differences.

In this Me and We activity, students will have the opportunity to explore their similarities and differences with peers.

 

Me and We

  1. Mark off areas of the hall into sections labeled one through 10.
  2. Inform students that these sections will serve as a visual way to rate how much they like certain things that you are going to call out. For instance, if you call, “Ice cream!” and a student loves ice cream, they might move to the section labeled 10. If a student hates ice cream, they would probably move to the section labeled one.
  3. Call out items like “broccoli,” “jazz,” “opera,” “action movies” or “hip-hop.”
  4. After each item is called out, let students look around to see where their peers have moved.
  5. Debrief. Ask students if they and their friends felt differently about any of the items. Collectively explore the idea that we can like different things and still be friends.
  6. Facilitate a discussion about what brings people together and what behaviors are important for people to stay friends. Have students journal about the activity if possible.

 

Go Deeper: Divisions at School

Facilitate a discussion about the kinds of things that tend to divide your school community. You can provide some prompts—like neighborhoods or hobbies—but allow students to direct the conversation.

Keep your eyes on our website for more ideas on how to build up to a successful Mix It Up event!