Each month, we send new ideas and activities to the Children’s Program Coordinators at each of the Visitor Centers. These activities address the unique needs of children impacted by incarceration and aim to give children ways to process emotions.
Toddlers: Emotion Recognition
Purpose: Engage parents and toddlers in recognizing and responding to expressions
Materials: Emotion Flashcards
- Create a set of flashcards for each family (so they can take them home)
- Parents show the cards to the toddler and ask:
- Can you show me a “happy” face?
- Which face do you like best?
- How are you feeling right now?
One of the main toddler goals is to recognize and appropriately communicate/express emotions. Toddlers are just learning to express themselves with words and still use many facial expressions to communicate their feelings and needs. Flashcards and parental engagement can assist them in learning the words that go with emotions and expressions.
Tweens: Cyberbullying: Who, Me? Why Should I Care
- Analyze online behaviors that could be considered cyberbullying.
- Generate multiple solutions and actions that bystanders can take to improve a cyberbullying situation.
- Practice peer mentoring for cyberbullying prevention.
- Writing Materials
- Construction Paper
Part 1: What’s the Problem?
- Distribute the activity sheets. Have participants read the scenario about Kevin, José, and the video-sharing Web site.
- Have participants write their answers to the two questions under What’s the Problem? Look for responses that indicate students’ understanding that both events are embarrassing, but that embarrassing someone in school exposes him to an immediate peer group, while embarrassing him on a World Wide Web site exposes him to ridicule by the entire school plus hundreds of millions of strangers.
- Have participants tell their own stories without using actual names.
- Ask: Have you ever witnessed kids posting or sending photos or videos in order to embarrass someone? What happened? Why?
Part 2: Think About It
- Have participants read the Think About It section on the activity sheets. Point out that sometimes when people believe they cannot be seen or found out, they do things that they would never do in a face-to-face situation.
- Ask: Who is doing the cyberbullying in this story? Is it only José? What about the boys in school who helped him upload the video to the Web site? What about the people who posted nasty comments? What about the people who viewed the video? Encourage students to decide for themselves and support their reasoning.
- Have participants use drawing paper and markers to create a visual map showing all the players in this event. Participants may choose to show a labeled web, use concentric circles, or draw something more representational. Allow participants to share their maps with their parents and others.
Part 3: Find Solutions
- Have participants discuss their solutions. Look for solutions that show empathy for Kevin and discuss the rights and responsibilities of being citizens of a worldwide community.
- Make sure participants understand that those people who posted cruel comments were just as guilty of being bullies as the boys who originally uploaded the video were.
- Discuss with participants how trusted adults could help, including asking a guidance counselor to talk to Kevin, a technology teacher to investigate whether it would be possible to remove the video from the site, and a school principal to try to enforce school bullying rules.
- Have participants add to their concept map drawings, clearly labeling their proposed solutions.
Tweens learn about communication and collaboration, to interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts or others employing a variety of digital environments and media. They learn to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
Tweens also take digital citizenship, that is: advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology. They also exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.
All Ages: Body Beautiful
Purpose: For youth to identify and share positive traits they possess
- Body Template
- Give each participant a body template
- Encourage them to label each part of their body with a positive thing they can do
- Arms: Give Hugs
- Brain: Helps with Homework
- Legs: Runs Quickly
- Heart: Caring friend
- Allow them to share with their family and others
In a time when body issues are on the rise, even the youngest of children have body image issues. Children will see focus on the positive traits they and others have.