how to teach core values

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by bholm83, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. bholm83

    bholm83 Rookie

    May 12, 2014
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    Aug 29, 2019

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a middle school health teacher, and this year with my incoming 6th graders I want to begin the year with a discussion over core values, why they are important, how they guide important decision making etc. My question is: has anyone created a successful lesson that really engages kids with learning about their values? I'm thinking about presenting 'what would you do?' scenarios to the students, to help them discover what is important to them.

    In the past I haven't spent much time on this, and when I did I'd usually get the typically answers, family, sports, video games. Trying to get them to reflect deeper obviously :)

    This article also has some good questions students can answer....

    Any and all ideas are welcome.
  3. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

    Dec 24, 2007
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    Aug 29, 2019

    Consider a readiness activity to find out what students already know (or don’t) about core values. A brainstorm list could be generated on the board from students' responses with little regard for correctness (preface with no inappropriate stuff) which they copy. If they can’t come up with much you prime the pump with your own to get them started. After the list is generated - 20 or more - lead the class to come up with 4-5 (judgment) core values. Write these on the board. If they aren’t sure you make a list of about 8 with some no-nos on it and have students choose correct ones while discarding the others. Place a number by each core value 1-5. Next, have students go back over their brainstorm list and put a number 1-5 next to each term that seems to fit one of the core value terms and go together. Terms that don’t fit any are left blank.

    Next part can be done in groups or individually. Have students make graphic organizer (web?) on back of brainstorm list. Core Values is center. 1-5 Values become arms or subtopics. Details - students generate from their list and discuss relevance - are attached to subtopics. From here you can discuss and generate a “class web” on the board or have each group present one of their core values to the class.
  4. Genesiser

    Genesiser Rookie

    Jul 19, 2017
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    Aug 31, 2019

    The thing that had the highest impact in my classroom (I teach math) to get the students to do what's needed to be done for all of them to learn is have a discussion in a way they could all understand. It worked late in the school year a few years back and now I have incorporated in my classroom and we have the discussion in the beginning of the year along with having a poster to remind them. (This works for all grades 6+, I have never taught elementary)

    This is how it goes...

    Suppose you are at the doctor getting a check-up and while there, the doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high and if you continue to eat fries and pizza you could have a heart attack. After the examination with the doctor you then go home and continue to eat fries and pizza. A few weeks later you have a heart attack - The question is, does that mean you had a bad doctor and it was their fault you had a heart attack?
    Every time I give them this scenario, the students will say it wasn't the doctor's fault, but instead the patients fault.

    After that you then give them this scenario. Suppose you are at the doctor and this time your sibling is with you. While there, the doctor is explaining your diagnosis, but during that time you are talking to your sibling or looking at some text messages on your phone. When you leave the hospital, you have don't really understand what is wrong with you. The question is - Does that mean you have a bad doctor?
    Once again, they all say it was the patients fault.

    When this happens, you explain to them that the same thing applies to teachers and students. Often times when students are ignoring work or not even trying to pay attention during a lesson, it's common for them to say they have a bad teacher as opposed to assigning the blame on themselves. The whole point of this exercise to give the students an understanding that they are the ones accountable for their learning and not doing what the teacher says or not listening to the teacher will be the reason they are struggling in class.

    Once this exercise is done you have a poster that says, "Are you THAT patient?" and you can point to it when a student is doing one of things described and ask them what was the patient doing in regards to the student's actions (not doing work or not paying attention) and what the outcome was. They will tell you and you ask what the outcome was, and they will tell you. Then you ask them what will happen to the student if they continue acting like the patient and they will tell you either they won't understand the subject or they will get bad grades depending on what they were doing. You then ask them if that is something they want and typically they will tell you no, and it will get them back on track.

    Remember, no matter the core values you teach to students, most of the students have learned to assign blame on the teacher when they are struggling. You have to teach them to unlearn that idea so they understand they are the ones that are accountable. Most students have never had this lesson as opposed to just being told by someone. With an actual understanding on why they are accountable it will have a dramatic improvement in student self awareness within the classroom.
  5. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

    May 19, 2012
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    Aug 31, 2019

    When I taught high school I used to take about 30 minutes or so a week and read the students a story from this book:

    Its got short stories about ideas like gratitude, empathy, self respect, ect. The stories were told through a historical context and would mention historical events and people from popular culture. The kids liked the "story time" and I would have them answer some questions for a discussion period each class period. It would take me like 15 minutes to read the story to them. (you could get a class set and let them read it themselves but I didn't want to buy lots of copies).
  6. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Sep 2, 2019

    One of my friends teaches health, and does, in fact, show bits of "What Would You Do?" to drive discussions on certain values, as a conversation starter. Since she was often in my room for the class, I can say it worked quite well, and the kids who otherwise would clam up would be very vocal and sharing about what they saw. Since you can get virtually all of the episodes on You Tube, it is easy to find and edit out what you want.

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