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Thinking Forward: Discussion Toolkit for Grades 6-9

Middle, Secondary

Description

Thinking Forward, a discussion toolkit for middle school is part of a series that provide educators with activities, books and learning strategies for reflection and thinking about the Pandemic experience. Each session focuses on fundamental concepts that will help students move forward with new awareness, resilience, and optimism for the future. The middle school toolkit will focus on these four concepts:

  • Session 1 – Valuing Diversity, Uniqueness, and the Power of Perspective taking
  • Session 2 - Human Adaptability and Creativity Can Solve Complex Problem
  • Session 3 - Using Facts and Science-based Evidence to Take Action
  • Session 4 - Interconnectedness and Reciprocity in Systems

While each session connects to students' experiences, the concepts investigated are also linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, allowing students to see how their learning is practical and to act on it. The sessions can take place in any learning space, including online, outside, in nearby nature. Through various indoor and outdoor activities, students will:

  • speak in role/take on the character of this object, to share the object's perspective on what happened during the pandemic
  • participate in a human camera exercise and sketch the shot they felt was most interesting or impactful
  • design a pandemic survival kit and share how having lived through a pandemic influenced their choices
  • create a mind-map and self-portrait that highlights their unique interests, talents and skills
  • combine their self-portrait art with an autobiographical poem
  • discuss complex challenges students faced last year and how they displayed innovation and creativity to solve problems during the pandemic
  • participate in a think-pair-share to discuss some important decisions they had to make during the pandemic ex: masks, curbside delivery etc.
  • create a thirty-second sound bite regarding seeking trusted sources and validated facts based on science
  • share how they made a difference to others during the lockdown
  • research, discuss and work together to create a diagram or sketch note of an ideal or Global Goals Country. They participate in a gallery walk to view each of the other groups work
  • take action by writing a letter, creating a song or choreographing a dance to express their gratitude or thanks to someone who has been kind or supportive during the pandemic

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

After a challenging year of pandemic living, the activities in this toolkit help students reflect on the many changes in their lives made to keep them safe and learning. This resource complements itself well with the beginning of the school year activities when creating a balanced learning environment based on respect and students' needs. The sessions can take place in any learning space, including online, outside, in nearby nature. The lesson plans are easy to follow and provide suggestions, extension activities and reflection questions. The material and activities are age-appropriate, applicable to diverse learners, and connect to any subject discipline or curriculum. While each session connects to students' experiences, the concepts investigated are also linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, allowing students to see how their learning and actions support change in the world.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Health Promotion
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Cultural Diversity