It's been a month since I've had the time to sit down and write a blog post. I was trying to do posts every Monday, but I try to cram so much into the weekends that I never get to write my post to share on Monday. I haven't been Beginning with the End in Mind (Habit 2). I'm trying to get into a new routine after the new year. So, with that being said, today I share with you my September Lesson that I did with third grade using My Mouth is a Volcano. For my lesson, I started off talking to students about the importance of listening to the person that is speaking without interrupting. I asked them to tell me what interrupting meant. Then we read My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook. The other counselor had used it with students in second grade last year so many of the kids excitedly shouted that they read this book last year and they like it. I would stop throughout the book to ask students questions about what they thought would happen and why interrupting was rude. After we finished the book we did a worksheet together. One side was created by me and the other was something I found on Dr. Susan Fuller's Blog, Entirely Elementary. After the worksheet, we talked about trying our best to hold our words in while someone else is talking until they finish.
The first side of my worksheet is something I created. I put a picture of a volcano in the middle of the page and then listed 5 steps around the volcano. Students were instructed to help Louis remember how to keep his volcano from erupting by listing the steps his mom shared with him. We did this as a class and students wrote the steps on the lines I provided around the volcano. On the back, I used the 3rd grade worksheet Dr. Fuller shared on her blog. Students told me that they did the worksheet with the other counselor last year. I just encouraged them to think of a time that they interrupted someone since the last time they filled out the worksheet. Sometimes students would tell me that they never interrupt anyone. I joked with them and said that I'm sure they could think of something because even I interrupt people sometimes and my job is to listen. I kept the worksheet simple, making the front in Google Docs and printing Dr. Fuller's PDF on the back. However, there is an activity book available as well.
The habit that best ties in to this lesson is Habit 5- Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Listening requires the listener to refrain from interjecting in the middle of what the other person is saying. When students Seek First to Understand, they are waiting their turn to speak because they are focusing on what the person is saying, rather than their own response. This is a difficult skill for many students, as self-control takes awhile to develop. Many children (and adults) just want to blurt out what they're thinking right away "so they don't forget." However, we all get upset when someone else interrupts us. This requires some empathy. If we remember or think about how we feel when we've been interrupted by using empathy (seeking first to understand), then we may refrain from interrupting others when they talk. Rather than just telling students that the lesson connects to Habit 5, ask students what habit connects to listening to others speak without interrupting them.