Perfectly You Helpful Links
by Julia V. Taylor
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-931636-30-8
About the book
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Group Activity Suggestions
After reading Perfectly You, try some of the suggested group activities to further discussion and comprehension.
Love Your Body
Explain what the word "mechanical" means to the group. Ask them to write a thank you letter to a part of their body expressing gratitude for something great it mechanically does for them.
When the group is done, invite each student to read his/her letter aloud.
Closing: Discuss how we need our body to do physical things each day. Ask for examples.
Eat Healthy Foods
Visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/kids/ and review the basics of the food guide pyramid. There are a lot of different activities you can use for visuals in your discussion. Using the guidelines from the USDA, talk to the kids about the importance of good nutrition. Emphasize that food is fuel and the importance of eating healthy foods in moderation. Have each child design his/her personal food guide pyramid! Ask each child to list their favorite foods from each category and draw them in the pyramid.
Closing: Reiterate that food is fuel while emphasizing the importance of eating a balanced and nutritious diet. This is a perfect activity to invite the school nurse to take part in. You can also take the children on a tour of the cafeteria while talking about healthy food options!
Move Your Body
Choose a fun destination (such as a beach, state park, amusement park, etc.). Calculate the distance from a starting point and chart your group's journey to that destination on a bulletin board. The chart should include mile markers that allow the group to track their progress. As the group exercises, they move to each mile marker until arriving at their destination. Use a pedometer to measure distance traveled or you can convert minutes exercised into mileage/distance moved. This activity can be done as a group or individually. You can also compete with outside groups or classes.
Throughout the challenge, emphasize the importance of exercise for fun and health! Constantly ask the group what they are enjoying the most and offer praise and positive feedback for accomplishments. At the end of the challenge, have a healthy group party and give out silly awards.
Exercise is fun, free, and most importantly healthy! Group and family exercise can help strengthen bonds. For more fun exercise tips, please visit America on the Move.
Develop a chart with two separate categories labeled "Myself" and "Others." Ask the group to brainstorm ways they can be accepting of how they look, think and feel as well as how others look, think and feel. Write each idea in the appropriate category. Some suggestions are: inviting the new kid over to play; laughing at other peoples jokes; saying something nice; learning about another person; not being afraid to make a mistake, not being sad if you are picked last; etc. When finished, have the students work in small groups to create an acceptance collage. Using images and articles found in newspapers or magazines combined with construction paper, glue, scissors, and writing utensils allow them to creatively express how they perceive acceptance. Ask them to present their collage to the class and then display it where others will see.
Closing: Discuss why it is important to be accepting of everyone, including themselves. Reiterate that differences are good and how boring the world would be if we were all alike!
Go For It
Have a "Toss out Fear" party! You will need a trash can, slips of paper, and writing utensils. Write "FEAR" on a piece of paper and tape it on the side of the trash can. Invite the group to sit in a circle and ask, "Have you ever been afraid to try something new?" Suggest situations that may cause fear such as trying a new food; riding a bike without training wheels; playing with a new friend or trying a new activity. Allow the group to express their own ideas. Invite the group to discuss ways they can be brave and conquer their fear. Hand out slips of paper and ask each kid to write down something they don't want to be afraid of anymore. When they are done, have them stand in a circle with their paper. Place the trash can in the middle of the group and tell them that on the count of three, they are all going to crumble up their fear and throw it away!
Closing: If reasonably safe and approved by their parent or guardian, ask the students to try what they are afraid of and report back their progress.This could also be a good lead into a writing assignment.
Create a "Ridiculously Cool Hall of Fame!" On a poster board, write "Ridiculously Cool Hall of Fame!" Make up anonymous nomination forms and allow the students to nominate one another for cool things they've done.
Some examples are getting a good grade on a test; helping someone; holding the door for a really long time; being a good older brother or sister or having a really funny laugh! Each week, go through the nominations and have a quick "induction" ceremony. Hand out this certificate and make a big deal out of it! Make sure each person in the group is inducted!
Talk About It
Play a game of "Feelings Charades!" On 3"x5" index cards (enough for one per participant) write a different feeling word. Try to have an equal mix of positive and negative feelings (i.e. happy, sad, elated, angry, excited, afraid, surprised, jittery, etc.) Begin by talking about the importance of expressing feelings in a positive way, for example: talking to an adult; understanding other people's feelings; solving conflicts and venting. Next, talk about how frustrating it is to try to read someone else's mind when they don't express feelings. Discuss body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. Explain what charades is (acting out a word or phrase without speaking) and invite each child up to act out a feeling. Remind them they can¹t speak.
Closing: After everyone has had their turn, divide the cards into "positive" and "negative" emotions. Discuss appropriate vs. inappropriate times to display both emotions.
You Can Do It
Using the "My Unique Talent" worksheet, have students draw themselves on the talent show stage performing something they enjoy. While the group is drawing, talk about the uniqueness of talents and how some talents may not even be considered a talent such as the ability to chew gum to the beat of a favorite song or being able to jump backwards and spin around. When they are finished, collect all of the worksheets and put them together in a group talent book. If feasible (and safe), allow the students to demonstrate their talent to the group.
Closing: Talk about how every person is special and unique in their own way. Talk to the students about accepting themselves!
Create a class "Spreading Sunshine" bulletin board! Using your own unique sun design, or ours, each time a student does something nice for another person, give them a sun. On their sun, have them write what they did that was nice and put it on the board. You could have a class, hallway, or grade kindness competition and see who can collect the sunniest bulletin board! Throughout the activity, constantly congratulate the class and offer positive behavioral support for kindness.
Make a "Perfectly Me" collage using long art paper, scissors, magazines, newspapers, writing utensils and other art accessories. Divide the group into pairs and have them trace each other on the long art paper. They may need adult help! They can either cut out their tracing or leave it on the paper. Using the materials, have them fill their bodies up with everything they love about themselves. Encourage creativity! They can use words, colors, pictures, and/or drawings. When they are done, have everyone present their perfect creation!
Closing: In a circle, ask each student to express why loving and accepting themselves is important.
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