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With a Little Help From My Friends

Lesson Plan Glossary

Glossary of Terms

At URSTRONG, we believe it’s important to use kids’ language for kids’ problems. That’s why we have our very own, unique language of friendship. Here are some important terms that children, parents, and teachers learn in our program.

Friendship Fire®: Any situation between you and a friend that results in negative feelings.

Mean-on-Purpose: When someone is intentionally unkind to someone else.

Quick Comeback: A very short word or phrase that is used when someone is Mean-on-Purpose. Quick Comebacks are designed to let the other person know that you heard/saw what they did and you’re not okay with it.

Friend-o-meter: A visual tool that assesses the health of friendships, ranging from the healthy zone to the unhealthy zone.

Friend-o-cycle: The normal cycle in a friendship that brings the friendship back to the healthy zone after experiencing a Friendship Fire. The phases of the Friend-o-cycle are: Healthy Friendship – Fire – Confront the issue – Talk-it-Out – Forgive & Forget – Closer & Stronger – Healthy Friendship…

4 Friendship Facts: A set of four facts that help us have realistic expectations in our friendships so we understand what is normal.

  1. No friendship (relationship) is perfect.
  2. Every friendship is different.
  3. Trust & Respect are the two most important qualities of a friendship.
  4. Friendships change…and that’s okay.

Red Shirt Girl and Striped Shirt Boy: Two characters that remind us about the importance of body language.

Friendship Ninja: A Friendship Ninja is someone who surrounds themselves with friends in the healthy zone of the Friend-o-meter. A Friendship Ninja is kind and friendly to everyone. A Friendship Ninja understands the 4 Friendship Facts and puts out their Friendship Fires when they ignite. A Friendship Ninja stands up for themselves and their friends. A Friendship Ninja makes new friends and understands that friendships change…and that’s okay. Above all else, a Friendship Ninja is someone you want to be friends with because they’re true to who they are!

Get your students to see how helping others is the way to go in this powerful activity!

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Objective

It is no secret that some students have an unfair advantage in life. Perhaps they are born with natural abilities and gifts? Or, perhaps they were born into a wealthy family and have access to more resources and opportunity? Or, maybe just maybe, they’re the kind of kid who simply learns quickly – things come to them easily.

Not all children are so lucky.

We often teach kids about Growth Mindset; the idea that we can always learn and grow. If a child hasn’t mastered something, according to Carol Dweck’s research, we should teach them “the power of yet” – that they haven’t learned…yet.

But, have you heard of Benefit Mindset? According to Ash Buchanan, a Benefit Mindset encourages us to think about how we help and serve others. Where a Growth Mindset is about ME, a Benefit Mindset is about WE.

This activity, adapted from a famous lesson on privilege, gets students thinking about the value in helping others to change the world.

Key Outcome

Your students will learn the value in helping others.

Materials

  • Chairs set in rows (assembly style)
  • Paper (one piece for each student)
  • Bin or basket

Instructions

  1. Prepare your classroom in advance by lining up the chairs in rows (assembly-style seating). Put a bin or basket at the front of the room.
  2. Invite your students to sit on a chair and give each of them a piece of paper.
  3. Explain to them that the bin at the front represents ‘SUCCESS’. (Be sure to include an elaborate description of what success means. You could describe a life of fame and fortune or something perhaps more meaningful to your students! Be creative and really amp it up!)
  4. Instruct the students to crumple their piece of paper. Say something along the lines of: “Okay, whoever can get their paper in the bin from their chair – YOU will attain success! You made it! Whoever doesn’t, well, too bad for you. You won’t be successful.”
  5. Watch the students’ reactions and ask if they have any questions before you begin. Students who are in the back row or whom possess that character strength of Justice/Fairness will assuredly be upset! Get them to describe why it’s unfair.
  6. Ask them to think about what would make it fair. Ask, “How could we ensure everyone is successful?”
  7. Get them to see that, while some people might have an advantage in the front rows, with a little help from their friends, they can all get their paper in the bins.
  8. Ask, “How does it feel to help the people behind you?” Have your students discuss how helping others not only gives someone a hand-up, it actually improves their own wellbeing. It feels good to give back!

Don’t forget to turn on “With a Little Help from my Friends” by The Beatles to end this awesome lesson and really hit the message home!

Next Steps

Discuss Benefit Mindset with your students. Show your students the video or read a quote. Get them to describe the difference between Fixed, Growth, & Benefit Mindsets.