Develop thematically, Terry’s presentation explores six main issues:
1. The importance of communication
2. Confronting our fears, dreams, goals, challenges, choices, and responsibilities
3. Understanding and celebrating our differences
4. Personal safety
5. Respect for ourselves and others
6. The value of enthusiasm
Using personal experiences, songs, and audience participation, Terry addresses these issues and encourages the students to develop their own values and strategies for living happily and healthily.
Some of the song lyrics relate directly to the issues, while other songs are used to represent the spirit of the themes.
Each sixty-minute presentation includes a question and answer session.
This study guide is intended for teachers as a resource, and may be followed fairly closely, used sparingly, or adapted to best suit each class.
In some cases, suggested activities are designated
(E) – Elementary or (S) – Secondary
WE CAN DO ANYTHING – PRESENTATION OUTLINE
“You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll”
Story – conflict with Miss Hubley, the music teacher
Theme – communication and conflict resolution
“We Can Do Anything”
Story – Moe and the law of the farm
Theme – dreams, goals, challenges, choices and responsibilities
“Hey There” (S)
“The Itsy Bitsy Spider” (E)
Story – learning to sing; learning to ride a bike
Theme – understanding and celebrating our differences
“Don’t Take Me Home” (S)
“The Unicorn” (E)
Story – Joanne – two homes, two schools (S)
– story of the Unicorn (E)
Themes – personal safety, communication
“In My Father’s House”
Story – Marlon Sparks – stupid newfie and the “n” word
Themes – respect for yourself and others, celebrating differences
“The Girl Is On A Roll”
Story – operation deep-freeze (S)
– building a lean-to in Cubs (E)
Themes – the value of individual and group enthusiasm, school spirit
“Mama Likes To Rock And Roll”
“The Lucky Ones”
Story – white cane, airplane
Themes – challenges, responsibilities and creating your own luck
WE CAN DO ANYTHING – SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
(E) It bugs me when …
I like it when …
It makes me sad when …
It makes me happy when …
(E) (S) Letter to parents – things I never have said to you but want you to know
(E) (S) Interview parents and report to class – their school, favorite activities as a kid, teams, dreams, music, friends – when they were your age, what did they want to be when they grew up?
(S) What would you most like your parents to hear?
(E) (S) Tell your parents two things about yourself they hadn’t known before
(E) (S) Make a collage or fill a scrapbook with articles, photos, etc. of people who have accomplished challenging goals. These can be dramatic and public or personal victories.
(E) (S) List some challenging accomplishments of your own as well as things you would like to accomplish in the future
i.e. overcome shyness
learn to skate
improve in math or English
Remember, every accomplishment from learning to walk and talk is valuable.
3. UNDERSTANDING AND CELEBRATING OUR DIFFERENCES
(E) (S) Organize and present a multi-cultural lunch or dinner. Have students make dishes from their ethnic backgrounds, serve them and tell the class about the food, its preparation and the rituals associated with it. This may be a class project or a school-wide event.
Musicfest – celebrate the music of various cultural backgrounds, by inviting groups into the school to perform, or by having students perform. This, too, can be a class project, a whole day event, or part of an ongoing school multi-cultural undertaking.
Interview a student, parent, teacher or friend about his or her religious or cultural background, and introduce that person to the class.
Use the Internet to establish a multicultural network of students across the town/city, province, country or even worldwide. Keep a bulletin board of letters, photos, etc.
Research and present the history in Canada of legislation that respects cultural, religious, ethnic diversity. This may include protection of rights for the disabled.
(S) Discuss issues in the news that have a particular ethnic or cultural aspect – the recent government apology to Canada’s native people for their abuses in institutions, for example, or the persecution of Dukhobors in Canada in the 1920’s and 30’s
(E) How do you practice safety
– at home
– in the car
– on your bike, roller blades, swimming, etc.
– on the bus
– in the mall
(E) Discussion of personal safety – what to do if someone touches you in private places,
threatens you or hurts you or one of your friends
(S) People or agencies that offer information or help
– list all resources in your area
– research the founding, operations, daily activities, sources of support, interview one
of the workers or arrange for a visit to your class by a rep of the agency chosen
(S) As a class project, organize a daylong showcase with reps from all local agencies
i.e Access To Information Day
Kids’ Help Phone
Hospital Emergency Services
5. RESPECT FOR OURSELVES AND OTHERS
Many of the activities suggested in #3 will also be useful here.
(E) (S) Brainstorm definitions/ descriptions/experiences that illustrate self-respect. Distinguish between self-respect and selfishness.
In pairs, have students devise scenarios which could be used to teach very young children how to practice self-respect (turn away from an offered cigarette, for example), and how to show respect to others. These scenarios can range from very simple lessons in manners to quite complex studies of handling bullies, protecting self and others, dealing with an unfair teacher, telling parents about a mistake or an accident
Translate these scenarios into audio, video, cartoon poster, or skit format.
6. THE VALUE OF ENTHUSIASM
Any of these activities is adaptable to elementary or secondary level students
Spirit Days – these are school-wide, and encourage friendly competition within each class, among classes and across the student body. Some spirit day activities;
Warm Fuzzy Day – each student is given a “warm fuzzy” – a ball of many strands of yarn, one to be given away to each person hugged during the day.
Pajamas Day – students (and teachers) spend the day in Pjs
Door Decorating Contests – at Hallowe’en, Christmas, or other special occasions
Pep Rallies – in September to introduce school teams Birthday Club – chart student birthdays and deliver cards
Loud Crowd – not cheerleaders, this is a group of students who enthusiastically attend and support school events
As far as teaching the value of individual enthusiasm, model these behaviors by identifying and sharing students, teachers, parents, mentors, etc. who live enthusiastically.
Use role – playing to show the different approaches to challenges. Show the low-key, Eeyore-style attitude, then the optimistic, enthusiastic, perspective. With very young students, consider cartoon characters such as Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Tigger, Eeyore, to identify and practice taking an enthusiastic approach to life’s challenges
Secondary students may use lyrics of “We Can Do Anything”, “In My Father’s House”, and “The Lucky Ones”, to begin a study of the importance of optimism and enthusiasm.
Have students choose a person seen as enthusiastic and devise an interview to explore the basis of that person’s attitude. Share the interviews with classmates.