July 23, 2019
by Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

Say Something

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Grade Subject

Students will be able to identify ways to express themselves and help others through service, art, and being an "upstander."

(10 minutes)
  • Join the class in a circle, on a rug or in chairs.
  • Ask them to share all of the ways we can say something when we see something that's not right, such as when we see someone stealing, throwing garbage in nature, or picking on someone else.
  • Write "say something" on the board.
  • Ask students to share more ways we can speak up. Build upon their answers and mention that we can also say something through writing or art.
  • Ask, "What can we do when we see someone may be hurt or is hurting someone else?" Listen to their answers, then say, "We can say something!"
(15 minutes)
  • Show the class the book Say Something, and tell them that you're going to read it to them.
  • Read through the story, and pause periodically to check for comprehension.
  • When you come across the word "injustice" in the story, define it for the class: "Injustice means when things are not fair."
  • Write or draw pictures on the board of the many different ways we can "say something," based on what's mentioned in the book.
  • After reading the story, ask students to find a partner and answer the following prompts:
    • How can we use our voice?
    • If you see someone is lonely, what can you do?
    • If you see someone is being hurt, what can you do?
  • After pairs talk amongst themselves, have a few of them share what they discussed with the whole class.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that there are many ways we can say something to help ourselves, others, and the Earth.
  • Ask the class to share what we could do today to "say something."
  • Tell them that today, they will be spreading seeds of flowers outside of school, painting, and making promises to each other to say something and stand up for each other.
  • Show the I Promise to Say Something poster, and read through each promise.
  • Ask students to add promises they feel are important.
  • After they add their ideas to the poster, have them repeat each promise after you.
  • Tell them that you will call each student up to write their name on the poster, so that everyone can make this promise to their class.
  • Ask each student (or groups of students) to come up and write their name.
(30 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will now walk outside and spread flower seeds.
  • Walk the class to the designated location to spread seeds.
  • Hand out seeds to each student.
  • Spread the seeds all together.
  • Ask, "How does it feel to spread seeds? How will others feel when they see flowers bloom here?"
  • Walk back to class.
  • Pass out blank art paper and paints or watercolors.
  • Ask the class to reflect on the seed spreading activity and paint their reflections on the art paper. Students will say something through their paintings, and they can paint anything they would like to "say."

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write a poem about planting seeds and saying something. This will deepen their Responsible Decision Making SEL competency.

Support: While students are completing their paintings, work one-on-one or in small groups with any students struggling with the practice of saying something and the SEL competency of Responsible Decision Making.

(5 minutes)
  • While students are making their paintings, move through the room and connect individually with as many of them as you can to check for understanding of what it means to "say something."
(15 minutes)
  • Bring the class back together in a circle, and ask them to bring their paintings.
  • Go around the circle, and have all students show the class their paintings. Ask them to explain how their paintings reflect on the seed spreading activity and their promise to "say something."
  • Tell them that their paintings will go up in the hallway at school.
  • As a class, review the poster of promises.
  • Ask students to pay attention in the future when someone is sitting by themselves or being hurt. If they notice this, they should remember the promises we made together to "say something."

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