Week of Respect (Update)

Hi…so Miss Airhall has been warning my class all week about completing the one Week of Respect Activity that we originally began in class and that I posted to the blog with the hopes of completing the art and written portion of the assignment on October 5th, 2016.

This activity originally was supposed to be collected last Thursday or Friday but I was out ill.  Parents who went on Wednesday’s trip or that have seen me the past few days at school can attest that my voice is practically gone and/or strained to the point of real soreness and so I might have to return to the doctor to see if I’m developing something worse like a strep throat (I doubt it but I’d prefer to be safe than sorry!)

With that said, so far it’s been brought to my attention that approximately 3-4 students have completed and submitted this particular Week of Respect assignment to Miss Airhall thanks to the modeled instructions and expectations that were written on the board before class and gone over during classwork.  

  • Unfortunately, it’s simply not good enough for students to come in with ONLY their character designs (a 4 x 4 inch square Head, a 3 x 3 inch torso, and a 2 x 2 inch square for the legs which when all put together should form a quirky and unique ‘bobble-head’ style character.  The ones that have been submitted on time will get first consideration at prizes/extra credit/a homework pass.  

As expected, both Miss Airhall and I fortunately agree that the majority of students simply stopped taking the assignment seriously as soon as Mr. S was gone those two days last week.  It’s simply unacceptable to bring in NOTHING, not the minimum 3-5 paragraphs writing OR the unique cut-out character you were supposed to describe, tell us about, and explain reasons why they might struggle making friends along with some advice as to how they can improve the social area of their lives.  The directions are clear in the kind of response(s) they are looking for.

Because Miss Airall (and I to my 5th graders) are offering prizes to students across grade levels dependent on the Week of Respect Activity or Activities that were done in all classes, she’s expecting a lot more from our kids in 5S because we have raised the bar when it comes to art-activities, descriptive writing, and the overall freedom of expression of our classmates thoughts and ideas as they pertain to more open-ended assignments where we want to see student creativity and effort shine through independently and away from more rigid lesson plans.  

  • Attached below is the same information from the Lesson Plan I posted on 10/5.

Respect Week Assignment – see below…

DOWNLOADEverybody is Unique Lesson Plan

—if a child did not bring home the character they made, I would have them start the assignment over using construction paper or some other colored paper to keep their character design fresh, interesting, and away from plain white.

The objective as soon as you’re done designing and providing physical traits and details to your unique person, is to attach/staple the character to the written portion so we can put them on display around the building.  Miss Airhall is going to reward students who she feels took the initiative and the assignment seriously and did their best work.

  • (I attached the entire lesson plan above, the section posted below describes the writing portion of the assignmentstudents are supposed to have finished the art portion of the assignment during class where they ‘build’ their unique friend…if they did not bring it home tonight, I’d have them do it again following the instructions in the lesson plan).

***copied from the attached lesson plan***

Here is the basis of the lesson…

Everybody is different, or unique. What a person looks like on the outside has nothing to do with what is inside! Every person has special talents, special qualities…

After students have had a good laugh about how the three body parts came together to create an unusual-looking person, ask each student to think up a name for his or her new “friend” and to give some thought to some of the characteristics the new friend might have. Ask:

  • What special qualities does this unique person have? What special talents does the person possess? What do you have in common with your new friend? How are you different?

After students have decided what qualities their new friends have, tell them you would like them to write about their new friends. You might ask each student to begin a story with the words: I would like you to meet my new friend, [name goes here]…. Then give students the freedom to choose what they will write as they go on to describe exactly what it is they like so much about their new buddies.

When students have finished their 4-5 paragraph stories USING SIMILES AND METAPHORS AND OTHER DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE (HIGHLIGHT EVERY USE OF THESE, PLEASE, otherwise no full credit), invite them to share their work with their classmates.

You might use this read-aloud session as an opportunity to reinforce the lesson you hope they will take from this activity: What a person looks like on the outside has nothing to do with what that person is like on the inside!  

The essays and illustrations might make a fun bulletin board display too!  Remember, the idea behind Respect Week is to reflect upon our own actions and our treatment of others.  To reflect and take some time to think about how our words and decisions might impact our classmates and friends emotionally –  sometimes it’s not always obvious that you’re hurting someone’s feelings and so please make a strong effort to DO THE RIGHT THING by others so that our class can receive the most random acts of kindness tickets within the school.  Furthermore, we’ll also try to reward those students who have put in the extra effort at helping themselves and others in a non-disruptive way.  Students that lead by example and are conscious of their actions in the classroom and out in the hallway are the ideal peers that we should promote/follow and whose actions the rest of 5S should work towards replicating (these students will receive the biggest prize)

  • I am looking for a minimum of 4-5 well-written paragraphs that show off the use of figurative language, i.e. similes, metaphors, & personification.  PLEASE HIGHLIGHT EVERY USE OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE, similes in one color, metaphors in another, and personification in a third choice, or you can underline it, just make the distinctions between the 3 things clear.  
  • Lastly, very few students actually followed the instructions the other night regarding the figurative language that needs to be included in the writing portion of this assignment- I’ve said before that likely every Thursday will be a Grammar Day and so I expect a lot of our new concepts to be included in upcoming writing assignments for both class and homework.


So in summation, Mrs. Airhall is really, really looking forward to seeing and displaying these COLORFUL and unique character creations and breakdowns w/ the writing to support your thoughts that no matter what people look like, we as maturing 5th and future 6th graders must learn to practice the concept of empathy, to put yourself in the shoes of someone else and to experience the difficulties and hardships in their own lives even just for a moment.  If we are willing to take the time to help others improve their social standing or help them to be accepted by the rest of their peers, that’s a sign of maturity that I hope to see reflected within the writing portion of the bulk of these assignments.

If you read the attached lesson plan by Miss Airhall, things should be pretty straight forward.  I’m going to try and find an example of a finished product but I might have left them all in school.

Anyway, if you have any questions just ask, thanks!




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