Use these resources for helping others in the classroom. Students can make a plan to help others across the world with these freebies.
One story that has always resonated with me both personally and professionally is The Starfish Story. This is a tale that has been told and retold in many different versions but was originally adapted from a story called The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley. If you aren’t familiar, it basically tells the story of a child on a beach filled with thousands of starfish that have washed up. The child is picking them up one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. When questioned by an adult as to what the child is doing, the child replies that the starfish will die if not thrown back. When the adult states that the child can’t possibly make a difference because there are too many starfish on the beach to help, the child picks one up, throws it into the ocean and replies innocently, “Made a difference to that one!”
As moms and teachers Cathy and I want our own kids and students to realize that they CAN make a difference in our world…even as children. We know many of you feel the same.
We think using The Starfish Story can be a wonderful team building idea at the beginning of the year to help teach this concept. Working together towards a bigger goal can help your students to feel a sense of community. One version of this tale that can be printed and read aloud to your class can be found here: The Starfish Story
Let that story lead to a conversation with your students about what they feel they can do to make a difference in our world. Then guide the conversation towards what they feel they can do to help children in other countries who have much less than many in the United States. Perhaps share some websites, books and photos to help them understand the struggles these children face – including the lack of medical resources. Tell them about Walgreen’s Get a Shot. Give a Shot. program and explain how it works as a sort of “pay-it-forward” opportunity for those who choose to participate.
Another idea to get students thinking about what they could do to make a difference in our world is to have them write on and color this Make a Difference Star and then display their ideas on a bulletin board.
Or you might choose to start smaller by encouraging children to think about how they can make a difference in the classroom first. Throughout the year you can have your students’ ideas expand to the school, city and even the world. To encourage children to write more about their thoughts, we have also included an I Can Make a Difference printable booklet where children can share their feelings and thoughts.
What do you do with your own kids at home or with your students in your classroom to help them see that they can make a difference? Share your ideas with us!
Working together, kids can make a difference!