Here’s an easy activity that my dear friend and fellow Restitution trainer, Jeanine Henson, shared with me to help kids to step back and think about the kind of person they want to be in the world.
Ask your students to imagine that they have been approached to be part of the first space mission to set up a colony on Mars. It’s their job to set up the first school. What will it be like? What are the basic beliefs on which they want their school to run? How do they want to treat each other? How will they manage conflicts that arise?
It’s amazing when we find a way, such as this, to step out of the box of thinking about “what is” and consider the possibilities of what could be. Once you have let their minds go wild thinking about what could be, the final question to have the kids consider is what ideas they have come up with that can actually be implemented here. The poster pictured above is part of a mural that one class made after doing this activity.
This is also a fantastic activity to do as a school staff. When we allow ourselves to think without the limitations of our current status quo and think about how we would structure school if we were starting from the ground up, it’s amazing how many ideas come up that make a person ask “Why aren’t we doing that now?”
Activities such as this tap into internal motivation. Think about how different it would feel to decide for yourself that you want to be more respectful of other people’s opinions versus having someone tell you that you have to be more respectful of others or face consequences. There is always more energy to achieve a goal when it comes from inside you instead of being forced on you!