If you need help making your way back into social circles, read The Circles All Around Us. This book reminds us how much better the world is when we include others in our lives.
The story opens up with a child drawing a circle. The child sits alone inside the shape. When family members want in on the space, a bigger circle includes everyone. Larger circles follow to accommodate more family members, friends and neighbors.
A double-page spread shows the child making the circle big enough to fit people from around the world. It’s mentioned that including people with different experiences can be hard at times. However, if you start from a place of love, “wonderful things can happen.”
The message in this story is a reminder of the importance of human connections. Life is so much more meaningful when we engage with different people. The narrator compares social circles to books. Think of how limiting life would be if we only had one book to read. This idea applies to the people we meet. Life is better when we make connections with many new and different people.
AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Include/Create II.B.1 Learners adjust their awareness of the global learning community by interacting with a range of learners who reflect a range of perspectives.
Socktober is an event developed by the creators of The Circles All Around Us. They invite everyone to contact local homeless shelters and find out what they need. This call-to-action can inspire learners to collaborate on a service project.
After reading The Circles All Around Us, introduce Socktober. Visit the Homeless Shelter Directory to find the shelters in your area. Read about the different homeless shelters and discover their missions. Find out what they need. As a class, vote for a shelter to support.
Next, invite learners to work in groups to develop a service project plan. Use the Service Project Guides created by the iTeach team at Kennesaw State University. Allow groups to present their plans. Then, vote on a project to implement.
If a service project is too big right now, think about starting simple acts of kindness. Watch The Circles Show on YouTube for some ideas. Invite learners to brainstorm simple things they can do to make the world a better place. Direct learners to commit to one activity and develop a plan to make it happen.
This activity compelled me to make a donation to The Hope for Families Center in Vero Beach, Florida. They are looking for donations to their new Reading Resource Center. Donations will help buy new books for children. If you would like to help, here’s a link to page: https://www.hopeforfamiliescenter.org/donate.html
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Category: Include, Social Themes - Values & Virtues, Social Themes- Emotions & Feelings, Social Themes-FriendshipTags: acts of kindness, public spirit, SEL, service projects, social and emotional learning