Posts Tagged ‘values activities’
Having students create a coat of arms gives them the opportunity to describe qualities about themselves and to learn more about other group members. Mentors should encourage the participants to use colors and writing styles that represent their personalities.
In space 1, have students draw something that characterizes a talent they posses. If working on a group coat of arms, each person will include their own symbol in space 1.
In space 2, have students sketch out a something they are really good at.
In space 3, have students draw a symbol of how they like to spend their spare time (an interest).
In space 4, have students write something that reflects their personal motto.
Have pre-made Coat of Arms, color markers or pencils ready before class begins. You can download the handout at www.WinningFuturesBooks.org. Go to the Online Support
page and locate Coat of Arms. Remember to have your user ID and password.
Before students can start working on a plan for their futures, they first need to evaluate where they are today. All of us have both positive and negative assets. To help improve the negative assets, it is important to first recognize what they are. This can be done through a self-assessment. Some example questions students can answer during a self-assessment are:
~What are some things I want to improve about myself
~My biggest challenges or things I worry about are
~I am most grateful for
~Things I like to do
~My friends would describe me as
~I would describe myself as
~The most positive people in my life are
~The most negative situations in my life are
Winning Futures mentors help students students evaluate these types of questions along with guiding them in setting new/realistic goals in the areas in which they wish to improve on.
With the help of mentors, Winning Futures talks to students about the importance of community service and how it helps others as well as the benefits for the individual providing the service (college admittance, resume building, leadership skills, etc.). Teams are required to complete a community service project to benefit a group in society.
By doing things that interest them, teens often gain new skills and find new career opportunities that they hadn’t thought of before. Students working with animal organizations may discover they would like to become a veterinarian. Those helping disabled individuals may find opportunities in health care or social services. In addition, the experiences gained in volunteer settings can provide teens with skills in leadership and decision-making, and also look attractive on college and scholarship applications.
Teens are exposed to people and circumstances they have not encountered in their life. Volunteers learn about respect and kindness through working with the homeless, serving the elderly at a retirement home, or helping disabled children create art. Teens develop better appreciation for the little things in life and also receive a personal satisfaction of knowing they have made a difference in someone’s life.
Besides finding new career opportunities, volunteering also provides teens with other skills necessary in the job market. Teens have a chance to learn important communication and interpersonal skills. The same leadership skills that help with their education will also help in the business world. Volunteering also provides teens a chance to increase their knowledge in certain areas. Those activities could add experience to a resume.
To find a place in your area to volunteer go to http://www.volunteermatch.org/.
VISION is the first official Winning Futures principle that is facilitated in the strategic planning process to students! When they begin the process of strategic five-year planning, mentors guide them on why visioning comes first.
A personal vision statement is a great tool that allows mentees to look into the future and define where they see themselves. A good vision statement provides a strategic outline and general direction for an individual’s growth. Mentors or teachers guide their students on developing a clear vision statement that will clearly convey the objectives of an individual and outline the short-term measures required to achieving their goal.
To help develop a personal mission statement, facilitate the following with the students:
In five years:
- Where will you be continuing your education/or working?
- Who will you be with – family, friends, associates?
- What will you be doing – working, playing, traveling, volunteering, etc?
- What will you have accomplished both personally and professionally?
- What will be important to you? Include your values, feelings etc.
- What do you look like?
- How do you feel?
Finally, start crafting your vision for the future and, more importantly, write it down on paper. Make it concise, write in the present tense, and record it on something you can take with you and reference on a daily basis.
In every Winning Futures meeting/class, we start with our “Good News” activity. We lay the ground work at the beginning of the year by stating that we know standing up in front of a group can be scary, awkward, and unnerving. That is why our “Number One” rule is “Respect for all Speakers” no matter if it is an adult or student. If someone is speaking, everyone in the room is to stay quiet with no side talking, snickering, or comments.
We ask anyone with something positive to share to please stand, say their first and last name, and tell us their good news. We allot up to 3 minutes for people to share. If you have mentors or adult volunteers, ask them to also share to help get things going each time.
We then close each class with a “Stand and Share” where mentees again stand, say their first and last name, and one thing they learned or liked about the class. We coach the students to be Loud and Proud by speaking up and making sure everyone can hear them.
I will let you that at the beginning of the year, it is sometimes like pulling teeth to have students volunteer. Through role modeling and encouraging students we know have good news to share, soon we have too many people wanting to speak!
Many teachers we work with have begun incorporating this into their daily classes and they have seen a tremendous difference in their participation as a whole in class and the respect level between the students.
Here is a great article on MSN written by Dewey Sadka, Career Expert. This could be a great activity to do with students and mentees. It has them select the color they like the least and then analyzes how they should select and prepare for a career!
This article is based on www.deweycolorsystem.com
When mentors and mentees first meet, things can be awkward. To help with that, have the mentors bring in a prop that represents their job.
Mentors need to be prepared in advance (tell them at training) to give a two minute talk about their job/career field. They need to bring in props (photos, equipment, etc) that can be easily carried to help show the students what they do at work.
If you run a mentoring program where you have multiple mentors in one room, it is beneficial to let all of the mentees meet each mentor. This can be done in a fun, fast way!
At the top of the sessions, host a “Mentor Speed Meeting” event. All mentoring teams will have the opportunity to meet each mentor exclusively for two minutes. At the end of that time, a bell will sound and each mentor will rotate to another table to speak with the next group of students.
Download directions for this activity on our website http://www.winningfuturesbooks.org/private/index.php
In Winning Futures, we learned many things from our mentors. During one of our sessions we worked on interviewing techniques and the importance of having our own personal 30-second elevator pitch. Honestly, I felt nervous and a little uncomfortable talking about myself as we moved around the room practicing our pitch to all the mentors, and was relieved when the session ended. Never thinking that I would actually have a chance to use my pitch, it was less than one week later that I applied it in a job interview and got the job! It is all because of Winning Futures. I walked in, gave the interviewer my 30-second pitch about myself and got the job on the spot! It was so amazing and I’m very happy about it! I am so happy I was in this program, it helped me a lot. After being on the job for only one week, my new boss pulled me aside and told me that I was doing such a great job and that it looked like I would have a future with the company! Thank you again for teaching us how to be professional in the business world.
Tami is a mentee in our Winning Futures mentoring program. In each of our mentoring classes, our mentors and mentees use our life skills and goal setting curriculum to build relationships and gain life-long skills. Download the handout for 30 Second Networking activity at http://www.winningfuturesbooks.org/private/index.php
At the beginning of the school year, set your students up for success. This will help them kick-off their school year with confidence that they can be successful this year.
- Have them set small, obtainable goals. These should be short-term (one to two weeks).
- Keep encouraging them to take the steps to reach that goal.
- Ask if they need any resources or help.
- Teach them how to ask for help…many do not know how to.
- Celebrate small successes!
At Winning Futures, we believe that goals need to be written down in order for you to make a true commitment to your goal. Take time with your students to create a goal journal!
This week, our alternative high school students had the wonderful opportunity to meet Liz Murray and hear her inspiring story of growing up homeless in the Bronx. At 17 while still homeless, Liz went back to high school, graduated by 19, and earned her degree from Harvard. Lifetime made a movie about her life, “Homeless to Harvard“. Liz released her book “Breaking Night” this month, which just made the New York Times Best Sellers List! Her book can be purchased on online at Amazon.com - click here.
She made our students realize that they can take control of their lives by asking for help and choosing to graduate and going on to college. Liz also had a dedicated mentor…her teacher Perry.
Liz is touring the USA with Blessings in a Backpack to promote the mission of the charity which is to feed children on the weekends by providing them with a backpack of food every Friday. Please see their website to bring the program to your community. www.blessingsinabackpack.org
Thank you Liz for inspiring all of us at Winning Futures!