Student Reflection Check-in Prompt
Love, acceptance, and belonging are closely related to psychological safety. At this level of the hierarchy, the need for meaningful connection with others and genuine friendship drives our behavior.
It is important for people to feel loved and accepted. Personal relationships and connections with friends, family, and peers play an important role in our well-being, in addition to our involvement in other groups that might include religious groups, sports teams, clubs, and other group activities.
As members of classrooms and schools, we can either help connect people or further isolate them. We want to create a culture of connection in our classrooms and schools.
Activity 1: (20 minutes)
Start off the lesson by playing “Have You Ever?”
Have a class discussion about what they learned about people in the class. Emphasize that they may have been in school with these friends most of their lives and not really know them.
Activity 2: (25 minutes)
Show the video clip Line Game from Freedom Writers. Have a class discussion.
Activity 3: (25 minutes)
Prior to watching the video, divide students up into groups of 4. Invite them to have a discussion about what makes people genuinely happy. Have them create a list of the top 5 ideas that bring both short-term and long-term happiness to people. Have each group write down their 5 ideas on chart paper and share them with the class.
Watch the Harvard Grant Study TED talk. After watching the video, invite the groups to revisit their lists as a group and discuss their new insights.
Activity 4: (30 minutes)
Divide the class up into 7 groups. Give each group 1 of the 7 universal human needs from Michael Stallard. Invite each group to read their quote and create a poster that represents their chosen characteristic. Divide the poster into thirds and illustrate each of the following:
Connect the lesson back to Maslow’s Hierarchy and help them see the relationship between basic needs, physical and psychological safety, and the 7 universal human needs/connections.
Activity 5: (15 minutes)
Have a class discussion. Invite the students to think about moments when they felt loved or connected to someone. Write down their ideas on the board. Discuss common factors and how similar themes can be implemented in the students’ lives and in the classroom.
Activity 6: (45 minutes)
Have a piece of paper for each student in the room. Let the class walk around and write a compliment, meaningful connection, or something they like about that person. Afterward, initiate a class discussion where students can talk about how they felt more connected to their classmates. Discuss how love and connection can change mindsets and moods.
Activity 7: (30 minutes)
Have a class discussion.
Have the students either discuss as a class or write down their thoughts. Invite the students to share their thoughts with a partner or in small groups.