Lesson plan

I Am Human

Deliberate practise of gratitude is a powerful way to grow happiness and build resilience. In this lesson, students will create a book as a way of reflecting on being human and practising gratitude.
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Students will be able to express appreciation for who they are and practise gratitude through the creation of a story book.

(10 minutes)
  • Join students together in a circle.
  • Project or write on the board: "'There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.' - Albert Einstein."
  • Read the quote aloud to the class.
  • Ask the class, "What stands out for you in this quote?"
  • Ask, "What is a miracle? How is it a miracle to be a human?"
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner to answer.
  • Ask, "What does it mean to be a human being?"
  • Have students turn and talk to a partner to answer.
  • Bring the class back together.
  • Ask students to share out their answers with the rest of class.
  • Explain that Being humanMeans that we sometimes make mistakes, we can learn and grow, we experience emotions, and can play!
  • Explain that our bodies and minds are miracles in how each one of us are unique and how we can change, learn, and grow!
(15 minutes)
  • Show the class the book, I Am Human: A Book of Empathy.
  • Ask, "What do you notice on the front cover?"
  • Read through the story and stop periodically to ask comprehension questions.
  • Ask, "What stood out for you in the story?"
  • Explain that in being human, we can have challenges and sadness, but we can also have joy and happiness.
  • Explain that seeing the miracle in all of the different parts of our experiences and how we can learn and grow can be helpful.
  • Explain that a miracle also exists in remembering that each of us has our own uniqueness, talents, and gifts like no one else on the whole planet!
  • Ask the class to sit up tall and relax their shoulders.
  • Guide them to place their hand on their heart, close their eyes or look down at the floor, and become quiet.
  • Ask students to take a few deep breaths.
  • Ask students to think of all of the ways they are unique: their talents, likes, and even the positive actions they have taken over the past few days in being kind to themselves or someone else.
  • Ask them to take a few deep breaths and to focus their minds on all of the things that they are grateful for in being human and in their life.
  • Ask them to say in their mind (pausing between each statement): "I am grateful to give and receive love...I am grateful for this body...I am grateful for this breath...I am grateful for play...I am grateful for delicious food...I am grateful to be able to help others...I am grateful to be able to learn from my mistakes...I am grateful to be me, for my uniqueness and talents...I am grateful for the miracle of life..."
  • Ask them to take a few deep breaths and to open their eyes when they are ready.
  • Ask, "What did you notice? How do you feel?"
  • Explain that the class will make their own story about being human.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the "I Am Human" Story Books worksheet with the class.
  • Model and project how to design your own paper book.
  • Pass out a copy of the worksheets and materials to students.
(15 minutes)
  • Dismiss students to go back to their seats to complete their books. Circle around the room and check in with as many students as possible to answer any questions and provide support when needed.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write their own (10) gratitudes for their story book and to read their story to a younger student.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students during independent work time and provide support when needed.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and check student comprehension during independent work time.
(10 minutes)
  • Partner students in the class.
  • Ask students to read their stories to their partner.
  • Tell students that they will have two minutes each to read through their stories.
  • Ask students to decide who would like to go first. Ask students to begin.
  • Ring a chime after two minutes.
  • Ask the other partner to share now, and ring a chime after two minutes.
  • Bring students back together in a circle.
  • Ask the class:
    • What will you remember from today's lesson on being human?
    • How can we remember all of the things to be grateful for?
    • When can we practise gratitude for being human and the miracles of life?
    • How can this help us? How can this support community?

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