What are the three best rules for creating a safe and cooperative environment at school?
In this challenge, students explore rules for home and school in order to further their understanding of the ways in which people create a climate of cooperation. To introduce the activity, review rules that students have at home. Read aloud a story about rules at school (e.g., David Goes to School). Ask students to identify the school rules in the story and list their responses. Explore the merits of each rule by asking, "What is good about this rule? How does the rule help us?" Using stick drawings, record student responses on a chart in columns labelled "Rules at school" and "How rules help us." Invite students to name other school or classroom rules not identified in the story and add them to the list. Discuss the good things about each rule. Guide the discussion to the role of many of these rules in maintaining a safe and cooperative environment. Through discussion, guide students to understand that one of the reasons for rules is to create a safe environment where people get along with one another. Ask students to speculate why it might be difficult to get everyone to cooperate and follow the rules. Discuss the various challenges that groups face in creating a peaceful environment. Help students understand that sometimes it is necessary to do what is important for the group instead of just for themselves. Ask students to select and illustrate what they consider to be the three best rules in promoting a safe and cooperative environment at school and title their drawings "Best rules for a safe and cooperative school."
If students have previously discussed home rules, display a list of these rules using stick drawings. Otherwise generate a list of rules that exist at home. Be careful not to encourage students to disclose private or sensitive information about their families. Focus students' attention on those rules that help everyone in the family work together to create a safe environment where people get along with one another. Compare the lists of rules at home and school. Create a Venn diagram or chart showing which rules are the same in both places, which are solely at home and which are solely at school. Extend the focus to rules in the community. Make a list of these rules using stick drawings. Ask students to place a check mark beside those rules that are the same at home, school and in the community.