How I Teach With Solutionary Stories
Hint: Super Powers!!
As a humane educator and children’s nonfiction author, I have a “shtick” (as my Aunt Phyllis would’ve called it—others might call it a gimmick or a signature style!). I came up with this shtick when I was working as a guest humane educator with my first class of K-3 students, at a lovely little Montessori school, several years ago. I’ve since used it with groups of all ages, expanding and deepening it.
My shtick is really a way of thinking about being solutionaries that seems to speak to students of all ages. I’m happy to share it with you here—for you to share with the students in your life. So, here’s the gist of what I say:
We all have within us the power to be Solutionaries, from the moment we’re born. In fact, every kid is actually a Solutionary SuperKid, with Solutionary Super Powers that they can use to make a difference. Yes, that means YOU are a Solutionary Super Kid with your very own Solutionary Super Powers!
What are your Solutionary Super Powers? They are:
· Your Super Mind
· Your Super Senses
· Your Super Voice
· Your Super Heart
· Your Super Body
I created a moving poem called “My Solutionary Super Powers” that I then teach and do with kids on school visits to explain these. I also created a coloring book that helps kids express their Solutionary Super Powers (including their own unique personalities, talents and passions!).
After I’ve taught kids about their Solutionary Super Powers, I share a Solutionary Story (usually a picture book biography, but sometimes a short video or verbal story). Then I ask the kids:
· Who were the Solutionaries in this story?
· What Solutionary Super Powers did they use, and how?
· How might you use your own Solutionary Super Powers to help like they did?
It’s never once failed to spark great conversation!