I thought I would share one of my very favorite lessons that I do each year. I learned this lesson from my supervisor during my internship, but it originally came from Steve Sandman, the 8th grade counselor at Cane Creek Middle School. He has lots of wonderful lessons which can be found on the Cane Creek Middle School Counseling website. You start by telling the students that you have a challenge for them. You ask them if they have ever tried Warheads (the really sour candy). Most of them are immediately excited! You give each child a piece (if they want it) and tell them not to put it in their mouth yet, but to unwrap it and get it ready. Everyone puts the Warhead in their mouth at the same time and we try to see who can last 30 seconds. Of course they all look miserable, and the faces are a great laugh! Afterward, we talk about the experience when they first put the candy in their mouth. They list adjectives such as "really sour! Painful! Explosive! Burning! Horrible!" And then you ask them if they would like another. Of course, they all say "YES!!" I act surprised, "What?! Why would you want another one after you just told me how horrible it was?" We go over their list of words. They come to the conclusion that even though the candy was really sour at first, after a little while, it became sweet and felt better. You then ask them if the bad feelings at the beginning were worth the good feelings at the end?
Next, you read the story Horton Hatches the Egg and ask students to make comparisons between the story and their Warhead experience. This leads to a discussion on persevarance and attitude. You can almost actually the see the lightbulbs going off in theird heads. I use this lesson in third grade and we make the comparison to school. They automatically start talking about the EOG and how we have to work hard now to get a good score. I really enjoy this lesson and its one the students keep talking about each year!