Unit 1 – WE ALL ARE CONNECTED

Principle Overview


Throughout the 7 Principles we have seen how everything we do has a ripple effect on others. We are dependent on so many other people for so many things – the roads we drive on and the foods we eat, the schools we go to and the technology we use. The list is endless. When we see how connected we all really are, we can go from feelings of isolation to a sense of belonging and purpose, and we can appreciate and even celebrate our differences- in and out of the classroom. This principle is foundational to all of the IM4U songs and activities.

Collaboration and Kindness
Peer interaction and collaboration starts early in life, and requires a certain level of respect and kindness that needs to be modeled and practiced. Through group discussions and activities, students begin to understand how each member of their group has something unique to contribute and what they offer can benefit everyone. Kind, collaborative interactions help students see how connected we all are and how much better the world spins when everyone helps.

Unit
Songs & Stories

The fun song & story for Unit 1 is IM4U. Click on the videos to the right to learn more.

Why IM4U?

In a broad sense, IM4U means “be a friend to yourself and to others.” When we speak, listen, work, and play from the viewpoint of caring and acceptance, we take care of each other, and ourselves!

The “IM4U” song celebrates friendship and calls attention to how we are both similar and different. It helps students honor their relationships with each other and reminds them that we are ALL equal beings, even if their wishes are different. They learn that they can be themselves, be strong, and disagree—and still be friends, and that despite differences, they are stronger together.

The philosophy of IM4U is truly a win/win.


As a teacher, you know that building culture and helping students develop a sense of awareness of their choices and behavior is a daily, ongoing process. Support your students in their development by keeping the IM4U Principles visible in the classroom and providing a place for their ideas and thoughts to be shared. To accomplish this, use one of the ideas provided here or create a different visual that works best for your classroom.

  1. Words That Help, Words That Hurt: Invite students to brainstorm words they know that can help someone feel happy, accepted, and liked. Create a bulletin board display of these helpful, positive words, and phrases using a title such as “We All Are Connected! Words That Help.” See Words That Help, Words That Hurt for more information and adapt to your grade level.
  2. We Like… : Highlight how similarities and differences make us unique yet connected. Discuss and display students’ likes and dislikes through drawn pictures, words, or photographs emphasizing how we are more alike than different. See We Like… for more information and adapt to your grade level.
  3. Linked Together: Emphasize the importance of everyone in a community being able to depend on one another. Talk about what is means to be dependable. On a rectangular paper strip, have students brainstorm and write or draw ways they think others can depend on them. Link all of the students’ strips together to form a chain and hang in the classroom. Feel free to have students continually add strips to the chain.

Understanding how we depend on each other is important in gaining a more realistic view of our place in the community. The realization that we are all connected can help students gain a sense of belonging and purpose as well as valuing others and their contributions. Each of us has unique gifts to offer. Encouraging students to work together through creative interactions throughout the school day will help them to continually notice how important and interconnected we are to each other.

Here are a few ways to integrate and reinforce  WE ALL ARE CONNECTED throughout a school day:

  • Encourage awareness of interdependence. Help students notice when they are depending on another in a group or in class. Encourage them to notice when others are depending on them.
  • Acknowledge students’ supportive work efforts. Recognize when students are working well together and supporting each other. Ask students how it feels and what actions they are taking. When students know how it feels when everyone is supportive and working together, they can begin to see how WE ALL ARE CONNECTED.
  • Encourage acknowledgment and appreciation between students. Model to your students acknowledgment and appreciation of their efforts in supporting one another, and encourage them to do the same. This is a great way to demonstrate interdependence in a group.
  • Provide contribution choices. During group activities, provide opportunities for children to choose their contributions to the group. Individual roles during collaborative work means, “I am a valued member, and we are a team!”
  • Allow time for pretend play. When students take turns and role-play, they can discover creative ways they are connected to other people.
  • Create tasks that require shared goals. Teachers can foster feelings of support and belonging by creating group work that requires students to rely on each other. An environment that values the principle WE ALL ARE CONNECTED opens doors to learning!

R.O.C.K. is not only a fun way for students to learn about responsibility, but also provides a R.O.C.K. solid foundation for thinking about making choices. Learning ROCK is an ongoing journey for students. Don’t forget that the ROCK activities and discussions can be integrated into every IM4U unit.

View ROCK Resources ROCK graphic

Activities

PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES

Preschool Scope & Sequence
Click Here to view the year long Preschool Scope & Sequence inside our Resource Library.

1. Principle Discussion

Students work collaboratively to consider how we are all connected by exploring one of the many ways that people affect their daily lives.

WE ALL ARE CONNECTED

- Discuss how people help and support one another by working together
- Describe a sequence of helping events
- Introduce the concept of how people are connected.

Go To Activity

3. Cooperative Games

Students play a cooperative game to explore how to stand up for one another by working together.

Friends Sit Down and Stand Up Together

- Develop group interaction skills by participating in a cooperative activity
- Realize the importance of standing up for others in socially acceptable ways
- Explore feelings that arise when working well and not working well with others

Go To Activity

2. Discussion

Students watch a video skit and recognize the perspectives and feelings of others by discussing what it means to be a friend and how it feels to belong.

Being A Friend

Define what a friend is
- Describe activities friends engage in with one another
- Express feelings associated with having and belonging to a group
- Dramatize positive behaviors to work and play well with others

Go To Activity

4. Art Integration

Students watch a video skit and create art badges to declare their support for one another.

IM4U Badges

- Realize the importance of standing up for others in socially acceptable ways
- Develop group interaction skills by sharing what is special about peers

Go To Activity

KINDERGARTEN/FIRST GRADE ACTIVITIES

K/1st Grade Scope & Sequence
Click Here to view the year long K/1st Grade Scope & Sequence inside our Resource Library.

1. Principle Discussion

Students work collaboratively to consider how we are all interconnected by exploring one of the many ways that people affect their daily lives.

WE ALL ARE CONNECTED

- Discuss how people help and support one another by working together
- Describe positive qualities in others
- Explain how people are connected

Go To Activity

3. Cooperative Games

Students play a cooperative game to explore how to stand up for one another by working together.

Sit Down And Stand Up - Together!

- Develop group interaction skills by participating in a cooperative activity
- Realize the importance of standing up for others in socially acceptable ways
- Explore feelings that arise when working well and not working well with others

Go To Activity

2. Discussion

Students listen to the song and explore lyrics to brainstorm and develop guidelines for friendship.

Brainstorm Guidelines for Friendship

Summarize what it means to be a friend
- Describe what IM4U means in one’s own words
- Develop friendship guidelines
- Demonstrate friendship guidelines in daily interactions in the classroom

Go To Activity

4. Art Integration

Students watch a video skit and create art badges to declare their support for one another.

THIS NOTE IS 4U

-Realize the importance of standing up for others in socially acceptable ways
- Develop group interaction skills by sharing what is special about peers
-Experience the joy of offering support to others

Go To Activity

Principle Skill Builders

One of the goals of IM4U is for students to be able to think on their feet and apply principles in a variety of life situations. Skill Builders serve as starters to help you and your students discuss and create strategies that can help them develop and practice words and actions that promote a healthy classroom community.

View Skill Builder
Starters
3 Options
Activites in Action
3 Grade Levels
Closers
3 Options
Follow-Ups
2 Ideas

Example Lessons

In this lesson example, you will see how one teacher, Mrs. McFadden, constructs a formal lesson for the We All Are Valuable unit using IM4U program activities and unit resources.

Literacy Connections

Read Books

Why Books?
Children’s books are perhaps the best way to get young students thinking and talking about the “tough stuff.” It is often easier for students to talk about what is happening for a book character than their own experiences.

Below are some age-appropriate suggestions of wonderful books to help start conversations about how WE ALL ARE CONNECTED.

  • Ways To Be A Friend: A Guide to Making and Keeping Them, by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
    This engaging book features whimsical dinosaurs who demonstrate many wonderful ways to be a friend and even a section on ways NOT to be a friend. Each section can inspire a great group discussion.
  • Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox
    With the beautiful starting sentence “Little one, whoever you are, wherever you are, there are little ones just like you all over the world”, this moving book leads children on a journey of awareness. It combines stirring words and bold images to create a weaving of cultures and generations that celebrates our differences and recognizes our similarities.
  • How to Lose All Your Friends, by Nancy Carlson
    This humorous book takes a tongue-in-cheek look at behaviors that might not be the best for making friends! The book deals with issues such as tattling, teasing, and cutting in line.
  • Bullies Never Win, by Margery Cuyler
    Jessica doesn’t know what to do when the class bully picks on her appearance, her clothes and even her lunch box. How can she get the courage to stand up for herself? Her Mom is a good listener who helps her figure out what to do. What would you do if someone was calling you mean names? Do think Jessica’s solution is a good one?
  • You Are Stardust, by Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim
    This fascinating picture book is a delightful combination of science and imagination. The book invites children to explore their connection to the stars and everything in the natural world by sharing some of the surprising ways we are all interconnected.
  • Ripple Effect, by Shawn Achor and Amy Blankston
    A truly engaging book that introduces the concept of how one positive action can have an effect on others, just like the “ripple effect”. This is a story about how residents of an aquarium learn that sometimes a smile is all it takes to make a world of difference.

Creative Writing

Why Writing?
Sometimes students are better at writing and drawing their feelings than talking about them. You can use a few interesting questions and story starters to integrate the WE ALL ARE CONNECTED learning into your student’s writing, journaling, or drawing time.
  1. If you could cook anything you wanted, what would you make? Where would the food come from? Who might help you?
  2. If you and your friends could fly, where would you go? How would you help each other?
  • Together, my friend and I…
  • Working together on the playground…
  • Today we helped each other…
  • Once, on a treasure hunt we…
  • Being a friend is great because…

Try a Grab Bag Storytelling Game
Students love stories and they also like to help the teacher tell them. You can set up this cooperative storytelling activity by pretending to forget the story you were going to tell. Ask the students if they can help you use the story pieces in a bag to create a story together.

Ahead of time: Fill a pillowcase, bag, or box with a wide variety of interesting and surprising objects. You can use toys and figures from the classroom and basic classroom items such as crayons or string. Anything goes!

  1. To get started, use the IM4U puppet skit video and discuss the story being told in it.
  2. Let students know that now you are going to create your own story together. Demonstrate the storytelling by reaching in the bag and pulling out one object to start the story. “Once upon a time there was a…”
  3. Pass the bag to a child in the class and invite him to reach inside, pull something out, and continue the story using the item as the next part of the story.
  4. Continue passing the bag around the class until the bag is empty and the story is complete.
  5. You can do this several times over many days because each time the story will come out different.
  6. After the story is complete, point out how the items in the bag created a connection from one part of the story to another.
  7. Try recording the story so that students can listen to themselves! They may even like to draw pictures to illustrate the story and create a book.

Unit Resources

We encourage you to watch and listen to all the media content ahead of time. This will help you understand the songs and concepts that the following activities and discussions arise from.  While suggestions are made for when to use a video or a song, you can also trust what feels right for your students.

Filter - All
Lyrics
Materials
Song
Video
Unit 1
  • IM4U (Skit Video - IM4U Is Being a Friend)
    Videos
  • IM4U (Music Video)
    Videos
  • ROCK Handout
    Materials, Parent Resource
  • Suggested Scope and Sequence
    Materials
  • Unit 1 Observation and Assessment Tool
    Materials
  • thumbnail of Unit1_FamilyLetter
    Unit 1 Parent Communication
    Materials, Parent Resource
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - K1 Activity 1
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Picture Cards
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Connected Printable
    Materials
  • thumbnail of Unit 7.0_IM4U_Lyrics
    IM4U Lyrics
    Lyrics
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - K1 Activity 2
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - K1 Activity 3
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - K1 Activity 4
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - PK Activity 1
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - PK Activity 2
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - PK Activity 3
    Materials
  • Unit 1 - Student Facing Presentation - PK Activity 4
    Materials
  • IM4U Song
    Songs
  • 7 Principles
    Materials
  • thumbnail of 2018 PK Integrated Suggested Scope and Sequence
    PK Suggested Scope and Sequence
    Materials
  • thumbnail of 2018 K1 Integrated Suggested Scope and Sequence
    K1 Suggested Scope and Sequence
    Materials

Standards Alignment –
WE ALL ARE CONNECTED

  • CASEL Core Competencies
    Social-awareness,
    Relationship skills, Responsible decision-making
    
  • State Standards: Florida
    FL C1a, C2a,b, C4a, D1a,  FL D2a
  • State Standards: Illinois
    IL-2.A, B, C, D
  • State Standards: West Virginia
    WV-1.2.01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08
    WV-PK-1.3.0, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
  • 4 C’s
    Collaboration, Communication
  • ISTE Standards
    Empowered Learner
    Digital Citizen
    Innovative Designer
    

End of Unit Overview

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