K1 Activity 4 – That’s a Laugh: Make a Positive Sound Together

Introduction

In this unit, we focus on the WE ALL HAVE POWER Principle. In the IM4U Program, we define power as our ability to affect positive change in the world. Is there anything more positive than the power of a good, shared laugh? One of the best ways for students to feel they have a voice in a community is to share in a good laugh together. In this tricky game, students must listen to each other to make their sound and play game.


Description

Students express themselves using their voice and explore the power of laughter and smiling to create positive change.


Principle Overview

What does the word “power” mean to you? Some people associate the word “power” with control or authority and even destruction. It is essential when discussing the word “power” that it is seen in the IM4U context as the ability to affect positive change in the world! Exploring the “ripple effect” analogy of WE ALL ARE VALUABLE, students can see there is power in understanding that their abilities, interests, and personality can create positive change. Because we all have an effect on each other, WE ALL HAVE POWER.

Materials:

Goals and Objectives:

  • Cooperate with others as they listen to and take turns with friends in a cumulative sound-making game.
  • Build self-esteem and demonstrate confidence by expressing themselves in front of the group.
  • Play the Speak Up song or Speak Up music video before playing the student game.
  • Provide students with a visual prompt by writing the following lyrics on chart paper:

Why, oh, why
Does a kitty cat meow?
And a coyote howl at the moon?
Looks like they found
Their very own sound
And it feels so good
To be true
And it just might work
For you, too

  • Try video-recording the group activity and showing it to your students!
Being aware of a certain situation or experience and then being able to give language to it and speak it out loud is a powerful life skill. Teaching students to speak up for themselves begins with helping them be independent and competent in their communication. They will then be better equipped to master life’s skills and handle life’s challenges when they use their power of speaking up.

  • Remind students to use either the following steps or the ones created together from the Speaking Up skill builder.
    1. Use a person’s name.
    2. Look him or her in the eyes.
    3. Use nice words with a big voice.
  • Talk about the power of speaking up in a positive way. The tone of our voice and the intentionality of our words and body language makes a difference when we communicate with others. Model the Speaking Up skill builder with poor body language and tone of voice and then model the Speaking Up skill builder with a positive tone a voice and body language. Ask students to share what they think about the difference between the two examples and how they can apply this on their own.
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

View In Resources

Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Revisit the concept of the WE ALL HAVE POWER Principle. Invite students to suggest some of the ways we have discussed using power in a positive way, and write their suggestions on the board. Ask:

    When you think about these powers, how do you feel?
    Do you smile?

  • Connector.

    Talk about the power of smiling and laughter. In fact, challenge students to not smile. Can they do it? Most people smile when they hear the word! Explain that part of the power of the word “smile” is that it reminds us of good things and good times. When we smile, we feel good about ourselves. This builds our self-awareness and self-esteem.

  • Connector.

    Talk about the power of laughter. We can easily feel the power of something positive being created in the group when we laugh together. Plus, it is just plain fun to laugh with each other not at each other. Ask:

    How does it feel when you all laugh together?

  • Connector.

    An important way to use our power is through listening. This will be an important power in this game. Let students know that they will need to listen very carefully and work together to create one, giant, loud laugh.

  • Connector.

    Have students sit in a circle. Explain that you will start the laugh going around the circle by saying “Ha.” Then the person next to you says “Ha-ha,” and the next person says “Ha-ha-ha” and so on until everyone is sharing a good L-O-N-G laugh together. Don’t worry if they can’t remember how many “Ha’s” to say. Pretty soon everyone will be laughing too hard to count!

  • Connector.

    After going around the circle a couple of times, try reversing the direction that the sound is made going around the circle.

  • Connector.

    Write the last verse of the Speak Up song, which talks about the sounds a cat or coyote makes, on the board. Students can try passing the meow or howl around the circle, too. “Meow,” “Meow meow,” “Meow meow meow,” and so on. Soon you will have a great deal of positive sounds resonating from your classroom community.

    Why, oh, why
    Does a kitty cat meow?
    And a coyote howl at the moon?
    Looks like they found
    Their very own sound
    And it feels so good
    To be true
    And it just might work
    For you, too

  • Connector.

    Celebrate self-awareness and self-esteem by asking students to create their own sound that can get passed around the group. What fun to hear everyone making your sound!

  • Connector.

    At the end, invite students to reflect how they feel about themselves! Ask:

    Was the game easy or hard?
    How did it feel to speak up and make your own sound?
    What effect do laughter and smiling have on others?
    Can they be used to create change in a positive way?
    Explain what you mean.

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