kids in classroom

5 Minute Changemaker: Speak the Good in Others

by Marsha Rakestraw My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Leddy, had us students do something that I have never forgotten. She called it a “car wash.” Every week one of us would be the “car,” and the other students would form two lines in front of the car. Zigzagging from one side to the other, the…

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war & peace

Children’s Picture Books About War and Peace

by Marsha Rakestraw Some children have known war their entire lives. As journalist and peace teacher, Colman McCarthy says, “Why are we violent, but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.” We teach children science, math and competition, but not peace. We offer them lessons on good character and anti-bullying, but often don’t model…

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I Am a Humane Educator: Gypsy Wulff

Teaching has been a part of Gypsy Wulff’s life for almost four decades. An alum of IHE’s online courses, Gypsy, who lives in Fremantle, Western Australia, has worked in primary schools, trained teachers, and has taught adults with physical and intellectual disabilities. She became a music teacher 16 years ago and continues to enjoy working…

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people and animals

16 Children’s Picture Books About People Helping Animals

by Marsha Rakestraw Modeling a message of compassion for others is a vital part of creating a better world for all. Children’s picture books are a valuable means of sharing with younger children examples of people helping those in need, and of inspiring them to think critically about what it means to be a good…

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kids

8 Videos Exploring Empathy

by Marsha Rakestraw Empathy is a key component of humane education, and something our society is increasingly recognizing as essential to our well-being and that of the world. Studies show that we’re innately wired to be empathetic. When we’re able to put ourselves in the place of another, and to imagine the kind of world…

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homelessness

14 Children’s Picture Books About Homelessness

by Marsha Rakestraw People and animals without homes surround us year-round, but their presence seems more palpable in the winter months. As rates of poverty and homelessness grow, so do children’s questions about those who don’t have a home. Teacher Mary Cowhey, author of Black Ants and Buddhists, said, “One might argue that the realities…

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Two children sitting at a table reading picture books and surrounded by bins and shelves of children's books

19 Lists of Children’s Picture Books for Your Humane Education Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw Children’s books are a terrific tool for sharing positive values, teaching students (in age-appropriate ways) about global ethical issues, and inspiring them to take positive action. They are a powerful part of any classroom and curriculum. Here’s a round-up of 19 of our lists of suggested children’s picture books on a variety…

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plastic pollution

I Taught Kindergarteners About Plastic Pollution, and They Are Eager to Be Part of the Solution

by Elizabeth O. Crawford, Ph.D. During Earth Week 2018, I was a guest presenter to kindergarteners attending Island Montessori School (IMS) located in the beautiful, coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina. As teacher educators often remark, classroom visits rejuvenate and inspire our work preparing the next generation of educators. When we spend time with children…

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Resources: Whom do you Pet?

Whom Do You Pet & Whom Do You Eat?

What are our relationships with different kinds of animals, and why do those relationships exist? Lead students in an activity which explores why we treat different types of animals differently, and how we can  learn to view them with different eyes. Recommended for grades 5 and up. Time: 60 minutes   Common Core Standards for…

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Resources: Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical Dilemmas

Help students think deeply and critically about what it means to be our best selves and about the ethical quandaries between balancing personal desires with kindness toward others by engaging them in an exploration of personal and global ethical scenarios. Recommended for grades 3 through 8. Time: 60 minutes   Common Core Standards for this…

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