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Inspiring Changemakers to Find Solutions with the Rethink Challenge

by Marsha Rakestraw One of the most powerful aspects of humane education is its focus on positive solutions. Educating students about global challenges is important, but it’s the integration of connection, creativity, critical thinking, and creating solutions that really feeds and enables students’ hunger for becoming changemakers for a better world. In the Summer 2014…

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wonder box

The Wonder Box

The Wonder Box is used to hold a collection of various natural found objects (shells, leaves, feathers, rocks, twigs, deceased insects, etc.). Students can interact with the objects, inspecting them, using their five senses, drawing/sketching, painting, a picture of the object(s), writing a poem, listing describing words, creating a story, etc. The Wonder Box can…

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dictionary

The Art of Circumlocution and Verbal Evasion: Exploring Euphemisms

by Marsha Rakestraw “You can’t be afraid of words that speak the truth, even if it’s an unpleasant truth….I don’t like words that hide the truth.” ~ George Carlin We use euphemisms every day, words and phrases that are a less direct or “nicer” way of talking about uncomfortable, harsh or sensitive topics. Sometimes they…

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Resources: Racism Alphabet

Racism Alphabet

Students explore examples of racism, consider perspectives about racism by writing a story, and discuss ways to eradicate racism in our society. Recommended for grades 8-12. Time: a few class periods

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Resources: Think Therefore I Act

I Think Therefore I Act

Based on the Privilege Walk, this activity encourages students/participants to develop an awareness of the kinds of choices we make every day that impact other people, nonhuman animals, and the environment. Recommended for grades 9 and up. Time: A few class periods

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forest

Forests of the Future?

Help students learning English as a second language practice their skills and gain vocabulary by writing about a future scenario regarding Earth’s forests and what we can do now to protect our forest ecosystems. Recommended for grades 7-12. Time: 2 class periods

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Resources: Pillars of Humane Education

Pillars of Humane Education

This brief activity is a great icebreaker for groups of humane educators or student (or adult) solutionaries to help them define their visions. Recommended for grades 8 and up. Time: 30-45 minutes

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Resources: Exploring Deforestation

Exploring Deforestation

Students explore global deforestation and its causes and consequences and consider solutions that do more good and less harm for all. Recommended for grades 6 and up. Time: A few days to several days  

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Resources: Beyond Us and Them

Beyond “Us and Them”

This activity encourages reflection on how each of us creates mental barriers between ourselves and those we see as “them” and how that lens can be a barrier to humane education or changemaking work; and to share strategies for realigning our “compass of compassion” to include everyone. Recommended for grades 9 and up. Time: 30-45…

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