solutionary

Are People by Nature Peaceful or Violent? Is This the Right Question?

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today (PT), and twice a month we share her blog posts here. Enjoy! We humans have a penchant for either/or choices. Whether in politics (red vs. blue, capitalist vs. socialist), religion (heaven vs. hell, Christianity vs. Islam, etc.), or framed in the media (jobs vs. the environment, Left vs. Right), we…

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Blog: Creating the Space for Conversations

Creating the Space for Conversations With Young People About Compassion for Others

by Abby Power Can we have an open dialogue with our children and students about what is happening in the world today? I say yes! Children have an extraordinary capacity for critical thinking when given the opportunity to practice it. I have found that there are three main areas that help in creating a space…

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kindness

14 Children’s Picture Books About Kindness

by Marsha Rakestraw Kindness seems like such a simple quality, but unless we’re taught to be kind to ourselves, other people, nonhuman animals, and the earth, it won’t become an integral part of our humanity. Reading and discussing children’s picture books is a great tool for helping children embrace kindness for others as a daily…

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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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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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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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Resources: Two Apples

Two Apples

In this icebreaker, participants learn just how important words and actions are when they explore their impact on two apples. Recommended for All ages. Time: 5-10 minutes   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core for grades K-2. Download Common Core for grades 3-5. Download Common Core for grades 6-8. Download Common…

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thanksgiving

9 Turkey-Friendly Children’s Books for Thanksgiving

by Marsha Rakestraw Traditionally, stories involving Thanksgiving end up with a turkey on the table, but as more families are celebrating Thanksgiving by seeking more mindful and compassionate choices, they’re also looking for children’s stories where the turkey has a happy ending. Here are 9 turkey-friendly picture books. Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale by…

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Resources: Two Apples

Dos Manzanas

En este rompehielos, los participantes aprenden lo importante son las palabras y las acciones cuando se exploran sus efectos en dos manzanas. Recomendado para todas Duración: 5-10 minutos

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