solutionary

Five Ways to Nourish Your Soul and Make a Difference

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today (PT), and twice a month we share her blog posts here. Enjoy! We tend to protect and care for who and what we love. Ask any parent if they would be willing to sacrifice themselves to save their child, and they’ll likely answer yes. I had the…

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Blog: Cultivating header

9 Strategies for Cultivating Empathy and Compassion in Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw To create a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all – and to help our students become solutionaries — it’s vital that we help them (and ourselves) build empathy and compassion for people, animals, and the earth. We humans are wired to care about those with whom we have close relationships (our family,…

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An artistic #MeToo sign on a wall

8 Resources for Teaching About #MeToo and Sexual Harassment

by Marsha Rakestraw Updated: 3/2/2021 The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements expanded the conversation about how common sexual harassment and assault of women is and the roles of power and patriarchy in perpetuating the objectification and oppression of women and girls. In early 2018, an offshoot campaign, the #MeTooK12 arose to help spotlight the prevalence of sexual…

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peace

Tips to Simplify Your Holidays for a More Memorable, Meaningful Season

by Marsha Rakestraw It’s the holiday season. Which of these better describes your state of mind: Joyous, meaningful, balanced? Or, exhausted, stressed, conflicted? The winter holidays have gained a reputation for reaching the epitome of the “overs”: overspending, overbooking, overstressing, overconsuming. And more people are expressing a desire to simplify their holidays and bring more…

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Why You Should Use These Images to Inspire Climate Change Action

by Marsha Rakestraw While images of polar bears clinging to bits of ice or of widespread deforestation might motivate those of us who are biophiliacs, many people find them uninspiring. Images can influence and galvanize us, but it matters what those images depict. When it comes to climate action, photos of polar bears and protesters…

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holiday gifts

Tips for Happier, More Humane Gift-Giving

by Marsha Rakestraw This time of year the news is full of headlines about online sales, various shopping frenzies (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.), and an even earlier start on holiday buying. Juxtaposed with the high-energy holiday consumer craze are stories giving us tips for reducing our holiday stress and finding ways to make the…

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Resources: Growing Changemakers

Growing Changemakers

Through this activity students will gain insight into their own lives, and will be able to connect how their past and who they are as individuals today will help guide them to become changemakers. Through collaboration with their peers, students will also be able to brainstorm ideas and actions for how they can realize their…

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sharing

12 Children’s Picture Books About Sharing

One of the first lessons we’re taught as young children is about the importance of sharing. Yet examine our actions as adults—the ways we treat each other, nonhuman animals, and the earth—and it may seem like we’ve forgotten how vital sharing is. An important part of raising compassionate, conscientious citizens is introducing humane values such…

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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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books

The Joy of Generosity: 19 Children’s Picture Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Every holiday season there’s a bizarre conflicting focus on acquiring and sharing, getting and giving. Help bring the joy of generosity into clearer focus for younger kids with the help of these 19 children’s picture books. 1. Shoebox Sam by Mary Brigid Barrett 2011. Grades PreK-2. Delia and Jessie spend Saturdays with…

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