backfire

Beating the “Backfire Effect”

by Marsha Rakestraw It seems like common sense that when we learn that previously-believed information is false – when we receive new facts that contradict what we previously thought — then we’ll change our beliefs to fit with the new information. Right? After all, we’re thinking, logical beings. But numerous studies show that’s not the…

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parent hugging child

5 Strategies to Help Raise Caring Kids

by Marsha Rakestraw We want our children to be kind and to grow up as caring adults. According to a survey, more than 96% of parents say that moral character is “very important, if not essential.” But how often does that happen, especially when 81% of children surveyed think that happiness or achievement is their…

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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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Reclaiming Billboards

In Your Face: Reclaiming Billboards

Billboards are omnipresent in most communities and on many roadways. These in-our-face ads can have a powerful influence on us. Students explore issues surrounding billboards and the values billboard ads promote and design new billboards that help reclaim their visual space and restore value in their communities and culture. Recommended for grades 9 and up….

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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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MOGO page

Most Good, Least Harm

Learn direct ways to become involved with the community, make better choices as consumers, and develop positive messages to live by, and discover that our simple decisions really can change the world.

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heroes & enemies

Heroes and Enemies

We’re often told to look for heroes we can turn to for inspiration. How often do we seek out what we can learn from people we dislike, or those who’ve done evil? This activity explores what we can learn from both our heroes and enemies (what to do and what NOT to do). This activity…

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