After we all get on the same page about what it means for students to be included, it was time for them to practice making sure everyone was included. I adapted an activity that’s part of Responsive Classroom morning meetings called ‘maitre’D’ – that I called “Table Of…” to keep things clear for my students. It required a minute of pre-teaching since many of my students have never been to a restaurant and didn’t know about putting your name down on a list and waiting for the host/hostess to call for your family. Here’s the gist: students mix and mingle and wait for me to say “Ms. Owens’ class, part of 3 to 4” (using their teacher’s name, and mixing it up, doing 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5). Students have to get themselves into small groups of the size I gave, and to make sure EVERYONE is included. Sometimes this meant a group that formed had to break up and make new groups so that no one was left out. Once students were all assembled in their groups, I asked a discussion question. At this point, students were standing all over the room and facing various directions. Auditory processing was not going to be phenomenal so I decided to use some visuals (just projected on the document camera) to help out. We repeated this for 4-6 questions depending on time.
And then to close the lesson we did an exit ticket – a little different than usual. I asked all of the students to identify 1 kid in their grade that they believed might be feeling a little invisible and to write 1 thing they would do to help that person feel less invisible. Note: I had a few students ask me if they could write themselves. I gave them the go ahead but asked them to identify what they could do to help themselves be less invisible.
To be honest, this cohort of students are pretty naturally inclusive, and there are a large number of them whose kindness steers them towards being intentional about including others as well. That means this lesson was much more developmental and preventative than most of my lessons, which tend to address an existing issue. This lesson went really well, but I’m excited to do it again with a group that might be needing this in a different way.
You can find all the pieces and parts to this lesson ready-made on TpT by clicking below:
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