Perspective Through Proactive Circles

Discussing differences with empathy, kindness and curiosity

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What: An ongoing unit of proactive circles that facilitate text-based discussions to build empathy, curiosity and kindness when encountering and learning about people that are different.

Why/Background: Our school embraces restorative practices and with that we use proactive circles to discuss potential challenging topics and/or situations. These circles develop students' speaking and listening skills as well as create a community of discussion. In light of Black History Month, our Assistant Principal developed a resource to encourage discussing diverse cultures and backgrounds in our classrooms. 

How:

1. Set expectations/norms for classroom circles that are age appropriate.

2. State focus question that builds toward the goal of discussing differences with curiosity, kindness and empathy.

3. Start with an anchor text (could be book, image, quote, etc.)

4. Ask a noticing question.

5. Model curiosity and kindness with questions.

6. Model perspective and empathy with questions.

7. Closing - summarize takeaways on an anchor chart.

Resources: http://perspectives.tolerance.org/

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