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Home > Curriculum > Sample Lessons

Expanding the Circle:
Respecting the Past, Preparing for the Future

Sample Expanding the Circle Lessons

The Human Knot
From Theme One: The Discovery

Reflections
From Theme Two: The Framework

A Look to the Future
From Theme Three: The Choice

A Presentation About Me
From Theme Four: The Reflection

 

Youth participating in the 'Human Knot' activityThe Human Knot

Student Outcome

Student will participate in team-building activity.

Portfolio Placement

N/A

Time Frame

15-20 minutes

Size of Group

Large or small group (If group is more than 10 students, two groups could run concurrently.)

Materials Needed

Large open space for students to move around unobstructed

Before You Begin

• This is a silent activity. The purpose is for the students to solve a
problem cooperatively and silently. It is very important that once
the activity begins the students do not talk to each other.

Directions

1. Instruct all the students to stand in a circle and hold hands.
2. Choose a place in the circle where two people should drop hands
so they are no longer holding hands.
3. Tell these two people to walk under the other students’ arms until
the group is in one big “clump”, but all hands are still joined except
the two who created the “clump.” When the “clump” is made, the
original two students rejoin hands.
4. Inform students that the group is to try to untangle themselves and
reform the circle without letting go of any hands. Remind students
that activity is to be completed in silence.

Discussion

1. What did you notice about how you worked together when you could not talk?
2. What was the goal of this activity? How did you express that without talking?
3. What are your observations about how you were able to solve the “Human Knot” problem?
4. What did you observe about others: their reactions to the problem, etc.?
5. Did you notice any team building going on? What did you observe?
6. Were there any natural leaders that came forth in this activity? Who? Did that surprise you? Why or why not?
7. How could the activity have gone more smoothly?
8. How might the activity have been different if talking had been allowed?
9. What did you learn about each other in this activity?

Closure

Journals/Community Circle — Ask students to reflect on a problem they feel they have solved. What helped you solve the problem? Did you solve the problem alone or with other people’s help?

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Youth participating in the 'Reflections' activityReflections

Student Outcome

Student will be able to explain the importance of verbal communication.

Portfolio Placement

NA

Time Frame

30 minutes

Size of Group

Large or small group (Activity requires even number of participants.)

Materials Needed

• Handout 2.1: “Shapes” | Download Acrobat Reader
• Handout 2.2: “More Shapes”
• Writing utensils
• Paper

Before You Begin

• Make copies of handouts.
• Students will work in pairs for the activity. Encourage students to work with someone in the group that they may not know very well.

Directions

1. Divide students into pairs. Have students sit back-to-back on the floor or on chairs.
2. Give one student Handout 2.1: “Shapes” and the other student a blank piece of paper and pencil. The student with Handout 2.1: “Shapes” needs to describe the layout of the design using words only. The student drawing may ask questions of the student giving directions.
3. Have students switch roles using Handout 2.2: “More Shapes” after 5-10 minutes. Repeat steps one and two.
4. Discuss the process with students focusing on the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication.

Discussion

1. In what situations do you think verbal communication is important?

2. How did you communicate verbally?

3. Why is verbal communication important?

Closure

Journal/Community Circle — Was the activity easy or difficult? How and why?

 

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Youth participating in the 'A Look to the Future' activityA Look to the Future

 

Student Outcome
Student will be able to compare the differences between life today
and 10 years from now.

 

Portfolio Placement
NA

Time Frame
30 minutes

Size of Group
Large or small group

Materials Needed
• Handout 3.1: “A Look to the Future” | Download Acrobat Reader
• Transparency of Handout 3.1: “A Look to the Future”
• Overhead projector
• Clear transparency
• Transparency pens
• Large piece of butcher block paper for each student
• Old magazines, calendars, newspapers, or pictures
• Glue
• Scissors

Before You Begin
• Make copies of handout for students.
• Make the transparency of Handout 3.1: “A Look to the Future.”

Directions
1. Give each student a copy of Handout 3.1: “A Look to the Future” and display the transparency of the handout.
2. Tell students to think about their lives today and tell the group what they like about their life today. Facilitator writes the answers on the transparency as students share and write their own answers on their handouts.
3. Ask students what they don’t like about their lives today. Facilitator writes the answers on the transparency as students share and write their own answers on their handouts.
4. Ask students what they want their lives to look like in 10 years — what they look forward to. Facilitator writes the answers on the transparency as students share and write their own answers on their handouts.
5. Ask students to describe what they are afraid of when they think of the next ten years of their lives. Facilitator writes the answers on the transparency as students share and write their own answers on their handouts.
6. Have students jot down anything they dream about for themselves on their handout.
7. Tell students you want them each to create their own collage.
8. Give each student a large sheet of paper and have them divide it into six sections.
9. Have students write each of the six phrases from their handout on the large sheet, leaving room to illustrate each phrase with pictures. Have students use any of the pictures they find from the stacks of magazines and pictures provided that will best illustrate their ideas.
10. Display the completed collages around the room. Ask students to stand beside their collage and share it with the group.
11. Invite community members, elders, and family members in for the sharing session.

Discussion
1. What have you included in your collage? Why have you selected the pictures and drawings you chose?
2. How does this activity relate to your transition process?

Closure
Journal/Community Circle — What do you see in your future?

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Youth participating in the 'A Presentation About Me' activityA Presentation About Me

 

Student Outcome
Student will present what they have learned during the program and how it relates to personal transition goals.

Portfolio Placement
Accomplishments

Time Frame
60-90 minutes

Size of Group
Large or small group (Size of group will determine amount of time needed.)

Materials Needed
• Handout 3.1: “A Story About Me” | Download Acrobat Reader
• Handout 3.2: “The Future Is Mine”
• Each student’s individual Onaakonan System
• Paper
• Writing utensils
• Computer and printer
• Artifacts representing what students have learned about themselves

Before You Begin
• Invite parents and family members to the student presentations as it involves them in the transition process of the student.
• The presentation can be part of the last day of the program or during an awards ceremony for those who have completed the program, but it does not have to be the closing activity of the program.

Directions
1. Give students a copy of Handout 3.1: “A Story About Me.”
2. Tell students they are going to create a presentation to share with the group and all those invited to attend as a culminating activity to the program.
3. Tell students the presentation should last at least five minutes and that the handout is just a guide of the information they could include in their presentation. They may add more information, based on their personal experience and what they have learned in the program, but the categories on the handout need to be included in the presentation.
4. Tell students they may use any “artifacts” or items they created during the program as “props” for their presentation.
5. Tell students to practice what they are going to say so they do not read off the paper.
6. Tell students the purpose of this activity is to “pull it all together” and share with others what they have learned. Tell students that by presenting the information in this way, it will help them “cement” their experiences in the program.
7. Allow students to invite those most important to them (their support circle people) to this presentation. Invitations may be written and sent if so desired.
8. Take pictures of each presentation and send the photos to students after the program. They can put their photo on Handout 3.2: ”The Future is Mine” and put it in their Onaakonan System.
9. At the completion of each presentation have students introduce those who are there to support them (their support circle).

Discussion
1. What did it feel like to share the newfound knowledge about yourself with others?
2. Did it help you in thinking about the future in anyway? How?

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