A Brain-Friendly Activity – Instructions for a Bad Day

I’ve been teaching teens this semester. And I can feel their different states of mind, the introvert struggling, the extroverted always trying to shine, the quiet with so much to say, the lost with so many words to shout…There is so much going on with every single one of them that we, educators, have different reactions to it. Some do their best in trying to reach the learners in very unique ways, others just keep going with content, and there are those who just ignore the collective state of mind, telling themselves that students’ personal lives are none of their business. They are there to teach, not to learn about students’ lives, anxieties, or personal imbalances. Such a twisted approach to teaching… In fact, we all know that the brain learns and retains through positive emotional connections. If we, teachers, establish a pleasurable learning environment for our learners in which we talk about things that really matter to them, that touch them, that is related to what they are going through, chances are that we’ll be nudging students toward their learning, helping them engage with English, you, and their own learning processes.

Today, I just came across this very interesting video, which was part of a project that involved students in a school in which teenagers were struggling with friends’ losses, a poet and volunteers who worked for free to put this video together: Instructions for a Bad Day

It really touched me. So, I thought that what if we used this video to talk about something that happens more often than not in our teenage years, a bad day. There are so many ways we could work with it:

  • Asking students about their bad days
  • Encouraging them to give advice for their friends in relation to bad days
  • Asking them to watch the video and choosing the best pieces of advice
  • Creating a cartoon based on the video
  • Making a digital poster based on the main parts of the video
And here’s the text:

More about this project, check Shayne Koyczan’s page: http://www.shanekoyczan.com/2012/02/29/instructions-for-a-bad-day-pink-shirt-day-student-collaboration/

I thought this was just such an inspiring video to reach out to our students and to connect with them in a very meaningful way. Any other ideas to work with this video?


5 responses to “A Brain-Friendly Activity – Instructions for a Bad Day”

  1. I think it’s a great idea especially for teenagers. We really know about their bad days…starting with it would be sparkling.
    I love it and surely use it. Thanks !!

    I’ll let you know if I try.:)

  2. True, Susana. I’d love to hear what their reaction was if you try it out!

  3. Its an great video and post. I would also like to suggest to check out the webinar conducted by Jay Cross it can help student a lot. http://www.raptivity.com/webinar-making-learning-stick-jay-cross

  4. Thanks, Pratik, for the pointer. I really like reading Jay Cross, so I’ll check the post.

  5. I like your video, We have best solution for you for e-learning for more details http://www.redchipsolutions.com/elearning.php

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