I am facilitating character education with kindergarten through fourth grade. I have a variety of themes I am touching on in the classes. For friendship, I worked with third and fourth grade to create their own "friendship raps."
Before creating their raps, I had each class listen a rap "Something for Me, Something for You," found on the CD in the Teaching Tolerance "I Will be Your Friend" educator kit. The students really enjoyed the rap. After listening to the rap, I had the students talk about what they learned from the rap. They learned messages such as "you should respect people," "we should be friends with people, it doesn't matter what color we are," and "you should include other people."
I then instructed the students to each come up with a line to make a unique friendship rap as a class. The students were very enthusiastic and came up with some great lines. I had each student raise his or her hand and share the line with the class. A fourth grade student shared a great line that I have already when talking to students about friendship. When explaining that you should treat others like you want to be treated, she stated "it's like a boomerang, whatever you do to other's comes back to you." I thought this was a great visual for students and helped them understand how if you give respect you will get respect.
After they shared a line, I had them write the line in permanent marker on a slip of pre-cut construction paper. As the students gave me a line, I wrote it on the board. Each student contributed one line. I typed up the rap for each class and distributed the rap to the students. I used the construction paper slips into a colorful chain to showcase with the students completed raps.
A week later, I went into the classroom and asked for student volunteers to perform the class rap to the class. Their enthusiasm was contagious. The other students in the class clapped out a beat while their classmates rapped they lyrics. It was a really fun way to teach students what it means to be a friend.
Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.