I used Firework to start a dialog about being proud of who you are and being true to yourself. I played Firework for students on my iPhone using my portable speaker. I gave them all a copy of the lyrics and asked them to pay careful attention to the words as the song was playing.
Afterwards Firework was over, we discussed the song and it's meaning. I asked students if there were any parts of the song that stuck out to them.
One student stated that "a paper bag drifting through the wind" feels "lonely and left out."
Another student stated that "a house of cards one blow from caving in" would be easily "put down" or "pushed down."
Students spoke of times when they felt down or when they felt like the did not have any friends.
Students were eager to come up with a message of what the song meant to them. Some of the messages they got from the song were:
"Never give up! You should always believe in yourself"
"Don't let other people run over you because you are something inside."
"We are all something - don't let other people tell you that you're not."
One student stated that "even brighter than the moon" meant that "you are intelligent and bright - that should lift you up!"
After focusing on the lyrics, we listed to the song one more time, but this time I encouraged students to get up, sing, and dance around if they wanted. Students had a blast singing along and dancing to the song. They were even making their own "fireworks" by clapping their hands together and making a burst with their arms above their head.
They saw the song in a new light and really connected with it. Some of the comments were "this song makes me so happy," and "I am going to sing this song when I am feeling upset to make me feel good."
The students' "fireworks" reminded me of when I worked at summer camp and we congratulated others by giving them a fire-cracker applause. I decided to incorporate it into the rest of the group session and allow students to give a compliment in the form of a "fireworks" to the group as a way of closing the group.
Students' "fireworks" were: "listening to each other," "sharing feelings," "complimenting each other," "everyone was respectful to each other,"and "saying positive things to each other."
Students shared that their favorite activities in group were listening to the Firework song, bucket-filling with compliments, acting out scenarios from the G.I.R.L.S. curriculum, making I'm Strong Smart and Totally Awesome (I.S.S.T.A) bracelets. (More information on the I.S.S.T.A. bracelets in a future post).
I am so glad I decided to end my group with Firework. It was a great way to empower students. Using Firework also incorporated popular culture and summertime. I hope students will be reminded of group when they hear Firework in the future!
Listen to the full version of Firework using the Grooveshark widget below.
Listen to a clip of Firework by pushing play below. I also included the Firework (Glee Cast Version) in the Amazon Mp3 player. You are able to purchase an Mp3 version of Firework through Amazon.
Do you use any popular songs or media in your groups? Do you have a great idea of how to end a group? Comment below, email me, tweet, or share on the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page!
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.