Saturday, January 28, 2012

1st Grade Behavioral Choices and Consequences

As I frantically searched for an idea on how to teach first graders about behavioral choices and consequences, I decided to use one of my favorite children's books.

I read the book: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann. Throughout the story, the students and I discussed the various behavioral choices the characters made and the consequences of their choices. These consequences usually involved accidents, disasters, and the brief loss of a valued friend. During this discussion, I can remember being so impressed by the connections the students were making.

After the story, we brainstormed "safety rules" to write on stars. These "safety rules" followed this format: If I _____, then _____.
Here are some examples of rules that were created:
  • If I talk in class, then I will not learn.
  • If I push a friend, then he/she may get hurt.
  • If I don't let someone play, then he/she will feel sad.
  • If I finish my homework, then I will learn more and my teacher will be proud of me.

Over the holidays, I found the life-sized paintings of Officer Buckle and Gloria that I had made years ago! I couldn't believe that the heat and cold in the attic didn't ruin them!! I can remember making these -- a labor of love --complete with faux fur on Gloria's tail and faux hair on Officer Buckle.

So, before the students returned for the next week's small group session, I created a bulletin board for their star safety rules. 

This lesson could be easily adapted to other grade levels and for use in classrooms. While I focused on consequences, just plain ol' safety rules (home, school, neighborhood) could also be the objective of a lesson.

1 comment:

  1. I taught elementary school for 35 years and am impressed with your blog. Counselors are so important. If you ever take children of divorce into a small group, you might want to use my book: Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?-A Story of Divorce, Boulden Publishing, 2008. A book is a great jumping off point for discussion, as you just showed with the group activity above. My book also teaches about the importance of responsibility/consequences. We are lucky to have dedicated professionals such as yourself in our school systems. Carry on!
    (You can look inside the book on the publisher's web site:)