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I then held both of the apples up for my kids to look at and asked them to now list the similarities and differences of the apples again… It came back the same… There really was no difference. Even after they had repeatedly dropped this apple you couldn’t really tell that it had any damage.
I then asked my students who wanted a piece of the apple… of course… FOOOOOOOD…. and ALL my students raised their hands because they wanted some.
I took out a cutting board, knife and proceeded to cut the shiny apple open. It was perfect. And all my kids “ooooohhh and ahhhh’ed”…
Then I cut open the second one and when I opened it, it was covered in mushy brown spots and bruised all inside from where we dropped it. When I held it up my kids were like, “EWWWWW. I don’t want to eat THAT apple!” “Yuck!” “That looks disgusting…”
That’s when I just looked at them and said, “But didn’t we all contribute to the apple looking this way?! We did this… why shouldn’t we eat it?” They all just kind of stopped and got really quiet and I was like, “See guys… this is what we do to other people when we say mean and hurtful things. When we gossip or call someone ugly or fat or tell them they aren’t good enough or that they can’t be friends with you… we are just dropping them and causing ONE MORE bruise… a bruise that while we can’t see on the outside is VERY REAL and very destructive inside of them! It doesn’t just go away, the bruises just keep getting worse and deeper… THIS!” I said as I held up the bruised apple, “is what we do to each other. We have to stop dropping each other.”
I’ve never seen my kids “get” something so fast before. It was so real to them… people cried and laughed and it was very emotional but absolutely amazing and they got to then journal about everything and some of the responses I got… well, I sobbed all the way through lunch. I had so many kids come up and hug me later and tell me that they were so happy that a teacher “got it”.
I’m so thankful for good school teachers.
I’m thankful for Jaime and her lesson with the apples. So succinct. So powerfully visual.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing