LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Identify ways young people have learned and made a difference despite adverse circumstances; evaluate the effects of positive relationships on happiness

HEALTH ED STANDARDS

NHES 1: Analyze the influence community and connection have on health

CASEL COMPETENCY: Social awareness; relationship skills

KEY VOCAB

immunocompromised, herd immunity, bar mitzvah, quinceañera, xenophobic, antibodies

Lesson Plan: Coming Together While Apart

Read how six teens found inspiring and moving ways to stay connected and help others during the coronavirus pandemic.

ESSENTIAL QUESTION

How can I help my community during a health crisis while protecting myself?

 CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS

  1. List two creative ways that students celebrated important milestones in their lives. Leo Hirsch live-streamed his bar mitzvah; Natalie Reese made a TikTok of herself getting ready for prom and dancing with her dad; Beverly Us-Zapata passed out cake to people for her quinceañera. 
  2. What important lesson did Alexx learn while in Italy? Alexx realized the importance of people helping each other as opposed to placing blame.
  3.  According to the article, positive environmental and social changes have happened as a result of people staying home. List at least two of these. Decreased air and water pollution; more animal sightings; teens using supportive hashtags on social media such as #whyIstayhome.

 CRITICAL-THINKING QUESTIONS

  1. Think of a challenging situation you faced recently. Describe any upsides you experienced as a result, such as new info you learned or opportunities you had. Answers will vary.
  2. Why do you think Alexx’s study abroad experience caused her to become more aware of xenophobic comments at home? How can people who do not have the chance to travel be mindful of xenophobia? Possible answers: Alexx’s perspective changed as a result of experiencing another culture. Those unable to travel can read about and make connections with people from other cultures.
  3. How can people make sure the positive changes that resulted from staying home continue? Answers will vary.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

DIGGING DEEPER

NHES 2

CASEL Competency: Relationship skills

Whatever the circumstances, many people can stay happy by focusing on positive relationships with peers and family. In this activity, students will watch a video about a Harvard study on happiness. Then they will apply what they learned in a small experiment about THE POWER OF CONNECTION. (Click here to see all your Skill Builders.)

ADVOCACY IN ACTION

NHES 8

CASEL Competency: Social awareness; self-awareness 

In “Coming Together While Apart,” students read about several inspiring projects. In this activity, students will research community service opportunities that align with their talents and interests. By connecting their PASSION TO PURPOSE, they can make a powerful impact too. (Click here to see all your Skill Builders.)

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