"Today I had the 3 year olds sit in their circle, and I first spoke about how words make our hearts and our inside feel. I used some examples: "I don't want to play with you, go away." to talk about how we felt. Then we went on to other examples: "Let's sit together in free play," or "I will share my book with you." They decided that their insides and heart felt happy after hearing nice words.
For the Two Apples activity, I demonstrated saying something mean to the apple and dropped it on the floor. As we went around the room some of the children (2 out of 10) didn't even want to participate in that exercise because "it was mean." Now, of course there was one who really smashed the first apple on the floor. No one thought this was funny, though. As we got to the apple that was whole, everyone kissed it or said something nice or rubbed it. It was amazing to observe; every one of them was fully engaged during this whole lesson. When I showed them the bruising, and even spots where pieces had come off of the first apple and said that that is what our words can do to the insides of our friends, there was silence. We cut open the second apple and looked at how beautiful and bright its insides were. The students then wanted to eat it!!!
I told them that we would be putting the first apple into our compost bucket, so that it would not be wasted. This was a great lesson, and the amount of time was perfect for my 3 year olds. I would like to ask the other teachers at my school to try this with their classes and see what happens."
Donna has plans to expand the activity so that her students can reflect on their treatment of animals, as well.
Note: Recently one of our supporters wrote in about this activity and highlighted that it may need to be further adapted in situations where students struggle with food security. One possible adaptation could be to use something like a flower with an especially beautiful center; something like a flower would still show abuse when mishandled, and the other flower would stay beautiful & have the beautiful center that reflects the purpose of using the apple.
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