Ideas for Working on Coexistence in the Classroom
When students are in class, they learn about different academic subjects and, at the same time, they learn a lot of other knowledge. That’s because, in the classroom, they also learn about ways of relating, communicating and sharing with others. In other words, they learn how to live together. For this reason, here are some ideas that may be useful for teachers who would like to plan activities to work on coexistence in the classroom, while also teaching their regular curriculum.
Coexistence in the classroom
Generating a good atmosphere of coexistence in the classroom is fundamental. This is because the characteristics adopted by coexistence within the classroom can influence both positively and negatively on students’ learning. To achieve a pleasant classroom climate, teachers must be sure to involve different social, cultural and affective aspects, as well as make sure they promote students’ healthy development.
In the classroom, teachers must teach appropriate behaviors. That way, children and young people can develop and coexist in society in the future. Although it’s a complex task, it’s very important to create a safe space and a calm, peaceful, and harmonious atmosphere in the classroom, where respect, tolerance, and companionship prevail.
In this sense, the more ideas to work on coexistence in the classroom, the better. Whether through songs and games, role-playing, appropriate use of space, or different dynamics, activities can be designed in which the primary objective is to learn to live together in harmony.
Learning to live together is something children learn experientially, through experiences and the possibility of being able to put themselves in one another’s shoes.
Ideas for working on coexistence in the classroom
Below, we’ll propose some strategies and activities to work on coexistence in the classroom, designed for children in elementary and high school.
Helping a classmate
In any school classroom, there will be some students who are shyer or more withdrawn than others. And when it comes to doing activities in which you have to socialize more or speak in public, they don’t feel comfortable. That’s why, from time to time, it’s important to carry out discussion activities in the face of problematic situations.
The idea here is that students can discuss and exchange ideas about whether it’s okay for someone to laugh or make fun of such a situation. What can the class do to help a classmate who’s more shy or has a harder time socializing or being the center of attention? Or how would they feel and what would they do if this happened to them?
A good idea to work on coexistence in the classroom is to create the class mascot
The objective is to create a classroom mascot. To do this, each student will bring objects from home, old clothes, and any other material that can be used to make the new classmate feel welcome. In this way, every day, and in a specific time set aside for this purpose, the students will give life to their new friend.
The objective is for the students to learn about cooperation and teamwork, and to be able to resolve conflicts that may arise from the activity. Thus, the children will have to agree on the creation of the mascot, on all the steps to be followed, and on the distribution of tasks and times.
They should also agree on the construction method, the materials to be used, and decide on the place where they’ll spend their time. In addition, they should be able, by consensus, to choose a name for the new member of the class.
Let’s write about values
The teacher can write on the board words such as empathy, responsibility, equality, optimism, humility, respect, companionship, justice, solidarity and gratitude. Afterward, the students will choose one or two of the words and write a short essay, short story, or poem about those values.
The idea is that, by means of examples or through situations that they themselves or people they know have lived through, they can reflect on and talk about some of the values mentioned.
Two more good ideas for working on coexistence in the classroom
The word train
With colored cardboard, you can design a train with its respective wagons and stick it on a wall in the classroom. The idea is for the students to fill the train cars with all those words that they believe describe a pleasant atmosphere of coexistence in the classroom. This activity can be done on specific days or when a specific situation or problem arises in the classroom related to coexistence.
Surely we have many things in common
Highlighting what unites us or the things we have in common is also a good idea to work on coexistence in class. Therefore, an interesting activity can be for the teacher to read aloud statements such as the following:
- “I like French fries.”
- “I love hugs from my mom.”
- “It bothers me when people interrupt me when I’m talking.”
- “Lentils are great.”
- “Vegetables and fruit help me grow up healthy.”
- “Soccer is the best sport.”
- “Soccer isn’t the best sport.”
- “I wouldn’t like to feel alone or lonely.”
- “Working with others is helpful.“
- “Sometime I may disobey.”
- “I’m no better than anyone else and I don’t know everything.”
- “A little treat doesn’t hurt once in a while.”
- “All conflicts between people can be solved by talking.”
The objective of the activity is for each student to write down on a sheet of paper what they identify with, their likes, their opinions, etc., so that, later, the whole class can talk about the coincidences, discuss the answers in common, and have fun.It might interest you...