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Curriculum Suggestions
wpe1B.jpg (2904 bytes)Friends and Choices

Cockatoo:  The key issue explored in this segment is personal space. 

Curriculum Suggestion:  If there is any use of live creatures in the classroom, there is an opportunity to reinforce the issue of personal space.    i.e.   If insects or crayfish are used, have the students place a pencil or like object near the critter.  Have them watch for a response by bringing the object closer and closer to the critter.  At the first sign of a response, have them record the distance from the critter to the pencil.   Compare the distances of different critters of the same species and/or critters of different species.    

Exercise objective:  1.  Students will observe that critters within the same species have different personal space requirements.   2.  Students will recognize that living creatures respond to their involvement.    

Alternative Issues:  Students have a choice to step in and help or to stay back and use a bigger space bubble for their personal safety.   They can observe the body language of people or animals to make that determination.

Curriculum Suggestion:  Use facial or other expressions for children to suggest a safe space they would like.   i.e.  How far would you like to be from someone who looks angry, moody, frightened, lonely, mean, or is violent.  Exercise Objective:  Students will recognize that they have personal preferences and have a choice about their personal space bubble in different circumstances.

Blue & Gold Macaw: The key issue explored in this segment is, we are responsible for our self protection.  We should always think before we do things to insure we and others are safe.

Curriculum Suggestion: This excersize is best used on an individual bases.  As students are asked to do activities have them list the possible outcomes based on the choices they can make.     This may also be used in conjunction with a history lesson or story.   In this setting, let the students determine possible outcome based on other choices heroes or individuals in history could have made. i.e.  George Washington's choice to lead the continental army, or a discussion about a current event figure.   Exercise Objective:  Students will practice decision making.  

NOTE: This is not a value exercise.  It is designed for students to recognize that they have more than one choice in issues.

Snake:  The Key issue explored during this segment is the importance of gathering information before you jump to conclusions.

Curriculum Suggestion:  Have students view a cut from a video or hear a portion of a conversation.  Let them suggest what is happening.  Gather all the suggestions and then play the complete incident on the video or the complete conversation to determine how accurate or inaccurate they were.  ( In this exercise the more misrepresentation of the actual event that is suggested the more it will illustrate the importance of gathering information.)  i.e.  Students are encouraged to play detective and discover the plot, or they are scientists who are on the verge of discovering some new formula.  Exercise Objective:  Students will understand that gathering information is an important exersize before you make a determination.  

Tortoise: The Key issue for this segment is the qualities of a good friend:  A good listeners, dependability, and the ability to not be self centered or ego centric. 


We tackle 
Tough Issues
with gentle


"Elementary School Survey finds 30% of students responding that it is easier to remember what is respectful after participating at a Critters & Company lyceum.   A survey conducted at Fairview Elementary, after Critters & Company's "Friends & Choices" lyceum, resulted in a positive awareness of issues related to respect and courtesy. 

 Students chose one of three answers in response to a seven question survey;

  1. I didn't know that before.  It's new to me.
  2. I did know it.
  3. I did know it, but I learned it much better.    It  will be easier to remember. 

The most surprising information we received was that 29% of the students said that "It's important to give people their personal space" was new information to them. 

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