Saturday, October 6, 2012

4 Powerful Minutes

Promoting a positive and engaging environment is something I work on and reflect upon continuously every school year.  I keep my eyes and ears open for "teachable" moments, when I can connect my students to an inspiring story, music, art, or video, that relates to something we are learning.

Because we are currently reading The One and Only Ivan in the Global Read Aloud, yesterday seemed like a great time to show this beautiful 4 minute clip about a man reunited with a gorilla,  after being back in the wild for 5 years.

Afterward, glossy eyed students, who would usually be popping up to run to lunch recess, sat and commented on the beauty of this film. They noticed the closeness of the man and the gorillas, the vulnerability of him and the risk if the gorilla had been aggressive. They talked of their own connections to pets and animals. And, they noticed the tears in my eyes: "Are you crying, Mrs. Young?" "Oh, I always cry a little at beautiful stories like this." With a smile, they file out the door for recess. 
Often we say we don't have time for these connections. Four minutes? I think we can make time for moments that will make an impression for life. When was the last time you seized those minutes before lunch or the end of the day to do something meaningful? Were you surprised at the outcome?


Pernille Ripp said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Joan, I shared it with my GRA group and admit that I got a little teary eyed as well.

♥Miriam♥ said...

Dear Mrs. Young,

Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. I really enjoyed your blog's background and your post on gorillas. When I was in second grade, I read The One and Only Ivan.

The gorilla video was truly amazing to see the man come up so close to a real wild gorilla. It was an amazing and touching video!


Unknown said...

Hi Joan!

Thank you for sharing, I was also touched by this sweet video! I admit I teared up as well. I came across your blog from our Symbaloo Twitter and I really enjoyed reading about your classroom, and how you like to create a positive environment for your students. I love the set up and the furniture of the class as well! You should create a webmix with all your favorite videos to share with us. We'd love to hear from you! Come join our #symchat on twitter tomorrow at 3PM PST! We will be sharing Thanksgiving webmixes and fun ideas for the classroom.

Mimi Chau
Social Media Manager

I use Symbaloo! - Create. Share. Discover.

Symbaloo is on Mashable: 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

Anonymous said...

Hi Joan,
I found your blog through twitter. I will definitely be sharing this with my students on Monday. We also read The One and Only Ivan as part of the GRA, and my students loved it and we shared many conversations about family and friendship bonds. This is a perfect example!
Thanks for posting it on your blog.

Joan Young (aka Mancini) said...

Thank you all for the comments! I really appreciate hearing from you, Pernille and loved the GRA experience.
Miriam, I so appreciate you taking the time to comment.
Thank you for your kind comments. I will definitely try to make a Symchat sometime; it's tough since I am not finished working until 4:30 PST normally.
and Katy, thanks for your kind comment! My class loved the Global Read Aloud!