Sharon Ann Wikoff - CHILDREN
The ABCs Of Living...Words To Live By
Starting the Conversation with Children
Introducing a child to the POWER of words is the first step.  When children realize first hand that words make a difference, they will learn to use them with power. Children know about the ABCs of reading and writing, so understanding that there are also ABCs for Living, draws a parallel between what they already know and what you’ll be discussing.  As we become more consciously aware on the impact of our words, we’ll all begin to see and feel the parallels between the importance of the ABCs in our reading and writing and the importance of the ABCs of Living…in our life. 

Asking questions can open up a revealing conversation about what children already know about the POWER of words.   Following are some questions that can be used to begin such a conversation.

·Has someone ever been very kind to you and caring?  Can you remember how that made you feel? 


Has someone ever been unkind to you? Perhaps they said unkind words to you. How did that make you feel? 

Now can you shift that feeling by remembering the kindness showed you by another?

·       When you use kind words, you uplift others.
·       When you use unkind words, you create  negative energy for yourself and others.
·       What can you say kind about yourself
                             right now?

In future writings there will be much more information on how to support children in addressing difficult situation and still be kind.  In addition, I'll share my experiences on having children role play with various words.


INTRODUCTION:  Give one bookmark to each child to view or keep. If your group is larger than the number of bookmarks you have, pass them around. Allowing the children to handle them will give each child the opportunity to experience them first hand. Read and discuss the ones they are drawn too.  For the more formal introduction to the power of words, I invite you to set aside a period of 30 minutes and see the section above, “Starting the Conversation with Children” for specific questions to ask and discuss.

ON-GOING USE:As a classroom teacher for many years, I feel that a brief discussion about the power of words, in the morning and just before dismissal can be a very effective way of instruction.

AM:   Daily, choose one word to focus on. Read the bookmark. Discuss. Have the children say what the word means to them. Children also love acting out what these words mean.   Doing this makes what the word stands for, come alive for them. Encourage the children to “live” that word during the day.

PM:  At the end of the school day have the children share what they experienced that day.   Encourage the children to practice these qualities at home too. 


INTRODUCTION: When you show the bookmarks to the children, allow them to handle the bookmarks and enjoy their beauty. Read and discuss the ones the children are drawn too.  For a more formal introduction to the bookmarks, I invite you to set aside a period of 30 minutes for your conversation and see the section, “Starting the Conversation with Children” for specific questions to ask and discuss. 

ON-GOING USE:  These bookmarks can be kept in a mug or box in a visible place in your home where they can be easily reached.  Perhaps having them on the kitchen table, in clear sight, might encourage a discussion about them during breakfast.  Setting the tone for the day can happen with just a brief 5 minute discussion before everyone goes their separate way for the day.  

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