Write a Six-Word Memoir

Martha McCormickArt for Life, Philosophy & Musings4 Comments

Last winter, my daughter, one of her friends and I wrote six-word memoirs to sum up our days. This exercise was based on the very popular book called “Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure.” I found it a challenging and interesting way to review my day. We shared news about a sister’s engagement, … Read

Create a Treasure Box

Martha McCormickTeam Building1 Comment

One of my favorite ways to process learning is to use my treasure box. I usually save it for groups with whom I’ve spent at least a day. I’ve found that middle school girls love this way of processing what they have gained from their time together. A bonus is that they get to keep something to remind them of … Read

Who Says Kids are Apathetic???!!!!

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Thousands of teen volunteers contribute more than 1.7 million hours of service each year in west central Florida through ManaTEENS! Two sisters, who were 12 and 17 years old then, started the organization in 1994. It’s grown into the largest locally based teen volunteer initiative in the United States! Their president spoke at the Youth Service Institute I attended in October 2008. When I … Read

Backward Planning

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Here is another group process for committees or small groups to use once they’ve decided on an activity. They start with the final activity, event or outcome and work backwards to define the steps toward accomplishing it. The group members have paper and markers, at least one sheet for each step of the process needed to accomplish the activity. They … Read

Plan with Post-Its

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

Once your group has decided on an activity to do, this process helps the group move toward making it happen. It could be done with the whole group, but it might be more effective in a committee or small group. It will help the girls who are in charge of the event to figure out the steps for making the … Read

Have Fun Generating Ideas

Martha McCormickSocial Justice, Team BuildingLeave a Comment

Here is a site that gives a clear description of brainstorming, with a process for narrowing ideas after the initial discussion. These eight rules provide some background for refining your brainstorming techniques for the best results in your groups. And this site for teachers has some free stuff and other ideas to take off from brainstorming like– 1. oBrainstorming Web … Read

Create Meaningful Advisory Structures

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

Providing opportunities for making choices and speaking out are critical components of positive youth development programs. But it’s challenging to do this with a large group of kids who may want to go in 30 different directions. Here are ideas from a gallery activity at the 2008 Chrysalis After-School Facilitator Training for creating meaningful advisory structures with young people– Rotate … Read

Discussion Topics

Martha McCormickPhilosophy & Musings, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Processing at the Adventure Learning Center

Okay, I put it out there–What are some good discussion topics for middle school girls? Here is the first response I got on Facebook– –music, clothes, dance, friendship and who’s cute-circa 1970’s –music, clothes, dance, friendship and who’s cute -using cellphones, social networking, text, -circa 2009 Here are some more– Media portrayal of girls/women Cliques Movies Books School TV shows … Read

Fishbowl Discussion

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

A fishbowl discussion allows everyone in a large group to participate in a series of small group discussions. In a group larger than four or five it’s hard for everyone to have a chance to speak. This method allows up to five people to discuss a topic for a set amount of time, with the rest of the group taking turns … Read

Idea Bombardment

Martha McCormickCoaching for Growth, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

This activity will help your group generate ideas for achieving personal and group goals. It provides a way for the group to “bombard” one or a small group of people with ideas for accomplishing their goals. Start with the whole group in a large circle, then spend about five minutes talking about how to set goals–making them realistic, short-term so … Read