Talking about values and developing heroes while at home.
In the fourth in a series of blog posts, Dr Verity Jones, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education and Childhood at UWE, and Online Project Lead looks at how the Covid19 pandemic has provided opportunities to talk to young people about the kind of people they are and want to be.
Four weeks in …
The Easter holidays are now over and we are back at home school. The news is still awash with ever increasing numbers of people suffering from the effects of the covid19 virus. However, amongst these horrors lie the good news stories – communities coming together to make a positive difference. Whether you’re nearly one hundred years old and you’re walking round your garden to raise money for the NHS, shopping for a vulnerable person or making PPE in your backroom; there have been thousands of stories of kindness that inspire the nation to carry on. So, now might be just the time to talk to our young learners about what it is to be a hero.
Children may well feel helpless in the current conditions and feel the possibility of being a hero too far removed from their everyday experience. Being a hero is not an easy journey where the road to heroism is simple, neat and easy without any problems or challenges. Being a hero does not necessarily mean grand acts, saving lives or raising oodles of money. Being a hero can start at home.
Last week I was delighted to receive the Geographical Associations Silver Award for the book I co-authored called DRY: The Diary of a Water Superhero. A free online copy of this picture book can be accessed here with associated teaching materials here.
This story tracks the life of a child in Year 6 and how she, bit by bit, works towards making a difference in her local community. The focus of her project is water usage; thinking about how we can save water and why would we want to anyway. She has lots of ideas and help on the way, but also suffers set backs, before becoming a water superhero.
Sharing this with your children may be a route in to thinking about how they can be heroes in their own home.
What is it that they could do?
It might be becoming the household Recycling Legend, Gardening Guru, Compost King or even Fashion Revolutionary – after all it is Fashion Revolution week this week and there are all sorts of activities going on across the world to help support a more sustainable supply chain. Checking out the clothes in your cupboard and sharing love stories about your favourite garments are all ways to raise awareness. Check out the Fashion Revolution website here for more details, or follow them on twitter or instagram
Taking control and having a positive role to play can help support children’s well being as they continue their time at home, as well as help them to develop their moral compass.
Dr Verity Jones is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Online Learning Project Lead and Acting Associate Head of Department for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience.