I started the set discussing the example from the Second Step card. Then the class created T charts by folding blank lined paper "like a hot dog" (vertically versus the horizontal "hamburger" style). I gave several examples of actions and allowed students come up with reactions that seemed logical to them. Here are some examples:
- Your friend brags to you all the time (possible effects: you tell them to stop, you stop being their friend, you start bragging about your accomplishments)
- Students are being disruptive in class (possible effects: the students feel like they have power, the teacher feels upset or frustrated, the students don't have to do the work)
- The school puts up new play ground structures and allows the boys to choose what to play first (possible effects: the girls will be upset, the boys won't allow girls to play, the students will argue)
Then the "counseling magic." I asked the students to cross out the word "cause" at the top and write "effect" above it. Then I asked them to fold their paper over and write cause on the right half of the back side. Thus they essentially had a three column "cause-effect-effect"
table. Students were then asked to consider what may have caused the actions from the former cause column. Here are some of the causes they came up with from the examples above:
- The friend may be: feeling insecure, trying to impress you so you'll be their friend, doing it because YOU brag all the time, or actually really good at something and you're jealous.
- Students may: not like or respect the teacher, be bored with the way the teacher is teaching, try to get the teacher upset, or want to impress friends.
- The school may have: allowed girls to choose first in the past, given boys first choice because they won a school contest, given boys choice of play structures so girls can play with sports equipment, or just like boys better.
My favorite part of the lesson was that students immediately asked to change the final effect column based on the "new" causes. One student said they would definitely react differently to a friend who was bragging because they felt insecure than one who was just proud and feeling powerful. It was great to see students make the connection that when we consider WHY people act in ways that may bother us, we can react in more effective ways.
Below is the worksheet I made (though the blank lined paper was equally effective):