H. Stephen Glenn’s course, Developing Capable Young People, can be found on the website, http://www.capabilitiesinc.com/ , and when I look at the drawings of kids across the top, I so remember those childlike pictures. The lead on the website reads, “This powerful training program developed by H. Stephen Glenn prepares adults who work with young people at developing the three perceptions and four skills which determine how effectively they’ll [young people] deal with life. Young people who gain strength in these assets normally increase in character, resiliency, and other human intelligences essential for living. They meet lifes’ challenges of learning, relationships, and the work world – successfully.” For around $100 you can purchase the DVDs, a participant workbook, and the book, Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World.
The Course focuses on the Significant 7—3 perceptions and 4 skills that young people need to develop in order to be successful. Today I am blogging about the 3 perceptions (tomorrow I will share the 4 skills). The perceptions take a look at how young people perceive themselves. Self-perception is the definer of what we accomplish. In the story of the Little Engine That Could, children learn the important of “I think I can”. Unfortunately, much of what we do with and to youth does not support the simple notion of positive perception. Glenn looks at the perceptions of “capabilities”, the ability of young people to be resilient and work through problems and challenges and coming through these trying times stronger and wiser than they went into the situation. The second perception looks at how youth see the significance of the contribution that his/her life can make to the world, believing that they are a value-add. The third perception focuses on understanding that the choices you make, the behaviors you demonstrate have a direct effect on what happens. On the website, these perceptions are outlined in this way:
“PERCEPTIONS OF CAPABILITIES
“I am capable of facing problems and challenges and gaining strength and wisdom through experience.”
PERCEPTIONS OF SIGNIFICANCE
“My life has meaning and purpose—who I am and what
I have to offer is of value in the scheme of things.”
PERCEPTIONS OF INFLUENCE
“My actions and choices influence what happens.”
If these ideas resonate with you, check them out.
Not so usual celebrations…
August 18th is Bad Poetry Day. The thing of it is, what some people consider bad poetry, others may think is meaningful and to the point. That is why poetry can touch your soul, or turn you off. It tries to capture the essence of what the author is experiencing into words which seldom capture the experience completely. There are many types of poetry, each of which has guidelines and “rules” around how it is written. Kids may balk at the thought of poetry, saying, “Yuck! Who wants to read poems.” The fact of the matter is this—every song, every rap, no matter what the content—is a poem of some sort. So go on line and capture some great lyrics, and share them with students. Let the kids critique them and tell you what they think. Be prepared that your point of view about bad and good may not be shared by students.
Activities for Youth
Have students create a poem of their own. Two formats that you might want to use are the Acrostic Poem or Haiku. An acrostic poem does not rhyme (sometimes that makes it easier to write), but instead take the letters within a word and writes something for each letter:
M munchy, crunchy cookies freshly baked
O observes me through loving eyes
M many wonderful memories
Haiku on the other hand is a poem written in a pattern. The pattern is this: three lines, line one has 5 syllables line 2 has 7 syllables, and line 3 reverts to 5 syllables. Haiku is a very disciplined poetry form from Japan. It too does not rhyme. Often the themes come from nature, feelings or experiences that someone has had. Have kids try it out—nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Sunlight in his hair
Sweet child’s face gaining wisdom
Watching him grow up.