Thursday, October 29, 2015

Life's Priorities: A Metaphorical Parfait

Rocks, pebbles, sand, water.
Which do you add first?

What message could mixing the list of materials below create (besides a mess) for a middle school student?

  • a plastic jar
  • two mid-sized rocks
  • a bag of pebbles
  • a handful amount of sand
  • a bottle of water

In Penn Charter’s Middle School earlier this fall, the mixture created a metaphorical, earthy parfait example about how students could reflect upon and gain perspective about priorities in their lives. Thinking about the important parts vs. smaller problems/concerns in their lives, and making sure they are making the important items a priority, were also outcomes of a lesson given from the new Middle School Advisory curriculum instituted this year. The goals of the lesson were met with flying colors. 

After a dramatic mixing in front of the room, advisors asked students to share out loud what they believed to be the point of this exercise. Some ideas shared were…

“The lesson was that even when a person’s life is full, one could always squeeze in more tasks."

“The lesson was that we must be patient and allow problems to settle in our life.”

Then advisors explained that, had we not placed the big rocks in the container first, the big stones would not have fit in the space later on.  We made the “big” rocks the priority.  

Then, as a closing reflection exercise, advisors asked students to journal in their e-portfolios answering the following question, “Why could this be an important process to use when dealing with typical middle school issues or problems that may crop up in life?” 

Josh Oberfield
Social Studies, Middle School Student Life Coordinator
 





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