“Respectful Words” Lesson

Purple Petal: Respect Myself & Others

I printed out copies of the following faces because these happened to be a good fit for my troops, but different outlines could be used to represent different hairstyles. As the girls colored simple faces on their paper friends, I talked briefly about the words we use to show respect, such as “please” and “thank you” or learning a new friend’s name. Encourage the girls to share their own respectful responses to different scenarios. When the girls are done coloring, they need to separate their friend faces by cutting their page in half. I went on to tell a short story about the two friends and how one friend might feel if the other friend broke her favorite toys during a play date. I asked the girls to THINK of an “angry” word that might be used – remind the girls to BE CAREFUL NOT TO VERBALIZE THEIR ANGRY WORDS! I quickly explained how “angry” words hurt people as I dramatically crumpled one of the faces which I had previously colored into a tight ball. I then asked the girls to crumple one of their paper faces. (Most of the girls did NOT want to do this, but most were happy that they had one un-harmed face to take home.) I then quickly and very dramatically apologized to my crumpled face and tried to smooth out the wrinkles from the face. I urged them to do the same and see if anyone could completely remove the “scars” of the angry words. I explained that an apology will not erase the hurt we might cause when we use angry words even if we can’t see the scars, and it is better for us to use respectful words than angry ones. The same idea can be used with paper bag puppets – just don’t let the girls spent too much time on decorating the face that will be crumpled. This was a heavy topic for the girls so I lightened the mood of the meeting by inviting several high school cheerleaders (eager to ring up some community service credits) to teach us some cheers and show us how to use encouraging words to help people.

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