Thinking with our hearts is a message conveyed throughout our Harmony Program and is a perfect theme as we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Harmony Pre-K and Kindergarten storybooks explore the concept of thinking with your heart through our lovable character Z and the treehouse friends.
In the Unit 5 storybook: “Have a Good Day,” Z learns from the treehouse friends that there are many ways to be kind that will help others have a good day. Z discovers that when you say and do kind things for people, it makes everyone feel good. Teachers can help students reflect on how it feels to help others and how to help them have a good day. Call attention to the positive consequences of pro-social actions and have children describe how they feel when they do kind things for others. Don’t forget to play “Have a Good Day” from the Buddy Time Sing-Along!
Thinking with our hearts also reminds us of the importance of seeking and accepting forgiveness. In the Unit 5 storybook: “Staying Friends,” Z and learns that an accident is something that someone doesn’t do on purpose. In this story, Z and the kids accidentally hurt each other’s feelings. Z discovers that even when friends make mistakes and hurt someone’s feelings they can still figure out how to make things better and continue to be friends.
Have your students reflect on a time they may have hurt someone’s feelings. Encourage them to share how they felt and how they handled the problem. Ask: Did you continue the conversation or walk away upset? What about a time someone hurt your feelings? Did you share your feelings? Or, did you hold onto the pain?
Perhaps we can all learn to be more understanding and empathetic when we stop and consider the challenges that others around us might be experiencing. When a colleague does not greet us in the hallway, we may feel hurt or angry. We can manage the situation in a healthier way when we think with our hearts and consider that our colleague could be worried about a family member or preoccupied with a problem. We model compassion when we create a patient and understanding environment.
We can help our students understand what it means to forgive someone and why it is important to be a “fast forgiver.” Discuss what to do when you have hurt someone and introduce “Apology in Action:”
Say your part,
Speak from the heart and fix what has been broken apart.
We might all need a gentle reminder how to live a more kind, loving, and compassionate life. We encourage everyone to think a little more with their hearts, especially as we celebrate the holiday of love!