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Learn more about the Buddhist practice of Tonglin meditation. Radical Self-Acceptance: A Buddhist Guide to Freeing Yourself from Shame by Tara Brach (Sounds True, 2000) is a three-CD set that includes a short guided Tonglin meditation. You may also want to explore writings and audio tapes by Pema Chodron.
Find more non-competitive games in two books by Terry Orlick:
The Cooperative Sports and Games Book: Challenge without Competition by Terry Orlick (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978)
The Second Cooperative Sports and Games Book by Terry Orlick (New York: Pantheon Books, 1982)
Empathy in Conflict Resolution
Practice in empathetic listening is one of the tools suggested by Sarah Pirtle in her book, Discovery Time for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (Creative Response to Conflict, Inc., 1998).
An Empathy Tale for All Ages
Read "Two Brothers" by Elisa Pearmain in Once Upon a Time: Storytelling to Teach Character and Prevent Bullying ( Greensboro, NC : Character Development Group, 2006). In this ancient Jewish story, two brothers each think of the needs of the other and secretly fill one another's grain stores in the night, only to discover each other in the middle of a field, a place that King Solomon later declared sacred.
More Empathy Scenarios
In these books, find stories that may help you devise additional scenarios for Activity 5, In Your Shoes: Real Life from Multiple Perspectives:
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (Harper Trophy, l996). Children tease a little girl about her name.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (Harcourt Paperbacks, 2004). A little girl is teased about her shabby clothes.
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip Hoose (Tricycle Press, l998). Readers see both sides of the story when an ant tries to convince a boy to spare his life.
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki (Lee & Low Books, 1995). A Japanese American boy is teased about his size and ethnicity.
I'm Not Invited? by Diana Blumenthal (Athenaeum/Richard Jackson Books, 2003). A little girl is sad, confused and disappointed when she thinks she has been left out of her friend's party.
While many nations today ban seal hunting and seal products, Canada still allows a seal hunt in which 250,000 to 300,000 seals are killed every year. Most of the seals that are killed are only a few months old.
Many international organizations work to protect seals from clubbing and hunting. One is the International Fund for Animal Welfare, an organization with U.S. headquarters in Yarmouth, MA, 800.932.4329. On the website, click "Join Campaigns," then select "Save Seals."
Find out about the Protect Seals Network and how to assist one of the dozens of organizations working together to oppose Canadian seal-hunting, on the website of The Humane Society of the United States.
The idea of having a basket of "fidget objects" available during session activities comes from Sally Patton, author, workshop leader and advocate for children with special needs. It is a simple, inexpensive way to include and welcome children who find it difficult to sit still or who learn better while moving.
Provide a basket for fidget objects. Fill it with pipe cleaners, koosh balls, and other soft, quiet, manipulable objects.
When you introduce the fidget object basket to the group, begin by saying that some people learn best when their hands are busy. Give an example such as someone who knits while listening to a radio program or doodles during a meeting or class. Point out the fidget object basket. Tell the children they may quietly help themselves to items they may wish to use to keep their hands busy if this helps them to listen. However, also tell the children that the fidget object basket will be put away if the items become a distraction from the story or any other group activity.
You can make the basket available for the duration of the session, or bring the basket out only during activities, such as hearing a story told, that require children to sit still and listen for a significant period of time.