The end of the year is so busy, isn’t it? There’s an event for everything, tests to take, graduation ceremonies and, oh yes, learning. One of them most important piece of advice I can offer as a veteran is to keep the students engaged in meaningful learning right until the end. Finishing strong eliminates idle children and we all know what happens when they are unengaged. My students would always try to complain about having to work in my class because they claimed they weren’t doing anything in any of their other classes. We all know that’s not true and they try to play us against one another. Being engaged in learning is critical and besides, they will have the whole summer off to play. This “tuesdays” is a look at a great concept that can be used in any subject and can help your students think big!
A creative website
The concept of Pay It Forward is not new. In fact, a strand of it can be found as early as 317 BC in an ancient play called “The Grouch,” and then rediscovered and described by Ben Franklin as a way to do a lot of good with little money. Most recently, it has been popularized by the movie, “Pay It Forward,” based on Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel of the same name. She created a system that embraces three good deeds for others in response to a good deed that one receives. These deeds are designed to be something that someone cannot do for themselves with the practice of paying if forward to three more. The ratio of 3:1 creates a potential social network that can really make a difference. The Pay It Forward Foundation has a new president, Charley Johnson, who is super excited and effective in getting the word out about this privilege of impacting others. He began a system of Pay It Forward bracelets that you pass on to your “3” and they in turn pass them on to their “3”. In just a year, over 1 million bracelets have been distributed in over 100 countries. Pay It Forward has also been known as the spirit of the reciprocal, but no matter what it is called, the concept is one of the best engaging activities to share with students at the end of the year.
An image to share
Graphical representation of the impact of Pay It Forward drawn during on of my presentations to students. (by far the most creative!)
“A life lived for others, is the only life worth living.”
Giving students a sense of something bigger than themselves is a great way to wrap up the year. Many schools are challenging their students to become part of a global project and Pay It Forward is definitely a perfect match. I have been privilege to present a Pay It Forward model lesson to students from K to college. It’s an ageless, timeless lesson of impact and making a difference that can touch even the hearts of the hardest critics. In the lesson, I have a portion dedicated to having the student draw the pay it forward concept of 3 to 1 in just 10 minutes. The profound visualization of exponential impact is never the same just as no two people will have the same Pay It Forward experience. It would be my pleasure to come and do the presentation for your students if it were in driving distance. There would be no charge because it would be your privilege to then pass on something to three others. This is actually my favorite presentation ever and if time and distance isn’t working out, I would encourage you to ask for a CD with the presentation that you can personalize and present to your students.
How do you do that?
There are many ways to begin a Pay It Forward Movement in your classroom.
- Visit the Pay It Forward Foundation website for suggestions.
- Schedule a Pay It Forward presentation for your classroom. It’s free as long as you promise to do three nice things for others and keep the movement going.
- Ask for a CD with the Pay It Forward presentation that I have developed for students and be sure to send your snail mail address.
- Download the Pay It Forward FREE app. It’s really pretty amazing and one of the most user-friendly apps I’ve seen.
- Watch Charley Johnson’s TEDx Talks – Simplicity in a Complex World.
- Challenge the students to come up with their own version of Pay It Forward and see what they come up with. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Thank you Charley Johnson for taking the Pay It Forward concept to a whole new level.
As always, I am