The Youth Development Curriculum for primary students is a 46 lesson resource that is unique and engaging for all grade levels. Though it was specifically designed for primary students these lessons have been used to promote leadership and overall understanding of youth across all grade levels, even among adults and professionals.
"Youth Development" is an increasingly hot topic among educators and is the fabric of everything we do. It is what is happening every moment in the classroom even as we are teaching math and science. Ensuring students are developing their "person" as much as their academic mind will enable them to be better learners and actually enjoy learning.
My intention was to provide a curriculum to already over-worked teachers who were also working in our after school programs and also the paraprofessionals that required very little prep time, supplies, research or photocopies. However, you may want to modify the "Attachments" section to suit the lesson how you see fit.
THERE ARE 5 SECTIONS IN THIS CURRICULUM, FOLLOWED BY A 6TH SECTION (ATTACHMENTS)
Section A: Building Relationships and Positive Interactions- 15 lessons
Overview: Relationships with adults, fellow students, family and friends may be the single-most important catalyst or deterrent for growth in a human being. This section not only provides opportunities for the teacher to strengthen relationships with the students, but gives students an opportunity to develop friendships and learn the importance of promoting healthy relationships. *Lessons include arts and craft, team-building activities, critical thinking and lessons on empathy.
Section B: Creating a Physically and Emotionally Safe Environment for Learning- 8 lessons
Overview: Creating a safe environment for children is definitely 101 for newbie teachers even. But creating an emotionally safe environment is one in which kids can grow socially and personally; an environment the encourages participation and free thought. Such an environment does not tolerate harrassment, negativity, bullying or teasing.
*Lessons include games, arts and open dialogue. They cover issues such as bullying, gender equity, personal space and comfort and creating safe environments.
Section C: Building Character- 9 lessons
Overview: Introducing the 6 Pillars of Character (TM) this section motivates students to like themselves, others and desire to grow and develop!
*Lessons include arts and crafts, games and team building activities. They confront issues such as fairness, equity, anger management and even managing stress!
Section D: Empowering Youth for Leadership Development - 6 lessons
Overview: Giving a student the opportunity to be the "line leader" or "desk monitor" is a nice idea, but does very little to actually develop leadership or give direct value to specific qualities in students. This section also teaches the teacher to "let go and let kids!". They are very capable of planning service learning events, developing their own standards and even consequences for breach of such as well as determining their own needs.
*Lessons are engaging and encourage open dialogue. Team building-type activities and games also show that being the "leader" isn't always what it is cracked up to be!
Section E: Community Involvement Strategies and Building a Mind for Civic Responsibility- 8 lessons
Overview: As we define success for our students we clearly hope to see gains not only academically in the classroom but in their ability to contribute to their greater good and the overall community. It is proven that involvement in the community and participating in service positions is associated with higher self esteem and enhanced development of moral character.
*Lessons in this section will help students see life is bigger than themselves and that we are all connected. They will develop compassion for others and understand the importance of helping others succeed. Two of the lessons will need to be revised by the teacher to focus on the specific area and city you are in.
NOTES REGARDING THE CURRICULUM
* originally developed for after school programs but utilized and praised by classroom teachers
* more than 50 schools in Los Angeles County currently use this curriculum and have been since 2007
* please forgive the marks and/or stains on the final pages (attachments) of this download. I lost all digital copies so literally had to photocopy the book!
* NEW hard copies are available for purchase, for an additional $20.
* all feedback is really appreciated and received whole-heartedly!