Arts & Humanities
A boy in California was tired of his peers bad language, so he decided to do something about it.
Before reading, introduce this two-line rap to students:
Ya wanna hang with us? Don't cuss.Ask a student or two to read aloud the couplet. Next, read it aloud in unison. Then ask students to share what that simple rhyme means to them.
Next, introduce these words that appear in the News Word Box on the students printable page: realize, offend, encourage, impressed, intelligence, curse, and cussing. Discuss the meanings of any of those words that might be unfamiliar. Then ask students to use one of those words to complete each of these sentences:
Read the News
Click for a printable version of this weeks news story No Cussing Clubs Catching On With Kids.
More Facts to Share
You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this weeks news story.
Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson. Now that students have seen the rhyme used in the context of the News for Kids article, ask them to reflect again on its meaning.
You might follow-up that discussion by asking some of these questions:
Think About the News
The article tells us that the No Cussing Clubs motto is I will leave people better than I found them. Ask students: What does that motto mean to you?
Next, discuss the Think About the News question that appears on the students news page. The question introduces the idea that some people think cussing is no big deal. It is just words," they say. Trying to stop others from cussing is akin to stepping on their rights to freedom of speech" Ask students to respond to those ideas. Do they agree or disagree? Give students time to share their thoughts on both sides of the issue. Write down their thoughts. In order to capture McKay Hatchs perspective on these questions, you might share his words (from the No Cussing Club Web site):
While we respect these opinions we also respectfully disagree. First of all, we are not pursuing a law where people are arrested or fined because they said a bad word when they smashed their toe. Second, we disagree with the philosophical letters we have received that say words are meaningless sounds created by humans. In the real world, everyone knows which words and expressions to avoid at a job interview or first date, or when speaking to their boss or a police officer. Our goal is to raise awareness for people to consider their language in public and to speak more politely."If you desire additional support, see the long list of ideas on the Whats Wrong With Swearing? page of the Web site known as Cuss Control Academy.
Reading aloud a lesson learned. Share with students the book Elbert's Bad Word. In this story, Elbert uses a bad word at an elegant garden party. The bad word, in the shape of a long-tailed furry monster, will not go away until a wizard-gardener cooks up some really delicious, super-long words that everyone at the party applauds. As one customer review of the book reveals: It is a lively, imaginative book that is fun to read aloud. I just read it today to a group of second graders and they loved it so much they all clapped at the end. You will captivate your audience and have opportunities to discuss a wonderful alternative to profanity that is logical."
Citizenship the harm that words can do. You might use this powerful activity, Those Tear-Me-Apart, Put-Me-Back-Together, Never-Be-the-Same-Again Blues, as a way to illustrate the power that words have to harm -- and heal. After you complete the activity, hang the human-figure outline in the classroom as a reminder to students of the power of their words.
Language arts writing like Shakespeare. When William Shakespeare wanted to put someone in his place, he did it with words that were powerful, creative, and smart. While most kids cannot naturally match the power of Shakespeares olde English language, they can if they use the Shakespeare Insult Kit. Have students mimic Shakespeare by selecting a few insults and weaving them into a conversation written in his style. Note: While this activity is intended to stretch students creatively, the expressions students will use in this activity are, by their nature, putdowns; some teachers might equate them to bullying and find them inappropriate for classroom use.
Language arts writing (alternative). Have students write their own rhymes or raps on a stop the cussing" theme.
Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News question on the news story page.
Lesson Plan SourceEducation World
LANGUAGE ARTS: English
GRADES K - 12
NL-ENG.K-12.1 Reading for Perspective
NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.9 Multicultural Understanding
NL-ENG.K-12.11 Participating in Society
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
GRADES K - 4
NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen
See recent news stories in Education Worlds News Story of the Week Archive.
Article by Ellen Delisio and Gary Hopkins
Copyright © 2008 Education World