Why Are You Being So Mean?

Created by
Robin Flam

 

Summary

Use Spoken Word as a platform to express feelings as well as analyse how others feel and react, while finding a better way to deal with getting hurt or insulted by others. Write a short passage using Spoken Word to negative feeling evoked by a person you care about such as a friend a teacher, a family member, an instructor. (Create an amygdala blast). Read a short dialogue about an interaction between Maia and her mom. Watch a Spoken Word clip about how Maia feels her mother views her. Focus on the students’ internal voice in order to avoid amygdala blasts. (Suitable for mature students, advanced levels)

 

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to voice feelings in writing
  • Be able to distinguish different perspectives
  • Learn how to acknowledge what others feel and what you feel
  • Be able to regain emotional balance, recognize identity implications
  • Be able to avoid amygdala blasts.

 

Lead-in / Preparation

  1. Download the following clip: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=be+perfect
  2. Have a computer and a working projector
  3. Writing utensils and paper for each student
  4. Copy of
    1. Script
    2. Maia and Mother Discussion Chart
    3. My Dialogue Discussion Chart
  5. Suggest teaching: “Transform your internal voice so you can share it productively” before or can be done after using this as a springboard.
  6. Explain the concept of amygdala blasts preferably in a previous lesson.

 

Estimated Class-Time Required

90 -120 minutes

 

Description of Activities

1. Attention Getter: List: What have people close to me done that annoy or upset me. 5 min.

2. With a partner: Share your lists and tell each other one or more stories about the experiences 5 min.

3. Spoken word: Write for 2 minutes without stopping 5 min. Explain that they do not have to write well and they do not have to read it or share it with anyone.

I felt really good and happy when______________ (write the name of someone you know)…..

4. Have 3-4 kids read what they have written. Jot down phrases that show feelings, positive thoughts etc.

5. Discuss as a group: Which words showed it was positive as well as how feelings were expressed. Note that there are many descriptive words too. 10-15 min

I didn’t like it when  _______________ ( the name of someone you care about)….  Keep this for a later activity.

6. Read the dialogue between Maia and her mother 5 minutes

Maia is sprawled on her unmade made in the late afternoon. Her schoolbooks are still in her bag. She has her computer on her bed playing some 60’s songs and she is busy writing on her computer. A few shirts and socks are on the floor along with all of the clothes she has tried on in the morning. Her makeup and hairbrush are thrown on her desk.  Her mother knocks on the door and comes in even though Maia did not reply.

Mom: You have been on the computer since I came home. Don’t you think you should turn it off for a bit? It will hurt your eyes and who knows what the radiation will do to you.

Maia: (Keeps typing…)  Soon

Mom:  I suggest after you finish this clip you should come downstairs.

Maia: Ok Mom. Hmph

Mom: Here is the laundry basket. It would be nice if you put your dirty clothes in the hamper. I am doing a wash later.

Maia: Ok Mom (Rolls eyes)

Mom: I have made you a nice warm lunch. Come down soon. It’s getting cold. In the meantime her is some milk, it’s good for a growing girl’s bones.

Mom: I would love to help you with your nail polish. It might remind you to stop chewing your nails, which could cause your teeth to chip.

Maia: Hmmmm  (grits teeth)

Mom: Would you like to go for a walk with me later?

Maia: ………… (No reply Very strong silence)

Mom: Sighs and leaves without closing the door.

 

7. Watch the clips of Spoken Word by Maia: Perfect. List what bothers her or makes her angry. 8 minutes https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=be+perfect

 

8. Now fill in the chart. What mother said. How Maia felt. What mother meant.

Maia and Mother discussion chart

What Mother said What mother was thinking but not saying What Maia felt What mother could have said or asked differently What Maia could have said or asked instead of says Ok OK OK
You have been on the computer since I came home. Don’t you think you should turn it off for a bit? It will hurt your eyes and who knows what the radiation will do to you
I suggest after you finish this clip you come downstairs for lunch and tell me about your day.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the laundry basket. It would be nice if you put your dirty clothes in the hamper. I am doing a wash later.

 

 

 

 

I have made you a nice warm lunch. Come down soon. It’s getting cold. In the meantime, her is some milk, it’s good for a growing girl’s bones

 

Would you like me to help you with you nail polish? It might help you stop chewing your nails, which could chip your teeth.
Would you like to go for a walk with me later?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sighs and leaves without closing the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Offer a few suggestions in which mother and Maia could have used different words or questions.

Share these suggestions with the group or in pairs. How could improve their conversation and possibly their relationship? Or if time allows: Rewrite the dialogue and present it to the class or in groups. Have the audience give feedback.

10. Final activity:

Read your second Spoken Word assignment. Turn it into a  a dialogue.  After you finish it, fill in the chart. This can be done in pairs or alone.

My Dialogue about an annoying or painful interaction with someone I care about

You said They said You were thinking but not saying They were thinking but not saying Suggestions of what could have been said or asked differently
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. How did this activity help you process your unhappy experience.

12. Think how this can help you react in the future?

 

Key Vocabulary / Phrases

  • Distinguish different perspectives
  • Acknowledge
  • amygdala blasts
  • Vocabulary words for Maia’s Speech:
  • A loose screw
  • Uninspired
  • Sprawled on the couch
  • To have devotion
  • To chew on nail
  • To gleam like a halo
  • To disregard a rule
  • A rebel
  • To be less than average
  • Disappointed
  • To set aside
  • Calcium
  • Disaster

 

 Assessment

Question 11 exhibits if the student has succeeded in seeing other perspectives as well as how to not blow up.

 

Reflection

Question 12

 


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