Teachers Manual

For each strengths session we have provided suggestions of Songs, Films, Quiet Moments and Funny Moments, additional student activities, and links to YouTube clips in order that you can choose activities that you feel suit your class and ensure variety over the weeks.


Please note that the provided YouTube clips were available at the time of posting. Please check that the links are still available and that the content is suitable for your students. We cannot guarantee or be held responsible for the suitability of suggested songs, films, or clips and viewing or listening is at the judgement and discretions of the teacher.

Last updated: 01.08.2017

Songs:

· What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

· Just the Way You Are (Bruno Mars)

Films:

Billy Elliot (2000)

Quiet Moments:

Elora and the Meaning of Beauty, a short film by David Neelin. Beautiful images and one or two people trying (and failing) to put ‘beauty’ into words.

(2 min 47 sec)

Video ‘Most Beautiful Love Song in the World’.

(4 min 14 sec)

Funny Moments:

Not so much funny as jazzy and uplifting is a video called ‘The Beauty of Outer space’.

(2 min 42 sec)

Songs:

· Hero (Mariah Carey)

· Let It Be (The Beatles)

· Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)

Films:

· Valiant (2005)

· Moulin Rouge (2001)

· Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)

· The Great Escape (1963)

Quiet Moments:

Courage Meditation:

We all feel fear at times. Having strategies to cope with the feelings can help us overcome fear. Practicing, by using our imagination, when we are not scared can prepare us for when we are scared.

Encourage the students to relax and to close their eyes and to breathe deeply, but very quietly.

Then say: ‘think of something that makes you a little bit scared’.

Notice what that feels like, notice your hands – they might get cold – your stomach may churn – you might breathe a bit faster – your heart might speed up. Now, breathe in some courage from the air around you, let it fill you, and then breathe out courage and kindness. Breathe in courage – breathe out courage and kindness. Breathe in courage – breathe out courage and kindness’.

At times when they feel a bit scared, remind them, ‘breathe in courage – breathe out courage and kindness’.

Watch:

(3 min 19 sec) – Amazing Kids of Character Series – An inspiring story of a US younster with Leukemia.

Funny Moments:

Watch:

(3 min 35 sec) – Amazing Kids – Funniest Videos.

Songs:

· Love Is All Around (The Troggs)

· Turn, Turn, Turn (The Byrds)

· All You Need is Love (The Beatles)

· Cupid (Sam Cooke)

· That’s Amore (Dean Martin)

Films:

· Romantic love: Beauty and the Beast (1991); West Side Story (1961); Romeo and Juliet (1968)

· Family love: Rain Man (1988)

· Friendship: Finding Forrester (2000)

· Altruistic love: Iris (2002)

Quiet Moments:

A video of ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’:

(3 min 21 sec)

REM’s version of ‘Love Is All Around’:

(3 min 5 sec)

Funny Moments:

A very funny and delightful video of a rabbit and a fawn called ‘Love is all Around’ at:

(1 min 33 sec)

Songs:

· The Ant and the Grasshopper (Martin Carthy)

· Dear Prudence (The Beatles)

Films:

· Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

· Sense and Sensibility (2006)

· Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999)

Quiet Moments:

A video of The Beatles ‘Dear Prudence’:

(4 min 13 sec)

Funny Moments:

Watch:

(1 min 25 sec) – Funny Children Videos

Songs:

· I’ll Be There (B Gordy, B West, H David, and W Hutch)

· Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)

Films:

· The March of the Penguins (2005)

· Finding Nemo (2003)

Quiet Moments:

1. Meditation:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Then close your eyes if you wish and create, in your mind, an ideal team that you would like to be part of. What would be the goal of this team? Would it be a football team winning the world cup? Would it be a pop group performing before thousands of people? Would it a team of actors on the stage of a West End Theatre? Would it be a team of scientists finding a cure for cancer or sending the fist manned probe to Mars? Perhaps you would be part of the team of astronauts ON the first manned probe to Mars.

Now imagine yourself as part of this amazing team. Look around you at the people you are with, people who you love working with, people who love working with you. What strengths do your teammates have? What do YOU contribute to that team? How does it feel to be working together, achieving something amazing that none of you could do by yourself? Enjoy the feeling of being part of such a great team.

Now, think of the teams you are already part of, your class, the football team, your family. What are the good things about being part of those teams? How could you contribute to one of your current teams, today?

2. A great all round the world version of Stand by me, the Ben E King classic can be seen at: http://vimeo.com/2539741 (5 min 27 sec)

Funny Moments:

A wonderful video of a carefully choreographed dance, apparently spontaneous, in a train station in Belgium: http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=1560 (4 min 2 sec)

Songs:

· Perfect (Pink)

· I am The Walrus (The Beatles)

Films:

· Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

· Finding Nemo (2003)

Quiet Moments:

This is an animated version of the Yoruba creation myth.

http://www.mythicjourneys.org/bigmyth/myths/english/2_yoruba_full.htm

Funny Moments:

Laughing and positive mood also facilitates creativity. Ask students to bring in and tell their funniest (but appropriate) jokes to start this session.

Songs:

· The Ballad of John Rae (Tiller’s Folly)

Films:

· Jurassic Park (1993)

· Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978)

Quiet Moments:

1. Meditation on curiosity:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Now close your eyes if you wish and imagine you can go anywhere you want, anywhere in the world, anywhere in the universe. You can become as small as a microbe and explore inside a human body. You can breathe in space and fly anywhere at all. Decide where YOU want to explore – close at hand or far away.

In your imagination, go on a journey of exploration. Create the sounds, the images, and the actions of your journey.

2. Did You Know – Shift Happens:

(3 min 20 sec). For younger students or slow readers, an adult or older student will need to read the text aloud.

Funny Moments:

1. Learn a new card game and play it at the beginning of the lesson. Racing Demon is one recommend for building the skills of observation, categorisation, consideration for others, and sheer exuberance.

Songs:

· Happy Together (The Turtles)

Films:

· 12 Angry Men (1957)

· To Kill a Mocking Bird (1962)

Quiet Moments:

Meditation on standing up for justice:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Then close your eyes if you wish and let your imagination create a situation where you stand up for justice. Something is happening at school that you feel is unfair. Perhaps somebody is being picked on by a group of older students? Perhaps somebody is being wrongly blamed for something? Or perhaps someone is claiming more than their fair share of credit for a project? Whatever the situation, you feel that it is unfair. Notice your feelings of concern, your sense of injustice. You decide to do something, to say something to put things right. Perhaps you side with the picked on student? Perhaps you speak up for the person who is being wrongly blamed. Perhaps you quietly point out that others should also take credit for that particular success? Whatever the issue, you do what you believe to be right. It might be a bit scary, it might take courage, but justice is important to you, fairness is important to you so you do something about it.

Other people notice that you care about justice, that you stand up for fairness and equality.

Funny Moments:

Show a clip from The Muppets Christmas Carol, like this one of Marley and Marley here:

(2 min 26 sec)

Songs:

· Please Fogive Me (Bryan Adams)

· Save the Best for Last (Vanessa Williams)

Films:

· Aladdin (1992)

· Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Quiet Moments:

Read aloud slowly some or all of the forgiveness.

Watch:

(4 min 12 sec) – A live solo by a female artist called Laleh ‘Forgive but not Forget’.

‘Outside – To Forgive but not Forget’- Similar title but a very different video – a violin solo with beautiful images, quite distorted and thought provoking. Might lead well into a philosophical discussion with the simple question, ‘How was that about forgiveness?’:

(5 min 55 sec)

Funny Moments:

Not so much funny as meaningful – Oprah’s Forgiveness Aha! Moment:

(2 min 41 sec)

Songs:

· Thank You for the Music (Abba)

· My Favourite Things (Sound of Music)

· Thank You for Being a Friend (Andrew Gold)

Films:

· A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

· How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Quiet Moments:

Tell the story The Spirit of the Corn.

Show a power point of beautiful images with quiet music playing.

Or the YouTube clip: http://www.gratefulness.org/brotherdavid/a-good-day.htm (5 min 32 sec)

Or Gratitude is…YouTube clip:

(4 min 10 sec)

Funny Moments:

1. YouTube clip:

(3 min 25 sec) – The Gratitude Dance

2. Play My Favourite Things. Then put the students into groups of five and ask them to think of a way to ‘become’ or mime being each (or one of) the ‘favourite things’! Replay the song and watch two groups at a time.

Songs:

· Honesty (Beyonce)

· Never Tell a Lie (Inside Out)

· Don’t Lie (The Black Eyed Peas)

Films:

· To Kill a Mocking Bird (1962)

· Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

· Shark Tale (2004)

Quiet Moments:

Take a moment to think of one thing that is important to you – a value – one thing you would be willing to stand up for.

Remember a time you told the truth – and it was difficult to do.

Funny Moments:

The Lighthouse Joke:

A United States Aircraft Carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln was on manoeuvres off the coast of Scotland in thick fog. They spotted a light directly in front of them and radioed a message:

‘This is the USS Abraham Lincoln, you must change course by 15 degrees to the north to avoid collision’

The message came back: ‘We recommend you change YOUR course by 15 degrees south to avoid collision’

The Americans radioed back: ‘This is the USS Abraham Lincoln, please change course by 15 degrees north immediately.’

The message came back: ‘No, you need to change your course by 15 degrees south immediately.’

The American captain, now really angry, radioed: ‘This is Captain Murdock of the USS Abraham Lincoln, the largest vessel in the American fleet and we are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. Your ship must change course IMMEDIATELY.’

The reply came back: This is Able Seaman MacDonald of Marwick Head. I’m all on my own up here but if I were you, I’d change course as soon as possible because I’m not a ship, I’m a lighthouse!’

Songs:

· Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)

· Nothing’s Gonna Stop us Now (Jefferson Starship)

· Just Around the Hill (Sash!)

Films:

· ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Quiet Moments:

This clip is recommended elsewhere for Love of Beauty, but it fits just as well with the strength of hope. Wise Quotes, Space and Time. An absolutely beautiful and uplifting video to ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’:

(5 min 7 sec) – The singer is Israel Kamakawiwo Ole.

Spend one minute thinking about the most hopeful person you know.

Hope Meditation:

Sit quietly listening to the gentle sound of your breath. As you breathe in, think the word ‘hopeful’ to yourself. As you breathe out, think the word ‘optimistic’.

Funny Moments:

The moment in Finding Nemo where Dory is convinced she can speak ‘whale’ is a wonderful example of being over optimistic:

(3 min 46 sec)

Songs:

· I’m a Gnu (John Lithgow)

· The Omnibus (Katie Skate)

· We’re Terribly House and Garden (Flanders and Swann)

Films:

· The Princess Bride (1987)

Quiet Moments:

Close your eyes and think of the funniest thing you can, a time when you laughed and laughed and couldn’t stop. Smile to yourself as you recall how happy you and others were feeling.

Funny Moments:

Watch:

(16 sec) – The Fish Slapping Dance from Monty Python

Songs:

· Where my Heart Will Take me (theme tune from ‘Enterprise’ sung by Russell Watson on YouTube:

· Things Can Only Get Better (Howard Jones)

· Flashdance (Irene Cara)

· Dreams (Van Halen)

Films:

· Finding Nemo (2003)

Quiet Moments:

Watch:

(5 min 19 sec) – The March of the Emperor Penguins (with a Beautiful Mind theme song).

Or a similar clip with a commentary:

(2 min 25 sec)

Funny Moments:

Watch Dory’s ‘Just Keep Swimming’ from Finding Nemo:

(3 min 50 sec)

Songs:

· Imagine (John Lennon)

· Paradise (Cold Play)

· Unvritten (Natasha Bedingfield)

Films:

· The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2009)

· X-Men (2000; 2003; 2006)

· The Matrix (1999)

Quiet Moments:

Meditation on open-mindedness:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath. Now think of a belief or opinion you hold (teachers might like to make suggestions, e.g., school uniform is good/bad, there is/is not a God, giving up eating meat is/is not essential for the environment, cars are bad/good). Think of one or two reasons WHY you think this belief is right. You can write them down if you wish. Now think of MORE reasons why your belief might be WRONG.

Funny Moments:

Watch:

(4 min 50 sec) – ‘Witch Village’ from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)

Songs:

· A Bridge over Troubled Water (Simon and Garfunkel)

· Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson)

· I’ll Stand by You (Glee Cast)

Films:

· Charlotte’s Web (2006)

· Forest Gump (1994)

Quiet Moments:

Play some quiet background music and invite your students to sit quietly, relaxed but upright, with eyes open or closed, as they prefer. Then, speaking slowly and in a quiet voice, invite them to think of the kindest person they know. This can be a famous person, like Mother Theresa or The Dalia Llama, or somebody they know personally, perhaps a grandparent, parent, or close friend. Ask them to picture this person as clearly as they can and to imagine the person smiling at them, encouraging them to be kind to themselves. Invite them to consider how they can be kind first towards themselves and then towards somebody else.

Funny Moments:

‘A True Act of Kindness’ – Perhaps ‘sweet’ is a better word than ‘funny’ but a very apt and very moving short animation at:

(2 min 26 sec)

Songs:

· Let It Be (The Beatles)

· Dream On (Aerosmith)

· Reach Out I’ll Be There (The Four Tops)

Films:

· Superman (1978)

· The Lion King (1994)

Quiet Moments:

1.

(3 min 44 sec) – Desmond Tutu speaks about what makes a good leader.

2. If you want to do this as a guided meditation, with quiet music and a lighted candle, you can use the following script as a guide:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Then close your eyes if you wish and let your imagination take you to a time when you have become are a leader – you may be the leader of one or two people, or of many. You can hear and see the people you lead talking about you but they cannot see or hear you. They are saying very positive things about your leadership. What can you imagine them saying? What qualities or strengths do they see in you? Do they comment on your kindness or your honesty? They do comment on how much encouragement you give to others? Perhaps they talk about how you always seem to know what to say, how wise you are, how modest you are?

Take just one of these positive comments and spend a little time how you could make it a true comment about yourself. Can you see a way of showing one positive quality in the coming days or weeks?

Funny Moments:

The French Soldier Taunting King Arthur (a clip by Monty Python) – Was this Arthur a good leader?

(3 min)

Songs:

· The Greatest Love of All (Whitney Houston)

· Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)

Films:

· The Black Cauldron (1985)

Quiet Moments:

Learn some Tai Chi or Qigong. At its simplest, Tai Chi is slow movement in time with the breath. Just raising your arms as you breath in, watching your hands, and then lowering your arms as you breath out can have a calming effect. Alternatively, you can follow a simple Qigong exercise at:

(3 min 22 sec)

Funny Moments:

‘The Book’ Help Desk:

(5 min 21 sec)

‘How to use a mouse’:

(16 sec)

Songs:

· That’s What Makes You Beautiful (One Direction)

Films:

· The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

Quiet Moments:

Watch:

(3 min 52 sec) – In full, a lovely video clip of a farewell party for a secondary school class in Asia. The name of the class is ‘Humility’.

Watch:

(3 min 13 sec) – A Muslim song about humility by Dawud Wharnsby – quite beautiful.

Funny Moments:

Watch:

(3 min 13 sec) – The Four Yorkshireman Sketch (Year 9 and above only). An example of ‘inverted snobbery – I’m poorer than you’. An absence of humility.

Songs:

· Imagine (John Lennon)

· Wisdom (Bob Marley)

Films:

· Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2002) PG (Albus Dumbledore, with his insight into Harry’s character, is really the archetype of the wise sage.)

· The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) PG (Though Gandalf may also be seen as a wise sage, it is perhaps Galadriel’s self knowledge and refusal to accept the ring when it is offered to her that shows true wisdom.)

Quiet Moments:

1. Reel Wisdom – Lessons from 40 Films in 7 Minutes:

(7 min)

2. Your 80th Birthday Party. This is a good exercise for encouraging reflection on what is really important to us. Invite your students to imagine they are now 80 years old and a friend or relative is giving a speech, summarising their life. Let them write the speech (or make notes) on what they hope will be said.

If you want to do this as a guided meditation, with quiet music and a lighted candle, you can use the following script as a guide:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Then close your eyes if you wish and let your imagination take you into the future, many, many years into the future. Picture yourself in a lovely room, sitting in a comfortable chair. You are very old and very happy, surrounded by people who love you and whom you love in return. They are there to see you, to celebrate your long and successful life. One person stands up and starts to speak, telling stories about the things you have said and done in your long life. Imagine what they say…what are the things you did that you are especially proud of? What have you achieved that makes these people admire and love you? Enjoy listening to the things that they say about you. Notice what you feel and how you respond to those about you.

Funny Moments:

If you type Yoda Wisdom into YouTube you should find some good clips of this wise old creature. Currently there is one at:

(0:31 min)

Songs:

· Self-Control (David Kisor)

Films:

· Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Quiet Moments:

We often over eat because we simply don’t pay attention to or appreciate what we are eating. Eating mindfully can address this. You can use a raisin, a piece of chocolate, some bread, or a slice of fruit. Playing quiet music may help students to relax and focus

Meditation – Mindful Eating:

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Look at the piece of food in front of you – really look at it. Consider the elements that went to produce this food, the sun and the rain, the earth and the sky. Think about the many people involved in bringing this food to you, the hard work, the miles travelled. Consider for a moment the many people who go hungry today because of lack of food, for which finding enough good is a constant struggle.

Look at the colour, the texture of the food. Notice it fully.

Then, when you have looked, really looked at the food and thought about, put it into your mouth. Don’t chew yet, just feel the texture of the food with your tongue, notice the flavour and focus on it fully.

Take as long as you can to eat the food, savouring it, appreciating it. Silently express appreciation for the food you have eaten.

Funny Moments:

Dog, cat, rat. A really funny YouTube clip of a homeless man and his pets – exercising unusual self-control!

(2 min 47 sec)

Songs:

· You’ve got a Friend in Me (Randy Newman)

· Thank You for Being a Friend (Andrew Gold)

Films:

· Wall-E (2008)

· Charlottes Web (2007)

Quiet Moments:

Social and emotional intelligence meditation: (Use quiet music and a lighted candle and the following script if you wish)

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath. Then close your eyes if you wish and notice what you are feeling in the present moment. Don’t judge the feeling or try to increase it or decrease it, don’t try to make it stay or go – it isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it just IS. Notice the intensity of the feeling –and wait quietly. Let the feeling float away in its own time, rather like a cloud from a blue sky. You are not the feeling, feelings come and feelings go, like clouds across the sky. Just notice them and let them come and go in their own time.

Funny Moments:

Social Skills – Taking Turns Speaking:

(2 min 4 sec)

Songs:

· Amazing Grace (Judy Collins)

· Heaven (Emeli Sande)

Films:

· The Wizard of Oz (1939)

· ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

· Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Quiet Moments:

The Angel of the Hours. If you click on: http://www.gratefulness.org and visit The Angel of the Hours you will find a multi-faith prayer and hear monks chanting the office of the ‘hour’ that divides up the monastic day.

Find a quiet piece of music and dim the lights. Light a candle and take students through a relaxation exercise.

Funny Moments:

Read or show an extract from The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (chapter 25) – A story that includes the search for ‘the ultimate question, to life, the universe and everything’:

(9 min 31 sec – sound only)

Songs:

· Dancing Queen (ABBA)

· Happy (Pharrell Williams)

Films:

· Mamma Mia (2008)

Quiet Moments:

Savouring meditation (Meditation on a Minstrel):

Enthusiastic people live life to the full, they live in the present moment. Often we don’t notice what we are doing – what we are feeling, what we are eating. We live in our heads instead of focussing on the present moment. Give each student something to eat – a piece of chocolate works well or some fresh bread. Ask them not to eat it until you tell them to. Then use the following words…

Sit in a comfortable position and listen to the quiet sound of your own breathing. Focus on the air entering and leaving your body. Feel yourself relax and let your mind become still. If your mind wanders bring it back to the quiet sound of your breath.

Now focus on the food in front of you. Notice the texture and colour of it. Savour the smell of it. Now put it in your mouth and close your eyes if you wish. Eat slowly, focussing completely on the taste and feel of the food in your mouth – enjoy it to the full.

Funny Moments:

1. Night of the 2007 BBC Proms Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela Gustavo Dudamel, conductor Sunday 19 August 2007:

(3 min 24 sec)

2. Learn a new card game and play it at the beginning of the lesson. Racing Demon is one recommend for building the skills of observation, categorisation, consideration for others, and sheer exuberance.