'Band of Brothers'
(for elementary school students)
Marieke van Woerkom
come up with a definition of community and discuss the different
the communities they are a part of
about a time they have helped someone in their community and
a video clip of a group of young boys helping their community
in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami
what it feels like to help people and how it feels to receive
a time the students worked together to achieve a goal
up with ideas of how to help people in Japan
and Emotional Skills:
explore feelings that come up when we help people and feelings
that come up when we are being helped
into the shoes of Japanese people and think about how they might
feel at this time
together to help other people in their time of need
Ask students what the word "community" means. Come up
with a definition along the lines of "a group of people living
in the same area," or "a group of people who share something
in common or have similar interests or goals."
what communities the students are a part of. Write their responses
on the board or chart paper. Responses might their family, their
friends, their neighborhood, city, or country, their school or
classroom, their linguistic or religious community, etc.
ask students to think about a time they have helped out someone
in their community (family, neighborhood, school, or classroom).
In pairs ask students to talk about what happened. Who did they
help out and why?
in the full group, ask a few volunteers to share what they discussed.
Also ask what it felt like to help other people.
Elicit and explain what has happened in Japan over the few weeks.
Talk about the massive earthquake that struck off the coast of
northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, which caused a tsunami -
a tall wave that swept 10 miles inland dragging with it everything
in its path, including cars, homes, and other large objects. Many
people died. Others lost their homes and are now living in shelters.
Some parts of Japan are still flooded and rubble is everywhere
in the disaster zone. The tsunami also damaged a nuclear power
plant, causing it to emit dangerous radiation in the area.
Microlabs: Band of Brothers (15 minutes)
students to watch the following 2-minute video clip from Al Jazeera
small groups of three or four (microlabs) ask students to discuss:
Their thoughts and feelings about the clip
do students think the boys feel about the work they are doing?
they think the older people in the village might feel about
what the boys are doing?
the full group, and ask some volunteers to report to the full
class what they talked about in their small groups. In the full
group, discuss these questions with students:
clip starts with the words "from the darkness into the
light" as the boys emerge from a long dark tunnel into
the light of day. Do they see the symbolism of these words?
What do they symbolize?
do students think this sentence relates to what is happening
in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami?
boys are collecting supplies for the people from the community.
In the clip the reporter says "not for themselves but for
the hundreds of other survivors."
Do you think the boys may be getting something out of their
effort as well? What?
Microlabs: Working Together (15 minutes)
Back in their small groups, ask students to think about a time
they worked with others to achieve a goal.
was that like?
were some of the things students needed to do to work well as
was the goal?
as students think about the people in Japan
do you think their need is right now?
might be a goal they have?
to the clip, the idea of volunteering started with one boy, who
was soon joined by another, and then another
there a way you can think of that we, as a community, can help
people in Japan? If so, how?
Ask students to share one word they feel relates well to today's
lesson was written for TeachableMoment by Marieke van Woerkom,
a trainer and global facilitator who works as a staff developer
for Morningside Center. See her website at: http://vanwoerkomprojects.com.
welcome your comments. Please email them to Marieke at: email@example.com,or
to Morningside Center at: firstname.lastname@example.org.