7 Doors to Happiness, lesson plans beyond the inauguration, sweet and fair Valentine's Day
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Building a Just and Sustainable World    January 2009
You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.Alan Alda

Women dancing, Photo by Jim Sky Schuyler
Photo by Jim "Sky" Schuyler
Dear Educators,

“Take care of yourself, then you can take care of the world,” my now 97-year-old grandmother once told me, adding that it’s a smart, not selfish way to live.

In this newsletter, we offer stories, classroom tools, and resources to inspire you and your students to explore your individual gifts, and learn how others are sharing theirs. We are also pleased to feature the 7 Doors Project, created by Project Happiness, whose mission is to create lasting happiness by looking inward rather than outward.

It’s a new year. We have a new president. And, perhaps there will be a newly discovered you. The possibilities are exciting and endless.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineBest,
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Forward this newsletter to teaching colleagues so they too can benefit from YES!

Your Stories
Anna Unkovich
Changing the World: One Student At A Time and One Story At A Time
For former teacher and Chicken Soup for the Classroom co-author Anna Unkovich, a “nightmare” teaching moment was the key to a more open classroom. Learn how she discovered the value of sharing stories. Read Anna's story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Joining students in campaigning for quality education. Discovering the Beauty of Teenagers. Local food in schools. Student diplomats in Nicaragua.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.
YES! Recommends
Child peering through screen door

Project Happiness’ 7 Doors Project will take your students on a journey of self-discovery that will ultimately lead them to understanding not only what is happiness for themselves, but also what is happiness for others.

Each door represents a facet of your path to happiness, and hosts a multimedia array of interviews, photos, films, questionnaires, and activities.

Your students can create their own digital portfolio on what makes them happy, hear the thoughts of their peers in the U.S., India, and Africa, and answer questions, such as, “What are your gifts, the things that make you feel totally alive?” In the end, your students will have created their own paths to happiness. This curriculum is appropriate for ages 13-19.

7 doors

YES! Classroom Tools

Therapy dog Titus


Meet our champions of the good life, from Tina Su and her simple path to happiness, to Titus, a chocolate lab with a therapeutic touch.

Just the Facts, YES! Magazine graphic
Measure Wealth or Happiness?
Take a step back from the Gross Domestic Product and introduce your students to the Happy Planet Index and the Genuine Progress Indicator.

coffee smiley
10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy
They say that money does not buy happiness. But is there hard evidence? Discover the science behind the smile on a poster for your classroom.

tree bark and leaves
What is Your Gift?
Puanani Burgess reveals the power of uncovering each person’s gift. Read her tale of unexpected blessings and follow it by trying her exercise.
Connect and Engage
Cover detail of Teaching Tolerance Magazine
Beyond Inauguration Day
Barack Obama has just become the first African American to serve as the President of the United States. Teaching Tolerance offers lesson plans that address the significance of Obama’s election and acknowledge the struggle for racial justice is far from over.

Smithsonian Women's History Month
Women's History Month
Get ready for Women’s History Month in March: take the opportunity to spotlight women who have changed the world. The Smithsonian Institution has compiled compelling women’s history resources, including “Women Breaking Musical Barriers,” a collection of songs and videos.

Parker Palmer
Courage to Teach
Like the old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” If a teacher’s not happy, her students won’t be happy. Parker Palmer's Center for Courage and Renewal offers quarterly retreats that focus on reclaiming the wholeness and vocational passion of pre-K to 12 educators on whom our society depends for so much.
Ask your students to think carefully about Merwin's poem. What is the poet thankful for? What are they thankful for?

calm lake

by W.S Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow for the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions.

Read the whole poem >>

YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
YES! Magazine covers
Valentine's Day
Flowers and Chocolate for Valentine's DayMake it Sweet and Fair
This Valentine's Day empower your students to take action for Fair Trade.
YES! Web Picks
Matthieu Ricard Habits of Happiness
Biochemist turned Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard shares his secrets to happiness. Learn how you too can put your brain on bliss. 

Participants of the Green Long March in China, photo from www.futuregenerations.org.cn
China's Green Youth
Thousands of Chinese youth embarked on a 2,008-kilometer journey, carrying with them a message of environmental conservation.

Matt dancing Where is Matt?
Matt is much more than a tourist—he’s an ambassador of cheer. Watch as he dances and spreads laughter around the globe.

YES! in Spanish
Si logo - YES in Spanish
Feliz en una casa pequeña

Dee's little dream houseDownsizing can be liberating–
just ask Dee Williams, who found freedom and a sustainable lifestyle when she scaled down to an 84-sq. ft. home.

:: Read article in English.
Visual Learning
Week of Nonviolence in Iraq A Week of Non-violence in Iraq
Iraqis organize for peaceful elections.

DOWNLOAD :: Visual Learning Lesson Plan.

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