Powerful and practical ways to bring outside learning inside your classroom, featuring curriculum from the Tell Me Your Stories project. Also, our latest exemplary essay, resources from Guys Read and Nourish, and our visual learning, and classroom tools departments.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
  Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions         December 2010 
You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.”—Frederick Buechner

I felt much closer to my grandmother after the interview

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Dear Educators,

It’s holiday time. A time to put aside lesson plans and student papers to enjoy the company of family.

What is family these days? “Mom, Dad, and the kids” doesn’t describe the diversity of families we see today. YES! Magazine’s “What Happy Families Know” issue celebrates our changing sense of family with stories of multigenerational households, families with two dads, and grandparents raising their grandchildren.

In this newsletter, we explore the beauty of family. We are excited to feature resources from Tell Me Your Stories that show your students how to interview family and community elders so precious tales and knowledge are preserved for future generations.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine Here’s to a delightful winter break and a promising new year.
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Help your colleagues, your school librarian, or a new teacher begin the year with powerful ideas and practical actions. Forward this link for our free one-year subscription.

  Your Stories  
Photo by Girlie Forman
Want Successful Students? Meet the Parents
When Girlie Forman was a teen, she caused her parents a lot of heartache. Thirty-five years later, the former probation officer shares her personal experience, her sense of humor, and food to connect with her high school students—and their families. This is Girlie’s story.

MORE OF YOUR STORIES: Teens Care for River, Their Way. ¡Hola! The Future is Now. Race Has Everything To Do With It. Growing Good People. Beauty of Teenagers. Free to Be Me. Chicken Soup for the Soul.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.

  YES! Recommends  
My teacher felt the same stuff about her parents when she was my age!
spacer Tell Me Your Stories logo

Too often, family and community elders leave us without sharing their age-old wisdom and “good times, bad times” experiences. If only someone had asked them to tell their stories.

Tell Me Your Stories connects young and older people through oral history interviews. Its 10-class curriculum, interview tips, and sample projects will inspire your students to sit down with a grandparent or older community leader and listen to their stories about life as a teenager, being a Marine in World War II, or becoming a young widow with three children.

Not only will your students learn to be effective interviewers and listeners, but they will also appreciate the special bond that can form when we enter someone else’s world.

Check out Tell Me Your Stories curriculum and other resources so your students can learn about history from people who actually lived it!

spacer Grandma is so strong! I had no idea how hard her life in Mexico had been
  YES! Classroom Tools  
Detail from A World of Grace: a YES! Poster by artist Nikki McClure
A World of Grace
In so many ways, in so many cultures, people pause to give thanks before a meal. Artist Nikki McClure’s intricate paper cuts with an X-Acto knife transform a single sheet of paper into a beautiful poster of mealtime prayers from around the globe.
A World of Grace: a YES! Poster by artist Nikki McClure
Just the Facts graphic Just the Facts:
Who is Family Now?

The new “normal” includes interracial newlyweds, same-sex couples, unmarrieds with kids, and more. See how the recession has put the brakes on marriage and babies, and forced Junior to move home with Mom and Dad.
The Page That Counts The Page that Counts
How many billionaires are there in the world? How many parents know their college student owns a credit card? Tickle your students’ curiosity with these you-don’t-say figures!
Beijing Dancers 5 Questions to Awaken Your Functional Family
Who is good at listening? Anyone for starting a vegetable garden? Teaching young Isabelle how to sew? Rejuvenate your family’s sense of purpose—and collective soul—by asking simple, thought-provoking questions.
  YES! Exemplary Essay Project  
The YES! Exemplary Essay Project. YES! Magazine graphic
The YES! Exemplary Essay Project helps you use YES! stories as prompts for thought-provoking writing. It also gives students an opportunity to share their passionate opinions and show off their stellar work.

A veteran with Iraq Veterans Against the War marches in New York on the 5th anniversary of the U.S. war in Iraq. Photo by Joseph O. Holmes
Read featured essays, Our Patriotic Duties As Citizens During Wartime by Royce Baker, and I’ve Changed, by Nathan Christensen, two recent Project participants who responded to YES! article Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country by Edward Tick. Tick also offers his personal commentary on Baker’s and Christensen’s essays.

Want an opportunity for your students to step up their writing and write for a real audience? Learn how to join the YES! Exemplary Essay Project here.

  Curriculum and Resources  
Happy students feed their bodies and souls. These two resources aim to get guys to read, and help your students make informed choices about what they eat.

Guys Read graphic
Guys Read
Lots of boys have trouble reading. Stinky Cheese Man author Jon Sciezcka wants guys to be self-motivated, lifelong readers. How? By connecting them with materials they’ll want to read, in ways they like to read. Check out these inspiring resources from Guys Read, especially the robust collection of book suggestions organized by tell-it-like-it-is categories, such as “At Least One Explosion,” “War,” and “Funny.”

Nourish logo
Nourish: The story of where your food comes from
Food is more than what we eat to survive. Food also brings people together and reflects who we are. Nourish offers colorful, hands-on curriculum, short films, and other tools that encourage young people and their families to strike up a conversation about how to move toward thoughtful eating.

  Words That Inspire  
Shannon Hayes with her daughter
On Facing Judgment
excerpt from the article of the same name by Shannon Hayes

spacer “By the time my book came out, I felt ready to stand behind the concepts it promoted, no matter how outlandish they seemed to the broad American public. After researching so many households, I was ready to talk about the ideas.

It turns out I was not ready for the Internet.

… I thought the electronic world would be about debate and discussion. It is often more about judgment.

Admittedly, I’m sensitive to judgment. Like many writers, I have an ego that bruises more easily than an overripe banana. I have, however, discovered the true beauty of an electronic pillory: I can just turn it off when I’ve had enough.”

Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, learned that when you live off the beaten track, you’re bound to attract some scorn. Your students face judgment every day—from their peers, their parents, even their teachers. Like Shannon Hayes, they may be sensitive to judgment. But can they turn it off?

Click here for Shannon’s complete story and a “multiple-choice” activity that explores how your students deal with judgment.

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  INDEX: in this issue 
  How to Get More YES!  
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  Featured Article  
Photo by Patrick Barber You Are Who You Eat With
How often does your family eat dinner together? Learn about the benefits of the family meal and what can happen when you slow down to share stories about your day.

  No Impact Week  
No Impact Week Start the New Year Right…
Teachers, you are invited to a one-week carbon cleanse that could change the way you think about your life—and the planet, too. Post-cleanse, use No Impact’s curriculum to help your students explore the effects of their everyday behavior on the environment and their health. Your insights will be über credible as a No Impact Carbon Cleanse grad!

  YES! Web Picks  
Image from the StoryCorps video, The Icing on the Cake VIDEO The Icing on the Cake
From StoryCorps, this moving mother-daughter interview about one family’s immigration to the United States will inspire your students to ask their parents or grandparents about hardships they may have faced.

Image from the film Words, by Radiolab and NPR
Radiolab and NPR’s brilliant video is more than a clever choreography of a play on words. It is a moving tribute to being alive. Keith Kennif’s beautiful music is equally lovely.

It Gets Better. Photo by Rob Baird It Gets Better
Many LGBT youth face harassment at school, at home, and in public. Writer Dan Savage created this video turned worldwide movement to remind these youth that a happy future is possible.

  Visual Learning  
spacer Rex Bizahaloni of the Dine (Navajo) Tribe stands in the river confluence of the Colorado and Havasupai Canyon. Photo © Raechel Running, 2010 Sacred Water
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the surprising facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.

Visual Learning Lesson Plan

'I covet every issue I receive, and I write my lesson plans around YES! Magazine. You have given me a direction I want our youth to follow.' Vivian Dimmel, Teacher, Syracuse School District, NY
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