There's a radical - and wonderful - new idea here . . . that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people's ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world." - Deborah Meier, Educator





First In The Family

Fires In The Mind

How Youth Learn

Social-Emotional Learning

Next Generation Press

Center for Youth Voice

In Our Village

Life in New China


Advice for Parents

Student/Youth Voice

College Matters

Global Youth Voices

Just Listen!

Mentors That Matter

Service Learning

Students as Allies in School Reform

Student Research for Action

Voices from the Middle Grades

Youth in Policy: Civics2

Youth on the Trail 2012


A Guide to Creating Teen-Adult Public Forums

Cultural Conversations through Creative Writing

Documenting Immigration Stories

First Ask, Then Listen: How Your Students Can Help You Teach Them Better

Making Writing Essential to Teen Lives

Profiles of Politically Active Youth

Queer Youth Advice for Educators

SAT Bronx

The Schools We Need: Creating Small High Schools That Work for Us



Growth Mindset and
Why It Matters

Five Videos for Teachers and Students on
Character, "Grit," and
Student Success

Powerful Learning: Four Inspirational Teachers Share Their Stories

Tricks: Discussion
Starters for Students 
About Pushing Past Fear

Favorite Einstein

















Short Workouts for Social-Emotional Learning

by WKCD| MAY 2016


In December 2015, WKCD introduced a new, monthly feature called Short Workouts for Social-Emotional Learning, geared towards middle and high school students. Each "collection" includes ten workouts, and each workout takes 10-15 minutes, making them a suitable bell ringer, warm up, or advisory activity. We’ve created four categories: quotations, questions, video clips, and photographs.

There is no formula for using these workouts with students (just as there are no right or wrong answers). Mix them up and sprinkle them into your ongoing work, knowing that your students will embrace the chance to flex their social-emotional muscles.

Below are our workouts for May. April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 Workouts | January 2016 Workouts | December 2015 Workouts

May 2016


Pick a quote. Ask students to write down, on their own: (1) what they think the proverb means, and (2) how it applies in their own life. Then ask for volunteers to share their thoughts with the whole group/class.

  • "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Professor Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • "When spider webs are woven together, they can tie up a lion." - Ethiopian Proverb
  • "If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito. - Anita Roddick, businesswoman


Pick a question. Ask students to discuss their answers in a small group--and to appoint a representative who will share their responses with the whole class.

  • What helps a person feel like they belong in a place or group?
  • What makes a person feel like an outsider in a place or group?
  • Why do we worry as much as you do about fitting in?


In these two video compilations, students talk about two very different topics: learning through collaboration and helping around the house. Pick a video to watch with your students. (You will need a way to show it full screen.) Use the suggested prompts to stimulate discussion, either in small groups or as a whole class.

Learning Through Collaboration [1:40]

What, in your opinion, are the benefits of learning from peers?

Helping Around the House [3:10]

What do you do at home to help your family? Do you think you're expected to do too much (or not enough)? Why?


These photos come from WKCD's collection of more than 10,000 photographs taken by youth worldwide. Accompanying each photo is the caption provided by the youth photographer(s)—or, in some case,s WKCD—along with our discussion prompt. Click on the picture for an enlarged version.

photo by students in Boto, Ethiopia
"Sick Child "

In this photo, a father on horseback brings his sick child to the village infirmary in the rural village of Boto in Ethiopia. The child has been ill for more than a week.

“In our village, we pray for health and endure sickness. The one-room clinic, staffed by a nurse on call, gives immunizations and antibiotics, when they are available, but little else. If someone has been sick for a few weeks or more, the nurse may examine the patient and recommend a trip to the doctor in Agaro. More often than not, we rely on healing plants, not because we believe they are better but because they are all we have.“

If you could interview the child's father, what would you ask? What do you predict happens to the child?

photo by youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco-Tenderloin Clubhouse

In this picture, 12-year-old Sean Hale poses for a self-portrait—taken by his best friend Mario. They are part of a photo project in which kids in a youth center in San Francisco were given a bag full of clothing and props and asked to represent their mood or who they are or who they want to be.

What kind of mood do you think Sean was reflecting? What gives you this impression? Can you tell anything else about Sean from this photo?