Discovering hope is a very important skill that you can learn and use in your daily life.
Classroom Hope Sunflower Center
Hope Sunflower Individual Student Worksheet
Sunflowers ready to be harvested (see NOTE)
Notecards from previous year (see NOTE)Step by Step teaching guide
- What is something that might happen soon that you’re excited for and hopeful about? What is something that might happen in one or two years that you are hopeful about?
- What does it feel like for you to be hopeful?
- Can you think of a special person in your life that gives you hope?
- Can you think of a time when you were scared or angry? What did you do to help yourself feel better?
- Do you have an activity that makes you feel happy and why?
1) We are going to begin this unit on hope because having hope is a very important skill that you can learn. You can use it every day in whatever you do.
You can think of hope like running or any other sport or hobby. The more you run, the better you get at it. The better you are at running, the better you are at other activities such as baseball, soccer, hockey, dance, or gymnastics. The more you practice your hope skills, the better they become. The better your hope skills are, the better you are at living your life.
2) Let’s think more about what the word “hope” means. There are various definitions of hope. We are going to read some of them now. In addition, you may wish to write them in front of the class for a visual aid.
*Dr. Anthony Scioli explains that hope is a part of a person’s character or personality. You are not born with hope. Hope must be developed, like a set of muscles. There are four kinds of hope: attachment, mastery, survival, and spiritual. Each type of hope, just like each muscle, has a special purpose.
- Attachment hope is used to build and keep trusting relationships, have a sense of connection to others, and have strong survival skills.
- Mastery hope is used to become strong and successful, supported in your efforts, and inspired by good role models.
- Survival hope is used to stay calm and find ways out of trouble or difficult situations. It allows you to manage your fears.
- Spiritual hope is used to feel close to nature and all human beings and to draw extra strength and protection.
*Dr. Shane Lopez, a hope expert, says that hope is the feeling you have when you have a goal, are excited about achieving that goal, and then you figure out how you achieve your goal.1
*The Merriam Webster Dictionary says that hope is the feeling of wanting something to happen and thinking that it can happen2.
3) What do you agree with from these definitions? What do you disagree with? What would you add?
Teacher Prompt:1. Summarize the responses from students in order to create a new hope definition for your classroom. You can write this definition in the center of your classroom Hope Sunflower and then place the flower on your wall.
2. Have each student write their own personal definition of hope on their individual sunflower sheet in the center of their flower.
“Every friend is to the other a sun and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.” Jean Paul Richter
Last spring, other students planted these sunflowers for you and wrote you hope messages. Sunflowers are our symbol for hope. A symbol is usually a picture that reminds us of something.
By planting these flowers for you, the previous students are reminding you to always have hope. Sunflowers=Hope. Sunflowers grow from a seed into a beautiful flower. Each flower gives new seeds to plant more sunflowers.
We can be reminded of hope when we see them and we can share our hope with others. We are going to harvest the sunflowers and read our messages from the previous students now. Please see Curriculum/Teacher Resources on schoolsforhope.org for instructions on “Harvesting Sunflowers”.
Teacher Prompt:1. Hand out notecards from previous year for students to read if available.
2. Harvest sunflower seeds and place in plastic bag. Store in a cool, dry place for spring planting.
If the sunflowers bloomed, have the class pick the blooms and harvest the seeds from the sunflowers. They can store these sunflowers in an airtight container for planting in the spring, thus completing the cycle of life. If not, simply use it as a discussion point as described in the note below.
NOTE: If you did NOT plant sunflowers the previous year, or do not have cards from the previous year, simply use this time for further discussion on HOPE. You can also share a message for Hope provided by celebrities from our website at ifred.org, or go into the activity in greater depth.
If you did plant, and the sunflowers from the previous year died, it is a chance to bring up why you are teaching hope in the first place; that learning how to deal with loss (sunflowers dying), finding solutions to challenges (planting seeds to harvest), and generating messages of Hope (sometimes must come from within) are all important factors in having and maintaining hope. It can also lead to additional points throughout the lesson plans as you see applicable.
Center of Classroom Hope Sunflower, Lesson #1
Our Classroom Definition of Hope: