Last year in Lunch Bunch I made these necklaces with my 7th and 8th graders. It was a project that was inexpensive and much loved by the girls. We made the necklaces and wrote an affirmation from positive quotes we had been talking about in group in the front of each necklace. I think the girls wore them each time we met.
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I found these charms at Oriental Trading Company this summer when working on my craft budget for my counseling groups. (25 starfish charms for $6.25) I knew when I saw them that I had to get them. The Starfish Story, after all, is one of most favorite stories and lessons.
The theme of Throwing Starfish and Making A Difference is something my girls and I talk about each week. Over the past two weeks we have been working on our necklaces that are their reminder that they can make a difference.
I (with the help of my secretary, Kimmie) used Sharpie Paint Pens and colored the back of each washer. When they were dry I used a regular black Sharpie marker to write Make A Difference on each one. While I probably could have had each student write this, I decided to do it myself so it was legible. I painted 40 washers, which I bought at the hardware store for $3.25. (I bought them per pound and I still have a bunch left over.)
When the girls came to lunch, I had all the washers in the center of the table. I had them each take one. They also took a small square of scrapbook paper which I also had precut into little squares. The girls had fun just choosing which paper they wanted for their necklace.
We then used a little Mod Podge and glued the paper onto the non-colored side of the washer. Then they cut around the holes. (A small nail file helps to smooth rough edges.) When they were done, I had them write their name on a piece of paper I had on the counter next to the table and put their washer near their name. This was so we could remember which necklace belonged to which girl.
When the girls left I added Mod Podge on the fronts and backs of the washers to give them a nice shiny and durable coat. You need to do one side at a time and wait for it to dry before doing the other side. Also be careful the Mod Podge doesn't drip over the edge or it will stick to whatever you have it set on. A small paintbrush is helpful. (I took one from a watercolor set I had.)
The next time we met, the washers looked beautiful. We cut 2 pieces of hemp cord to fit around every one's head and then thread the starfish through to the middle. We tied this onto the washer, added a knot at the end, and the girls walked out of lunch wearing some very special, and very beautiful necklaces. I love watching them walk past me during the week and seeing them hanging around their necks!
This is a great visual reminder that they have the power to be the one person to make a difference.
What projects do you do to help students to remember the power they have within themselves? Leave a comment below, or join in the conversation in one of the ways that follows: