Weekly Tribes – Oreos

This is a cool little graphic organizer for I-messages and Appreciations.

Make something that looks like an Oreo – two ovals with a rectangle in between.  Each shape should be large enough to write a sentence in.  I had a stack available to students so they could write one whenever they felt the need…

First, teach or review I-messages.

Then invite students to use the ‘oreo’ graphic to write one to a person of their choice (for the first time, I have them write one to themselves)  The I-messages are the outsides and the appreciation is in the middle.

Here’s an example:

I feel hurt when I’m not included in games

You are fun to sit next to in class; you make me laugh.

I feel embarrassed when I’m made fun of.

Once students know how to do this…have the ‘oreos’ available as well as a place to put them when completed (like a box with a slot in it).  Be sure that students write the name of the person the ‘oreo’ is To:

You (teacher) periodically collects the ‘oreos’, reads them all for appropriateness, and then ‘delivers the mail’.  Do not deliver ‘oreos’ that are not true I-messages, or any that are inappropriate on any level.  When the student who wrote that ‘oreo’ approaches you for not delivering his/her message, be sure to say that it was not appropriate or not proper I-message and invite him/her to re-write.

This takes some real work and facilitation at first, but in a couple of weeks, students begin to take responsibility for their own feelings, expressions, and responsibilities.  (Remember, YOU know what has been written, since you read them all and deliver them all!)

One last thing…it is totally fine to write only one I-message and two appreciations, or all three appreciations.  You will see that more appreciations begin to evolve, and less I-messages.

This is very effective for grades 3 – 6.  I’ve done it with grade 2, but they needed a lot of help.

It’s great for playground stuff.

And.  You can put some content in there, like use of a semicolon, compound sentences, connecting words, etc.