These questions are designed to spark conversation with students to expand growth mindset and social-emotional learning. This week’s topic is about valuing the truth, understanding bias, and verifying information. The discussion provides opportunities to apply the affirmation to each of the five core competencies of social and emotional learning.
SEL Discussion Resource: THE TRUTH IS IMPORTANT TO ME
Let’s say the affirmation together: The truth is important to me.
When you discover that someone has lied to you, how do you feel? What emotions do you have? What physical reaction do you have?
Sometimes people claim something is a lie because they don’t like the truth. How can you tell the difference between a lie and the truth?
You’re telling a personal story to someone and you realize you have stretched the truth and added extra, untrue information. Which do you do? (This is about discussion, not a right or wrong response.)
- A) Immediately pause, and say, “Wait a minute. Part of that wasn’t true. Let me start over.”
- B) Ignore it because a little exaggeration isn’t a big deal.
- C) Go back to the person later and admit that you added details in your story. Explain that truth is important and apologize.
- D) Hope the person never notices and promise yourself you won’t do that again.
- E) Other _________.
How can you decide if something is true?
- What questions can you ask?
- Where can you look to verify information you hear in the news, on social media, or from a friend?
Explain why it’s important to verify information before sharing it right away. What does it mean to verify something?
Imagine someone tells you a secret about a friend. You aren’t sure the rumor is true, but you share it with someone else anyway. Later you find out it wasn’t true. How do you think your friend feels when they learn it was you who shared the lie about them?
What does the word “bias” mean? How does this affect our thoughts about truth?
When someone says something, and you aren’t sure if it’s true or not, what kinds of questions can you ask as a “truth detective?”
How can you ask truth-seeking questions in a way that the other person feels valued and doesn’t feel as if you accused them of lying to you?
How can we test each other’s ideas in a way that everyone feels validated as an important contributor to a discussion?
Next week’s SEL focus: I AM A LEADER
To find the full-size posters to use in your classroom (or the magnet or postcard size) visit our store.
Suggestion for virtual learning:
- Purchase a pack of 30 postcards for the teacher to hold the appropriate one up to the screen during discussion.
- Purchase a pack of 30 small hand-off notes for each student to have at home with them. This allows for an interactive and hands-on experience.