Whole Child - Session 2

Roots: Parents, communities, and governments that work for and support human rights for children support the "best interests of the child." They promote the "development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential" and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They prepare the child for "life in a free society in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes and friendship among all peoples." Governments provide assistance to parents when necessary and ensure that children have adequate care when parents, or others charged with that responsibility, don't provide it (CRC Articles 3, 18, 29).

Session Outcomes

Children -

  • experience giving care and receiving care from others;
  • practice sharing and taking turns;
  • increase their understanding of the importance of all people caring for each other.

Parents -

  • understand some applications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to their life;
  • discover and learn about attaining fullest potential;
  • explore ways they can support children's learning about rights and responsibilities;
  • understand how complete development in social, physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual aspects ensures best interests of all children and adults;
  • understand the state's role in assisting parents in caring for their children.

Materials needed:

Interactive Activities

  • Doll clothes, soapy warm water, washcloths, towels;
  • Poster-board, scissors, glue, clear contact paper, a variety of magazine pictures depicting children in various activities;
  • White coats, stethoscopes, scale, tape measure, etc.;
  • Adaptive equipment, including glasses, crutches, hearing aids, American Sign Language Finger Spelling Chart, walkers, wheel chairs;
  • White and yellow construction paper cut into daisy petals; markers; glue sticks and brown or green yarn;
  • Janet's Playdough Recipe ingredients, a saucepan, a wooden spoon, measuring cups;
  • Bouquet of daisies for center of the Community Circle and parent area.

Parent Education

  • Parent Education Handouts PE #2a, #2b, #2c;
  • Chart paper and markers or chalkboard and chalk;
  • Standard list of classroom rights written on chart paper;
  • Pencils, name tags, and markers.


Greet each person. Make sure adults and children get a name tag.

Parent/Child Interactive Activities


    Washing dolls or doll clothing gives children practice in taking care of their bodies through dressing and keeping clean.

  • Parents and children will wash and dry dolls' clothes and/or dolls.


The pictures of children doing what children do symbolize the many ways we play and work to develop healthy habits for optimal growth and development.

  • Parents and children will create homemade puzzles out of magazine pictures depicting things children do during a day (eating, sleeping, bathing, brushing teeth, visiting the doctor, reading, and so on).
  • Create puzzles by gluing magazine pictures onto tag board and covering pictures with contact paper, then cut into puzzle pieces.


This role play allows children to try out roles in the health care profession

  • Set up the area for role play with adaptive equipment (glasses, crutches, hearing aides) and health care professional clothing (white coats, stethoscopes, and so on). Include a scale and tape measure to see how children have grown.

    The daisy is a symbol of the nurturing that a growing child needs. The blossoms symbolize a person "blooming" with potential.

  • Provide paper, daisy petals, yarn for stems, markers, and glue.

  • Parents think of what makes a healthy person and write their thoughts along the stem of the daisy they are creating. "Growth" words can be written in the leaves and along the stem. These might be the new accomplishments a child has recently attained. Each family makes its own daisy.

    Provides a time for cooperation, for strengthening small muscles, and for having fun together. Symbolizes unity and wholeness and nurturing each other.

  • Parents and children cooperatively experiment with the medium of playdough and produce varied sculptures. Preparation needed. See below.

    Combine in a sauce pan:
    1 cup flour
    1/4 cup salt
    1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
    Stir or whisk in:
    1 cup water
    1 Tablespoon oil Food coloring (color darkens as it cooks)

    Cook on medium heat until stiff, like mashed potatoes. Add and stir or knead until blended: 1 tablespoon vanilla or vanilla extract. Store in zip-lock bag or tightly covered container. This does not need to be refrigerated.


    Reading together promotes reading readiness skills, learning to read, and enjoyment of books. It also introduces the concepts of beginning, middle, and end. When parents read to their children, both learn more about themselves and the world and children gain preparatory reading skills.

    Parents and children choose a book to read together. Here are some selections:

  • More, More, More Said the Baby, by Vera B. Williams
  • On the Day You Were Born, by Deborah Frasier
  • Designed by God So I Must be Special, by Bonnie Sose
  • I Like Me, by Nancy Carlson
  • Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell
  • The Quilt Story, by Tony Johnson and Tomie dePaola

    Community Circle


    1. Transition: Help the children make the transition to the Community Circle by speaking to them, touching them on the shoulder, and singing the gathering song.

    2. "Welcome back, I'm happy to see all of you." Sing: "If You're Happy and You Know it." Invite families to introduce themselves to the families on either side of them.

    3. "Today, our goal is learning to give care to others and to ourselves so we can all be the best that we can be. How many of you took care of a doll-baby today?. . . What kinds of things did your doll need? Who else needs those same things in order to grow strong and healthy? . . . That's right, all children do!"

    4. "I brought some daisies for our circle today, because the daisy is a symbol of the care and nurturing that is needed for healthy growth. When you washed your dolls and doll clothes, you were caring for and nurturing the dolls. Do your moms or dads care for and nurture you? Yes! That's how they give you healthy roots."

    5. Show a real daisy. "This daisy grew out of a strong, healthy root. From healthy roots grow strong healthy flowers. When we have healthy roots, you and I grow to be strong and beautiful, like flowers!" Ask the group to share what they wrote on their daisies' stems. Discuss their responses and what they think a child needs for healthy roots, using the dolls as examples.

    6. "When everyone has human rights, children can grow up healthy. It is our responsibility to make sure we honor other's human rights. Remember, with every right there grows a responsibility. You were taking responsibility today when you took such good care of your dolls. You're honoring your friends and their rights when you take responsibility to treat them with kindness."

    7. Sing "This Little Light of Mine," to emphasize growing strong and healthy. To celebrate rights and responsibilities, sing as many of the group's favorite songs as possible. Repeat the song you sang at the beginning of the circle, then break into separate learning time.

    Separate Learning Time

    Children's Learning Circle - Session 2

    Preparation: Hang up a piece of chart paper with a heading, "Human Rights Agreement." Just under that heading have two words: "Right" and "Responsibility."

    1. Gather the children near the end of your time with a circle gathering song.

    2. Choose from the following songs to begin your circle together: "If You're Happy and You Know It," "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," "Shake Your Sillies Out," "You Are

    3. Remind children of the discussion they had last week about rights and responsibilities.

    4. Make a Human Rights Agreement: "Can you think of something people need in order to be the best that they can be?" Write down their answers under the word, "Right" on your Human Rights Agreement

    • "All people have the right to those things. We can make sure everyone in this class has their human rights respected here because we'll have our Human Rights Agreement to remind us. Remember when you were getting hungry and we had snack? We were respecting our human right to food. Each of us can learn to protect our own rights and each other's rights in this class."
    • "When people treat each other like friends, they are being responsible and caring for each other's human rights. Let's think about how we would act towards a friend or how we might want a friend to act toward us." Write these down under "Responsibilities." When the children seem satisfied with the answers, add "have fun!" Read all the rights and responsibilities on the children's Human Rights Agreement.
    • Ask the children if they agree with everything on the list. If not, make necessary changes. (Teachers can have an opinion too!) When all agree, have the children come and sign the agreement (make a mark in their favorite color marker, or write their name if they are able). Then say, "Congratulations! You've made a Human Rights Agreement! We have made a promise to be responsible for caring for each other's human rights."

    5. Close the circle with more singing.


    Parent Education - Session 2

    Standard list of classroom human rights:

    1. We have the right to have our opinions respected and be listened to without interruption.
    2. We have the right to know what we say will be kept confidential.
    3. We have the right to pass (not speak if we choose).

    1. Greeting: "It's good to see you again! This is our second week together! We will be meeting ten more times. I'd like to give you a handout on the goals for this class so you can see what the authors of this curriculum hope you will learn during our time together." Distribute Goals for this Program (Handout PE #2a).

    2. "During this session we want to continue to get to know each other, learn how this class will be organized, and create a Human Rights Agreement for our class. The children will also make a Human Rights Agreement today, so you will all have the skills to make a similar agreement for your home. I look forward to hearing next week from any of you who take this action step. Look in your Action Step Journal in Session 2 for help doing this at home. Distribute Family Peace Circles (Handout PE #2b), will help you be more successful as well."

    3. Action Steps and Journaling Report

  • Who would like to share anything they learned about rights and responsibilities from discussion with their child?
  • Who has anything they would like to share about action steps?
  • Who clipped some articles and would like to share their thoughts?
  • Who read or has comments about the Convention summary?

    4. Creating a Human Rights Agreement for the Class: "Now let's develop a Classroom Human Rights Agreement, regarding how we want to treat others and be treated when we are together." Invite participants to review the above standard list of rights (that you have on chart paper), and then ask for suggestions of changes or additions they feel are necessary. Everyone must agree to all the items chosen for the final Human Rights Agreement.

    5. Discussion:

  • How do you think a similar agreement could be useful in your family?
  • Have you made a family agreement like this together with members of your family?
  • Have you made an agreement together with your children's input? Or have you made the rules yourselves?
  • How does it honor human rights to make an agreement with everyone's input?"
  • Do you think your children would want those rights as well?

    6. Comment: "We all have different points of view. Let's remember that each of us has the right to have his or her opinion respected, and let's see what we can learn from each other. If we stay open-minded, we will all learn and our children will benefit from our deep thinking."

    Communicate the following message in your own words: "As you know, the title of this class is ‘Raising Children With Roots, Rights, & Responsibilities.' If you refer to Handout #2a, you'll see that the roots are what we provide to our children through our love, understanding, and protection of them. When we honor our children's human rights, we provide the roots they need in order to honor the rights of others and take their own responsibilities. We are largely doing this through our role modeling. We believe that children grow up to be healthy adults when they are raised in healthy, loving environments. A healthy society depends on access to these rights for all children. Therefore, all children need to learn about and experience their rights. When they receive respectful and humane treatment, they will be more capable of behaving in ways that reflect their own associated responsibilities. That's why we talked about what makes children grow up to be healthy when we made the daisies. That's why we gave our children affirmations on their rainbow chains last week."

    7. The Daisy Experience:

    This activity is designed to help us understand how people grow to their fullest potential. "The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child defines this ‘full potential' as a basic right and need for all children. We are going to start out by exploring what it means to achieve one's fullest potential and how understanding potential will help us prepare our children for the future."

    a. Begin by drawing a seed on the chart paper or chalk board. Invite parents to copy what you draw and add their own personal notes if they wish. Explain as you draw. "Through the gift of life (represented by the seed), a child holds all the potential of what he or she can become. While still unborn, a child is physically nourished and with proper prenatal care will be more likely to be born physically healthy." Draw a root system symbolizing how we are rooted in our human spirit. Our essence of being is inherent at birth.

    b. "With the first cry, we witness the world of vitality and the human spirit. As those first few months pass, parents and others quickly observe that this baby is his or her own person. This ‘daisy seed' is beginning to grow roots and become familiar with the world." (Draw the stem coming up from the seed.)

    c. "The child begins to grow, nurtured by parents who attend to his or her physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter. However, for a child to realize full potential in life, more than physical needs must be met."

    d. Draw a center to your flower, with the below inscriptions: Life Cycle, Sense of Time and Space, and Purpose or Personal Life Role. Draw two-way arrows between each label.

    e. "This represents the common aspects of each human being. The three variables; life cycle, sense of time and space, and purpose or personal life role are common to all, but have different impacts."

    f. Draw nine petals of the daisy for the components that make up the aspects of human experience. Distribute Reaching Our Fullest Potential (Handout PE #2c.) "The petals of the daisy symbolize the things human beings need to reach their fullest potential."

    g. "Let's go through each of the nine aspects you see on the handout, starting with nature and the environment, and brainstorm some concrete examples of what we could do to integrate nature and the environment into our lives and our children's lives." Go through all aspects and list a few ways to conceptualize each one in daily life.

    h. Explain: "It is essential for us to integrate these various aspects of development throughout our life if we wish to reach our fullest potential and encourage our child's development."

    i. Continued discussion if time:

  • Invite participants to share with the group one of the petals from their daisy that they feel is particularly important.
  • While others were sharing, did you think of some things you wanted to add to your own daisy?

    8. Closing Comments: "Remember we all have many facets of our being that make us a whole persons. We are whole when we consider and integrate all the aspects of our human spirit. The daisy is never perfect or complete, but we can work toward being well balanced and achieving fullest potential by spending time with the gifts in each petal. This was a lot of work for us. Congratulate yourself and another person as we leave today. Take your daisies home, display them somewhere, and think about what you could do to provide for growth.

    "Human rights are at the root of children's rights. They are the root of the healthy daisy. We all must have basic human rights as roots for our healthy development. When we nurture human rights we create a circle of love and care for our children."

    9. Journal Assignment:

    Reflect and write on the question: "How can I help my children to nurture all the aspects of themselves?"

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