Kindergarten students begin to imagine how their peaceful actions and words can each create a ripple effect to inspire others to do the same, thus creating a better world.
Social Justice Coordinator Stephanie Rotsky asked Kindergarten students, “What happens when you throw a stone into a lake?” This question began a conversation that led to the youngest students at The Rashi School to understand how their acts of kindness can begin a domino effect throughout their community and even the world.
“When you throw a stone into a lake, you get circles and more circles on the water,” offered Tali, a rosy-cheeked Kindergartener.
To advance the lesson towards social justice, Stephanie introduced a concept: Let PEACE begin with ME! “What do you think these words mean?” Stephanie asked the class.
Several students offered answers: “I can make peace all by myself … I can help others be peaceful … If I am peaceful, then others can be, too.”
“I hope you know that you do not have to wait until you are a teenager or a grownup to make a big difference in the world,” explained Stephanie. “That would be way too late!”
Wide eyes filled the room as Stephanie continued her lesson. “Let’s see how the domino effect works. Imagine the orange domino – the first domino in the line – is you.” Stephanie referred to a line of dominoes in front of her, each one standing on its side, ready to topple. “And suppose you notice something that isn’t peaceful and you try to make things better. Imagine the other dominoes are the people who aren’t peaceful. What will happen when you gently tap the orange domino?”
“They all fall down,” offered the students.
“Because…” Stephanie encouraged.
“Because the orange domino started the ripple effect,” students answered.
Then, together, students worked in partners to create their own domino effect. They begin with a small number of dominoes and then try out a bigger number. Some partners set up the dominoes in a half circle or a curvy line. Many partners realized that setting up this domino effect requires nimble finger work and teamwork! The class is looking forward to many rich moments of the domino effect with their tikkun olam (repairing the world) work this year!