2 Teacher DirectionsOBJECTIVE: Students will learn how gossip can impact relationshipsIn this lesson, students learn that second hand information is not always accurate. They also learn that distorted information can hurt feelings leading to conflict. This fits right in with the challenges we face with the rumors that lead to fighting, etc.Since this lesson was done last year at this time, you may want to consider using Gossip Story B or Gossip Story C, instead (especially if you have seventh- or eighth-graders in your CORE class). This is purely optional!
3 TEACHER DIRECTIONS1. Ask for volunteer students and label them A, B, C and D. Ask student A to stay in the room and ask students B, C, and D to step outside the room and wait.2. Read the “Gossip Story” to student A in front of the class.3. Call student B into the room. Ask student A to repeat the story to student B as he/she remembers it.4. Call student C into the room. Ask student B to repeat the story to student C as he/she recalls it.5. Call student D into the room. Ask student C to repeat the story to student D as he/she recalls it.6. Ask the class the following questions.What was the first change in the story that made the story untrue?How did this change of information affect the story?If persons in the story heard the changed version, would they become upset?Do you think they could become upset enough to start a fight?What could you do to prevent gossip from spreading?To help students empathize with the story also ask the following questions:Has this ever happen to any of you and how did you feel? Who would like to share their story? (you may want to share your own experiences with this situation & how you resolved it.)How can you correct a situation when you hurt someone with gossip?
4 Class, read Gossip story to yourself as I read it aloud to student A.
6 Gossip Story B (optional) Once upon a time there was a boy named James who loved to play Soccer. One day during soccer practice, he fell. He was not hurt. However, he squished a large spider, which bit his leg before it died. His leg swelled up so much he couldn’t walk. Doctors told him he could never play soccer again. This was five years ago. He has since gained a lot of weight, and people think he’s just lazy. James still can’t walk, and hasn’t played soccer ever since.
7 Gossip Story C (optional) If I told you I was a 17 year old monkey, would you believe me? You should. I am. Last year I escaped from the zoo when the zoo-keeper forgot to close the cage door. Being a very smart monkey, I went to the face-doctor. He performed surgery to make me look more like a human. Now I work for a magazine company writing an advice column for teenagers, and live in Europe. Now that I look human and have an easy job, I am very happy and have much time to enjoy life.
8 Now call Student B in, and have Student A repeat story Now call Student B in, and have Student A repeat story. Do not leave story on Promethean Board.Next, call in Student C and have Student B repeat the story they heard from Student A.Finally, call in Student D and have Student C repeat the story they heard from Student B.Class, please do not help or offer information. Stay quiet and allow the process to work.
9 What was the first change in the story that made the story untrue? How did this change of information affect the story?
10 If persons in the story heard the changed version, would they become upset? Do you think they could become upset enough to start a fight?
11 What could you do to prevent gossip from spreading?
12 Has this ever happened to any of you. How did you feel Has this ever happened to any of you? How did you feel? Who would like to share their story?How can you correct a situation when you hurt someone with gossip?
13 If time allows, have students create vignettes of their own about gossip, or share experiences they’ve had (names removed of course) and have them write solutions that they used, or could have used to stop the rumor mill.Challenge them to commit to one way they will work to stop gossip and rumors.
14 NO ONE EVER GOT TALLERBY CUTTINGSOMEONE ELSE DOWNREMEMBER TO BE RESPECTFUL
15 When you gossip, it's self-hexing When you gossip, it's self-hexing. Because when you do it, it comes back to you. Everything starts with the word. The word is demonstrating a condition of the mind. If it's in your mind and comes out of your mouth, it will be created.Iyanla Vanzant
16 Reflection: Socrates’ Test of Gossip Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, was once stopped by an acquaintance as he passed through the markets.“I’ve something important to tell you,” he said. “It’s about your friend.”“That’s very kind of you,” Socrates said. “But, don’t tell me just yet. I run all information through the Three Filters Test to ascertain if I want to know it.”The man looked somewhat puzzled as Socrates continued, “First is the filter of truth. Whatever you want to tell me, have you seen or witnessed it first-hand?”“Umm…I actually heard it from someone,” the man said, “and, it is from a trusted source.”“Alright. But that does not pass my first test,” Socrates added, “since you don’t know whether it’s true.”<< continued >>
17 How can Socrates’ wisdom benefit us all today? “Second is the filter of goodness. Is that a good statement you want to make about my friend?”“Not really. That’s the reason I wanted—”Socrates interjected, “So, you want to tell me something bad about someone but don’t know if it’s true.”“The last is the filter of utility.” He continued, “Your statement about my friend, is that gonna be useful to me?”“Not really as such. I just wanted to share”“Well, if the information is not necessarily true, it is not good, and, it is of no use,” Socrates concluded, “please, I don’t want to know about it.”How can Socrates’ wisdom benefit us all today?