I don't know what it is about this time of year but it never fails. Middle school girls start going CRAZY! Maybe they are sick of being trapped inside. Maybe they are burnt out from school and need a break before spring break. It seems like the past few weeks have been a string of she rolled her eyes at me, she won't let me be friends with so and so, she is leaving me out, and so on and so on. It is during these times I'm thankful I will never have to be a middle school girl again. It is also during these times I dread the thought of my own daughters walking the halls of middle school.
There is a great activity called he said she said I like to play with my students to reinforce how quickly rumors can be spread and how information changes. Select 3/4 students to be volunteers (don't tell them why). One student stays in the room and you read the story below. One by one each student repeats the story to the next student. Tell students in the class they may not say anything to help the volunteers and can only observe. Most likely by the end the story will be missing a lot of detail.
Ask students what message this activity is about. Discuss what to do when they hear a rumor and how to stop rumors. After a class discussion I follow up with a game of telephone which is always a big hit with the kids.
He Said/She Said
This is an idea to help students learn how rumors begin and spread and how the information changes from one person to the next.
Ask the class for 3 volunteers and ask them to go in the hall. Ask for one more volunteer from the class and have them come to the front. Read a detailed description of a person to the student. Then invite one person from the hall to come in. Ask the student who just heard the description to repeat it to the student from the hall. Repeat this process with the next 2 students.
Conclude by asking students to share their observations and ask them how they will handle the situation the next time they hear a rumor. Below is an example but feel free to make up your own.
Susan is 12 years old. She is wearing blue jeans and an orange shirt. She has sneakers on her feet. Her hair is brown and her eyes are blue. She is wearing a Boston Red Sox baseball cap, turned around backwards and her hair is in a ponytail. In her hands are a lunch bag and 2 books. She is also carrying a black book bag with white polka dots.