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FEL!X: Building Resilience & Hopefulness
During Times of Crisis
The FEL!X methodology utilizes a combination of historic dramatic role-play and game-like interactions to help students explore difficult topics in a safe and engaging way. GraffitiWall LLC is testing a new customized FEL!X module, Building Resilience, that helps middle school students negotiate the social and emotional challenges of today’s Coronavirus Pandemic by exploring those challenges first in historical context to develop an understanding of how others have coped with crises, and then from a personal perspective.
Goals & Outcomes of Building Resilience
The goal of the module is to build participant resilience, empathy and hopefulness. Students will role-play a diverse range of historical personas to understand how others have dealt with challenges - some heroically and others more negatively. They will see that humanity has survived and sometimes thrived following a pandemic, thanks to a mixture of hoping, coping, innovation and collaboration. FEL!X’s Building Resilience will establish a safe, structured environment for social and emotional learning with following outcomes:
- Be more hopeful.
- - Understand that we're not powerless.
- - Learn how to articulate and make sense of ones current situation.
- - Improve listening and discussion skills.
- - Understand that we can work towards a greater good.
- - Build a greater sense of empathy to counter much of the self-aggrandizing (self-centered) focus of social media.
- - Experience the power of collaboration. This project involves teamwork!
Summary Description of Building Resilience
The pilot consists of four 90-minute sessions. During the first session students practice role-playing around a topic related to overcoming fear, anxiety, guilt, and hypervigilance. An adult actor will serve as a resource, helping students connect with the emotions inside their characters to facilitate their experience of historical empathy.
The second session is organized around The Black Plague: Social Justice & Having Power or Having Feelings of Helplessness. The main discussion question will be: How do powerful people use their power to help or hurt others in difficult times?
A solutions-based journalist will participate in this session.
The third session focuses on the 1918 Flu: Safety and Feelings of Security (including racism): How do you balance your own needs for safety and security with the needs of the vulnerable? How does this fit with the long-term needs of the community?
In preparation for the final session students will write bios of their future selves. The final session’s role-play will focus on the themes of hoping, coping, collaboration, and innovation: What social or political tools from history have you used in your life to help yourself and/or your community? A solutions-based journalist will join in the discussions. This session will give participants an opportunity for resolution as well as a final chance to provide feedback.
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