Posts tagged ‘fairness’

HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

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#BethatSpark Blog Awareness Tour and #Giveaway

This tour is hosted by the Children’s Book Review and sponsored by Zuroam Media.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

Publisher’s Synopsis: When the survival of their hometown is threatened, two unlikely comrades join forces on a quest to defeat a dangerous enemy and bring back the only one who can save them all.

Beyond the frozen mountains there lies an oasis from the frigid cold and the howling winds. A place the animals call Lake Zuron. What a wonderful place, happy creatures of all kinds, living in harmony and warmth thanks to their very own fire-breathing dragon named Daniel.

But one day everything changed when the unthinkable happened. The Dragon fire goes out and immediately the air begins to chill. Things were not looking good but just when all hope was lost, an unlikely hero steps up. Join Spark the mouse on an adventure of a lifetime as he and his friends do their part to save their town from an icy demise.

With the magical power of Daniel, the Dragon there could be hope. But first, they must face and defeat a dangerous enemy, the vile beasts who own these mountains where nobody passes through.

Along this journey maybe you will discover that it’s that little Spark in each of us that really matters, and that a little Spark could save them from the coming cold. The story reminds us that we all need something in life every day to ignite our passion and spirit – to help the world be a “warmer” place and to look for ways to “Be That Spark.”

Ages 7+ | Publisher: Zuroam Media | October 1, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1735145501

About the Author

Chris Parsons grew up in the small fishing village of Flatrock, Newfoundland where he was surrounded by storytellers. When he became a father, he began creating his own children’s stories, and soon he was sharing them with a wider audience.

Over time, his audience grew up, but he continued to create his stories and colorful characters mostly for his own enjoyment. One day he had a flash of inspiration about a little mouse named Spark and began to create the world of A Little Spark.

Today, Chris lives in Dallas. He has left the high-tech world of innovation and business development behind and is focused on his real passion – to create new meaningful experiences for children centered around powerful and engaging stories like ” A little Spark.”

Together with his wife, Kathleen, daughter, Maggie, and son, Kealan, they share a love for all God’s creatures.

bethatspark.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

About the Illustrator

Mike Motz is a children’s book illustrator and publishing professional based out of Toronto, Canada. Motz has helped writers around the world fulfill their dreams of publishing their works. To date, Motz has been responsible for the creation of the artwork for over 300 self-published children’s books.

About the Narrator

Brandon McInnis is a voice actor and singer known primarily for his work on animation and video games. He voices Sir Nighteye in My Hero Academia, Ganos in Dragon Ball Super, Finral Roulacase in Black Clover, Asagiri Gen in Dr. Stone, Yuna D. Kaito in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings Online, Patrick Phelps in Black Butler, Sonosuke Izayoi in Danganronpa 3, Erlang Shen in SMITE, and many more.

With a deep love for music production and originally trained as an opera singer, Brandon also produces music for release on YouTube and Spotify. He can be followed on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram: @BranMci.

About the Music Producer

Bruce Faulconer is a musician, composer, and record producer based in Dallas, Texas. He is the owner and founder of Faulconer Productions Music, and CakeMix Recording Studio. Faulconer writes music for orchestra, various instrumental and choral groups, along with the music for feature films, and TV series, including the anime Dragon Ball Z. He recently completed twelve songs for A Little Spark, included in a new audiobook, an interactive children’s book, and an animated feature film in development. He resides in Dallas with his wife Lisa and is the father of two sons.

My Review of A LITTLE SPARK

SMALL BUT MIGHTY

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

This interactive book is a valuable resource for young children’s minds on so many levels. It is innovative, inspiring, and entertaining.

The target audience range is a wide one. This book contains rich illustrations that could place it in the picture book category. But with a length of more than one hundred fifty pages, it also might be considered a chapter book or a middle-grade reader. What it delivers is a range of fascinating animal characters which are personified with a range of human emotions and aspirations. There are fire-breathing dragons, bears, mice, weasels, goats, cats, and raccoons. They live in Lake Zuron, an oasis on the edge of a frozen world. Their world survives only because of the warmth provided by Daniel, a fire-breathing dragon. Lake Zuron is not an ideal society. The “Supervisors” contain the stronger animals, a ruling class. Far below them, “The Streeters,” perform all the work.

One day, Daniel loses his ability to produce fire. Lake Zuron faces extinction. But Sparky, a tiny mouse, finds within himself the courage to make the perilous journey over the frozen wasteland of their enemies, the Scabes, to follow a rumor that another land survives on the other side of the mountain. He and Veen venture to the other side. Will they discover salvation or face extinction?

Young readers learn many lessons from the colorful cast of characters as the adventure unfolds. Hope, courage, friendship, equality, fairness, and responsibility are exemplified in the faces and actions of the characters, both large and small. But Parsons provides much more than an excellent book. Embedded within its pages are a collection of twelve songs, private video messages from the characters, the ability to take a photo with your favorite character, or an opportunity for readers to share their personal opinions on the interactive lesson pages at the end of the book.

I highly recommend this unique educational resource for readers age eight through eighty-eight.

PURCHASE LINK

Before October 1st, pre-order your copy, email the team at Zuroam Media, and they’ll give you the audiobook free so you can enjoy it while you wait for the book to arrive. You can find all the email address and links to your favorite bookstore here: https://bethatspark.com/shop/.

Click the link below to enter the GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282179/

Enter for a chance to win the A Little Spark prize pack.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.
  • A Little Spark USB drive with the A Little Spark music album.
  • One set of Apple AirPods Pro for listening to the outstanding audiobook and music!

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.

Giveaway begins August 24, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 24, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

TOUR SCHEDULE

August 24The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review
August 25JrsbookreviewsHttp://www.jrsbookreviews.wordpress.comBook Review
August 26Over Coffee Conversationshttps://gmarciano.blogspot.comGiveaway
August 27Heart to Hearthttp://tynea-lewis.com/Giveaway
August 28The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Interview
August 30Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review
August 31Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 1A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comBook Review
September 3Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comGuest Post
September 8Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 9icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 15Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Intervie

#HOW TO TEACH LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN CHILDREN # 7 – A Short List

So you have attempted to provide a nurturing environment, set up good examples, and encouraged leadership qualities in your children.

Whether you are a teacher, parent, or other type of caregiver, you have probably heard about the importance of instilling leadership. But how? What skills? Following is a basic list of leadership skills you can teach kids. They are not numbered because each is equally important.

INDEPENDENT THINKING

Help your child break out of a “cookie cutter” mindset by teaching him/her to think independently. Ask for your child’s opinions on many different subjects, without judging or stating your opinion. Be open-minded. Listen so that no opinion is “wrong” or valueless. You might then share your own opinion respectfully, and if it differs, that’s okay – part of independent thinking is hearing many sides of an issue and coming to your own conclusions.

RESPONSIBILITY

Age-appropriate responsibilities are important stepping stones on the ladder of skills necessary for building leadership. Give your child responsibilities as preschoolers, and have him deal with the consequences if those responsibilities are not met. Of course, your child will require guidance; but once your explain what the consequences will be, it’s best to let them play out.

FAIRNESS

Leaders need to be fair and just. Being too rigid and unbending is not the best way to teach your kids about fairness, but being too permissive encourages a child to put himself first. Help them to understand what is fair and what isn’t, and how sometimes being fair means being firm even when your child or others might get upset.

NEGOTIATION

Have you thought about the importance of negotiation skills in leadership? Leaders understand the necessity for give and take and that often means compromise, Think about it: government leaders, particularly the president, need to be well-versed in the art of negotiation. It’s okay to discuss your child’s wants and desires. – Allow your children to present a convincing argument as to why they think they should have whatever it is, or participate in an activity. Be prepared to allow yourself to be “talked into” something now and then!

ORGANIZATION

Being organized is essential to good leadership. Teach your children how to prioritize tasks and organize their time. Explain how to use calendars to keep things straight, and show how time can be organized in different ways when prioritizing tasks.

Children need to be taught how to organize priorities in terms of immediate and future goals. In the category of organization is also the concept of making lists. Have your children make lists of what tasks they plan to complete each day and then in one week. This also helps break tasks down into steps – maybe your child has a book report or research paper due one or two weeks from now. Helping your child break that down into weekly and daily steps can be useful- not only in accomplishing the completing of the task, but also in instilling the leadership skill of organization.

COMMUNICATION

This is a vital skill for leadership. Leaders must express their goals and their vision for whatever project or task they are leading or coordinating. They can’t expect others to read their minds or carry out instructions without direction. Teach your kids good communication and listening skills by encouraging them to share their thoughts even if you disagree, and by actively listening yourself. Both you and your child will be happier and more successful.

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RIGHT OR WRONG?

E is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About What Matters Most

Written by Ian James Corlett

Illustrated by R.A. Holt

 

The author is a Children’s TV writer and animator by trade. Distressed by the fact that schools no longer include ethics and civics teaching in their curriculum, he decided that he and his wife must assume that responsibility. Many years ago when his children were young, he and his wife decided to set one night a week as a family discussion time. Corlett developed a series of twenty-six stories that exemplified different aspects of moral behavior. Following each story, the children engaged in interactive questions for discussion as well as suggested activities.

The following is a list of the topics discussed in these stories: honesty, understanding, forgiveness, courage, perseverance, tact, politeness, loyalty, gratitude, truthfulness, sincerity, integrity, citizenship, responsibility, kindness, generosity, helpfulness, empathy, charity, trust, willingness, respect, fairness, acceptance, patience, and effort. There are simple colorful illustrations of a young child like the character of Lucy or Eliot featured in each story. A few famous quotations are sprinkled throughout.

This book provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to spend time getting to know what their children are thinking as well as fulfilling a necessary parental responsibility to guide and form a child’s character and values. Recommended for all ages in the family to enjoy and share.

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MICKEY’S MAGIC

Walt Disney: Saving America’s Lost Generation

Written by R.H. Farber
WaltDisney,pic

I thought I knew quite a bit about Mickey Mouse and the Mickey Mouse Club TV show that I enjoyed watching on TV while growing up in the fifties. Turns out, the Micky Mouse Club involved a lot more than the TV show, and its origin happened quite by accident.

Back in 1927, the young Walt Disney signed a one year contract with Universal Pictures to do animated films with his new creation, Oswald the Rabbit. After the contract expired, Walt learned that he had been misled. A loophole in the contract gave Universal full ownership of the character. To make matters worse, the studio had stealthily hired Walt’s best animators so they could continue making the cartoon. Walt refused to deal with the studio and developed a new character, a mouse named Mortimer. His wife encouraged him to change the name to Mickey, and so the soon to be famous character was born. When Disney decided to produce his third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie with sound, it met with rave reviews.

Children were flocking to the movies to see the cartoons that preceded the movie. An entrepreneur named Harry Woodin of the Fox Dome Theater had a brilliant idea. He suggested to Disney that they launch a fraternity for children which would focus on the latest Disney cartoon. Walt’s brother, Roy, worked with Woodin to develop the club with Mickey Mouse as its central character. Walt was delighted that these clubs could teach children about values he thought were important: honesty, integrity, compassion and patriotism. He insisted that these clubs be made available to all children regardless of race, creed or sex. Club membership was open for children in grades one through seven; children had to be enrolled in a school. They needed to maintain high grades and moral values. All members were eligible for election to officer positions. The first club opened in September, 1929, and by 1933, three million children were enrolled. The Saturday meeting with entertainment, contests, and child centered activities helped lift the spirits of children and parents during the Depression when there was so little to be hopeful about.

Mickey Mouse became a role model to children and adults. Merchandise and advertising sprung up everywhere. Mickey Mouse and his character friends became associated with every major holiday and event like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mickey became a part of weddings and family vacations. The California Pacific Exposition and the New York World’s Fair featured the cartoon character. Mickey became a symbol of all that is good versus all that is evil in society. By the time World War II came around, the original Mickey Mouse Club members would find his name and image a significant inspiration in war operations.

This book contains pictures of priceless Disney mementos. There are movie posters, flyers, pictures of historical events, touching photos of Disney and his family, as well as Disney merchandise and the adorable children who enjoyed it. Personally, I wish the author would have continued the saga into the later stages in the fifties and beyond with the advent of television and the development of Disneyland. Perhaps too much time was spent on the early years. Unless, of course, the author plans to write another book finishing the story to the end of Disney’s life. If you are in the mood for some nostalgia and an uplifting read, this book is recommended for ages eight through eighty.

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