Hunt for Happiness Week: 6th-8th Grade Activities
- Pre-activity supplies and preparation— Students will be divided into groups of four. Each team will be given an indoor/outdoor disposable camera and told to listen carefully for their assignment to “SHOOT FOR HAPPY MOMENTS” to DEVELOP happy habits. Teacher will review Thirty-one Types of Happiness and discuss the situations, words, and expressions that may be associated with each.Alternative ideas: Middle school theater teachers may want to recruit students willing to role-play happy scenes while each “SHOOT FOR HAPPY MOMENTS” team takes a piece of paper, numbers 1-31, and tries to guess each one demonstrated. Also, if cameras aren’t available have students find pictures in magazines.
- Explaining “HAPPY PHOTO FUN” assignment— Ask students to describe some of the stress and chaos that students in middle school often feel and if they think middle school seems more challenging than elementary school. Why? Emphasize that even though everyone seems really rushed and busy taking care of responsibilities and making plans, there are happy moments and memories all around us.
- Beginning “SHOOT FOR HAPPY MOMENTS”— The teacher will explain that this week has been designated as “Hunt for Happiness Week,” and they have a special assignment to catch and capture happy moments and memories by working as a group to take 31 photos which, after being developed, each group will arrange on a poster. The poster will by titled, “OUR SHOOTING FOR HAPPY MOMENTS PROJECT,” and will list the names of group members. Each type of happiness photographed will be labeled and when presented to the class, a brief description will be given.
- FOCUS ON HAPPY PHOTO FUN! — Charge the students to meet as a group to discuss their plans to capture happy moments (allow 15 minutes). Remind them to always have the list of the Thirty-one Types of Happiness with them. Brainstorm people and places in the school where they may find candid or “posed” happy moments (Examples: in an art class, at a basketball game, in the counselor’s office, at lunch, when the bell rings at the end of the day, etc.) The teacher will give a date when the pictures must be taken and cameras turned-in to be developed. Each group will need to write their names on the back of the disposable camera to insure that photos don’t get mixed-up during the developing process.
- ARRANGING HAPPY MOMENTS— Teacher will allow a class period for students to get into groups, view their happy photos, and arrange and label them on a poster. Allow students to be creative in using any type of art supplies and materials available. Tell them that the posters will be displayed in the school to remind all students, teachers and other school staff, as well as parents, that when you “develop” happiness and make it a habit, you discover that middle school has many happy moments and memories. Encourage students to continue to look “with their eyes” for happy moments and also to help others feel good by smiling and recognizing happiness when they see it!