Toothpaste lesson teaches fifth grade students about kindness and the power of words
Fifth grade students in Ms. Euler's class learned the power of words through a hands-on experiment using a tube of toothpaste. Ms. Euler's students worked in groups and were directed to squeeze a tube of toothpaste onto a paper plate. Next, the students were asked to put all the toothpaste back into the tube. Even though the students were incredibly determined to get the toothpaste back into the tube, they were unsuccessful.
Ms. Euler then read “Words and Your Heart” by Kate Jane Neal to the class. According to the author, "this book is about your heart, the little bit inside of you that makes you, you". It focuses on verbal bullying and how powerful words can be. "Sometimes words can be like a deadly arrow... they can pierce someone's heart."
After the students listened to the book, Ms. Euler asked them to go back to the toothpaste activity. She explained that once the toothpaste comes out of the tube, it is impossible to get it all back in. Just like toothpaste in the tube, once words come out of a person's mouth, they can apologize, but they can't take them back. The words are out there forever. Through this lesson, Ms. Euler wanted her students to learn their words have power, and they can choose to use them to make a better place for all. "I want my students to understand the gravity of their words and therefore learn to speak with kindness."