Zach Apologizes in First Grade
In our First Grade counseling classes, we’ve been talking about to apologize — and apologize well. It’s easy to throw out a meaningless “Sorry” when we’re in the wrong; it’s harder to share an honest apology and attempt to find restitution for the wrongdoing. In Zach Apologizes, Zach’s mom teaches Zach about “The Four-Square Apology” after Zach forgets his manners and pushes his brother down in frustration. The four steps to a good apology are: 1) Recognize what you did to hurt somebody, 2) Think about how the other person felt, 3) Consider what you could do next time, and 4) Decide how you’ll make it up to the person. After hearing and discussing this book, First graders completed a worksheet about a recent situation that warranted a good apology.
In our follow-up lesson to Zach, we’re reading Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry and discussing how Martha’s family would have felt even better if she Martha had elaborated on her simple “I’m sorry.” Although “I’m sorry” is a helpful statement when shared in a meaningful way, those two words don’t erase accidental or purposeful hurt. Students are creating skits in which characters show examples of good four-square apologies. I think many of the students are truly grasping the importance of a genuine apology, but I know for sure that all of them enjoy yelling, “Three… two… one… ACTION!!”