Thrively in the primary grades looks and feels quite different from what we see in our middle school and highschool classrooms, and for good reason. However different it may look, the intentions and targets are the same, to know and be known by what’s strong with you, rather than what’s wrong with you! As our partner schools are launching the year with a laser-like focus on Strengths, Thrively has partnered with a small group of Learning Experience Designers at Design 39 Campus, in Poway Unified School District, to go a little bit deeper to understand what is possible in the primary grades. 

Together, D39 and Thrively co-created a series of eight, 30 minute lessons that make up a project, designed specifically for students in grades 1, 2, and 3. The project is a deep dive into Strengths, including the creation of a collective vocabulary, shared experiences, and meaningful reflections on strengths in others and ourselves, all to give life to an asset-based classroom culture and community of care. 

Today, with Ms. Janette & Mrs. Adamson’s learners, we began in the initial process of piloting the Strengths Project with the introductory lesson, What Are Strengths? In this lesson, learners worked in partnerships to read a book of their choice and focus on a character to identify qualities that make that character great. Some of the book characters and their great qualities learners identified were: Gerald from Piggy & Elephant books is Kind; Bunny from Not a Box is imaginative; Pete the Cat is an explorer; Paperboy is responsible; The Good Egg is helpful. As you might notice, we are not giving learners the Thrively Strengths vocabulary, yet. Instead we wanted to give learners the opportunity to name and label qualities on their own, allowing them the space to pull from prior knowledge, generate confidence in their abilities, and to build connections between what they know and what they will learn next. 

As the lessons continue, we will continue to try, refine, collect data, and share out  in hopes of making the primary grade Strengths Project available to all our Thrively users soon!