Funeral for "I Can't"

At McKinley, we are all Mavericks bringing out the best in each other through love and learning. I teach reading intervention at McKinley.  I work with struggling readers, and my goal every day is to make each student feel important and feel success at Reading.

We kicked off the year with having a funeral for the words I CAN’T. I told the students to think of one thing that they felt they could not do. I gave them a small piece of paper with the sentence starter, “I can’t_____________.”  We talked about things that students believed were dragging them down and were impossible .  Some students wrote: 

  • I can’t kick far.
  • I can’t read words.
  • I can’t make friends.
  • I can’t do my hair right.

Sentences that begin I CAN'T

I told them, “I can’t is dead. We are going to have a funeral for these thoughts and words.”  I told them I would actually bury these slips of paper and they will be gone.  In case they forget I will keep the tombstone in the room.   Then they got another assignment that was geared toward empowering these kiddos .I told them to now write the sentence starter, “I can________.”  I asked them to write as many sentences as they could in the time we had.  Students began writing all kinds of cool and positive statements like:

  • I can love my dog.
  • I can listen.
  • I can make slime.
  • I can ride a bike.
  • I can be kind.
  • I can help people.

My favorite from our Mav’s poster was, “I can make responsible choices.” I also buried one statement of my own with these kids and now feel like I can conquer anything.  It was a great activity for the beginning of the year. It helped me get to know all my students .Sentences that begin I CAN

Source: Yakima School District