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Poem

Choices Poem: Smile     Miles of Smiles Blog

Smiling is infectious, 
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, 
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner 
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized 
I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then 
I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine, 
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, 
don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick, 
and get the world infected!

By Spike Milligan

Read the poem together as a class each day. Have 16 students read a line each, standing as it's their turn to read and then sitting, like a Mexican wave. 
Time the the girls versus the boys, or one side of the class versus the other. 
Print the poem out and give each pupil a copy to memorize, (or each group). 
Have a prize for anyone who memorizes the poem; perhaps a lolly or candy with a smilie face, or a gingerbread man with a big smile.

Experiment

Science has shown that the act of choosing to smile can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life.
Set up the following experiment to infect your school with smiles.

Day 1: Have the students count how many smiles that they see while in a common area, e.g. playground or lunch room for the first 5 minutes of their recess. Use a timer on their phones or ring a bell to signify the end of this 5 minutes. To make it more accurate, eliminate the highest and lowest number. Write down the scores and average the total by dividing by the number of counters. 
Days 1-3: Have the class consciously walk around (or sit) smiling at others, each recess and lunch break. It is important to catch the other person's eye as they smile. 
Practice first by having the students walk around the classroom smiling at each other. Read the poem to them as they walk.
Repeat the smiling every recess for 3 days. Put smilie posters at the doorway of your class and in the hallways if possible, and remind the students to smile as they leave for recess. 
Day 4  Repeat the original survey conducted on Day 1 at the same time and location as the first. Compare the results. Discuss any changes they have noticed in themselves or others.

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