The Tree Of Values ​​in Child Education

Educating in values ​​is a fundamental step in childhood education. But what resources can we rely on? Let’s discover the tree of values: a useful, fun and educational tool.

Educating in values ​​is fundamental in the first years of life. Infant education must not only pay attention to the development of skills such as language, but also stimulate autonomy, communication, affective and coexistence skills. All this can be acquired thanks to nice and fun tools such as the tree of values.

Thanks to these strategies, the little ones can understand the meaning of values, what they are for and which ones are important to them. This is an activity that should always be present in school activities.

The three parts of the tree of values

While the value tree can be used in different ways, there are three well-differentiated parts that need to be addressed in succession to ensure the usefulness of this tool. 

The most important thing when processing the tree is that all children are actively involved. In this way, in addition to working on values, they learn to collaborate.

1. Presenting behaviors and values

The first part consists in the presentation of behaviors and values. Children initially do not know what creativity, honesty or empathy are.

With some values, such as friendship or respect, they will certainly already be familiar. However, they will not know most of the other values, even if they may already be implementing them. For this reason it is necessary to explain them.

A good way to present them is to use examples. Since children are very fond of fairy tales, we can adapt them and highlight the chosen value. If the concept is particularly difficult, it may be useful to resort to a short film. For example, the following may be a good choice.

2. Identify the values ​​behind a behavior

After the child has come into contact with the value, especially if discovered for the first time, it is time to identify it within the behaviors.

Also in this case you can help yourself with a story or a short film. To make work more fun, children can be divided into groups.

Pictures also help identify values. For example, a series of drawings can be prepared, each referring to a precise value; afterwards, the child can be asked to identify as many as possible. The story can be one of the last exercises, since it requires a lot of attention, although it allows at the same time to work on understanding.

3. Construction of a tree of values

Once you’ve set up the above steps, it’s time to build our value tree. To this end, all groups must put on the table the different values ​​that they have identified through the images, the short film or the story.

The children will have the task of ordering the values, from the most important to the least important. This part is interesting because it will need to be negotiated and discussed. Probably every child will have a different opinion on this. The two values ​​identified as the most important will be placed on the upper branches of the tree (previously drawn as a group). The values ​​considered minor will take place in the lower part.

This activity is useful for stimulating dialogue within the group. In addition to this, it serves to justify the choices and understand why some values ​​are important and others not. It is a very stimulating exercise, as by doing it you can develop other values, such as tolerance.

The tree of values: a complete activity

We can consider the tree of values ​​a complete activity. It also admits several variants. It can be done in a group or individually, however the latter option is not recommended if you are preparing for this activity for the first time. It is, in fact, an exercise that can be quite complicated at the beginning.

Although it is a very useful tool in school, parents can also make it at home. It’s a fun way for little ones to begin to understand that their conduct expresses values ​​and principles, and that many times they are independent of their consequences.

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