This project, "Teaching Tolerance: A Middle Schooler's Handbook for learning about Tolerance and Respect", is a handbook/curriculum created to help middle school students learn about tolerance, respect, and the value of empathy. According to educational researchers and child psychologists, middle school can become one of the most difficult social experiences students will face. This is due to a combination of students' physical development and emotional maturation as they transition from middle childhood to adolescence. Students in this age group experience a number of challenges that can not only affect their experiences in the classroom, but can also jeopardize their health and emotional well-being if not addressed appropriately. Learning to experience life from the perspectives of their peers will help students to understand others and themselves in a more comprehensive way, allowing them to appreciate the value of respect and become aware of how their actions affect others. These activities are designed to help middle schoolers have more positive and respectful interactions with their peers, hopefully creating a more positive social atmosphere, school community, and learning environment. These activities are designed to be implemented in middle school homerooms, detentions, or advisory periods. They can also be adapted for use by school clubs. The content of this handbook supports the goals and objectives of Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. Relevant academic standards are provided in each lesson and incorporated into the tolerance-based activity for that section. Standards can be referenced at http://www.azed.gov/azccrs/elastandards/. Similarly, character qualities mentioned in this handbook are taken from the Arizona Department of Education's Character Education Standards found at http://www.azed.gov/character-education/respect/.
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