Concepts for Kids
Seven billion people live on the earth. We are constantly talking and working with each other.
Cooperation is when we choose to do things together.
Examples of Cooperation
buying and selling
donating to charities
Coercion is when people force others to do something they don't choose to do. The forcing is done with threats or actual harm.
Examples of Coercion
military conscription and impressment
Coercion is not always bad. It can prevent violence or worse coercion.
Examples of Acceptable Coercion
people hurting others to prevent hurt
to themselves or others
military protecting citizens from war
police enforcement of laws against
Use index cards to write and illustrate examples of cooperation and coercion, one example per card.
Divide the cards into the two categories.
As life presents more examples, add them to the decks.
Personal experiences such tax time, saying thank you after a monetary transaction, donating to a charity, attending a religious service, and playground bullying are potent examples. Movies, television shows, and news events will also portray ongoing examples of cooperation and coercion.
Good People Everywhere
by Lynea Gillen
This story is meant to sooth to young children by describing everyday people using their talents to do helpful tasks. The tasks are an assortment of friendly favors, family responsibilities, and paid jobs. All are examples of cooperation.
The Queen of the Frogs
by Davide Cali
In the style of a fairy tale, with charming illustrations, and a clear moral, this story asks the question: are rulers different from everyone else? What starts as a lucky happenstance, the finding of a "crown" at the bottom of a pond, becomes real when others join in the drama, and those who do not go along are threatened with punishment. In the end the "crown" becomes something else with equally symbolic meaning.
The Araboolies of Liberty Street
by Sam Swope
General and Mrs. Pinch are determined to keep the houses on Liberty Street looking identical and the neighborhood perfectly quiet and joyless. The arrival of the Araboolies sparks a call for military intervention. But, the neighborhood children cleverly turn the tables on the Pinches. This story celebrates personal freedom while exploring neighborhood politics.
Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass
by Lesa Cline-Ransome
The story of Frederick Douglass learning to read and write when such things were illegal for slaves is impressive. This books chronicles the process and documents how Douglass used his skills to free his mind and spirit, as well as his body. The illustrations are both beautiful and emotion-conveying.
Free as a Bird: the Story of Malala
by Lina Maslo
Malala is a Pakistani girl who loves learning and attends the school her father started for boys AND girls. When the Taliban take over her community, Malala refuses to quit her education. For this she is targeted and nearly killed. After recovering from her injury, Malala becomes an international spokesperson for the rights of oppressed people.
One Fine Day
by Nonny Hogrogian
Based on an old Armenian folktale, this story begins with two acts of coercion. When a sneaky fox steals milk from an old woman, she cuts off its tail. The problem is solved using cooperation.