This week Logan Paul posted a video to his You Tube channel. It was viewed millions of times before he took it down. How do I know about this video? My students told me. Why did they tell me? They want my response.
I’m learning more and more that teenagers are grown up toddlers. When my two-year-old is about to do something he knows he shouldn’t, he looks at me. When something surprising happens, he looks at me. When he falls down and scrapes his hands, he looks at me. My response is everything. My words, volume, and facial expressions are his cue. Seventh graders act likewise, constantly searching for guidance.
My response? “Well, guys, we all do stupid things. The most important thing you can do when you mess up is make it right.”
If you’ve ever fought with a sibling, been to premarital counseling, or watched Dr. Phil, you know how to apologize well. I took the Logan Paul incident as an opportunity to discuss the art of apology.
These 5 famous apologies from come from a former president, an athlete, a pizza company, an airline, and a youtuber. I love the variety because it emphasizes that at some point, everyone messes up and everyone apologizes.
What can you do with these 5 famous apologies?
1. ANALYZE ARGUMENT: What is their claim? What is their evidence? Counter claim? Effectiveness?
2. COMPARE/CONTRAST: These are vastly different apologies. What are their similarities and differences? Focus on the speaker’s word choice, tone/style, and format.
3. REWRITE: Make improvements on an apology letter by created your own better version of their apology letter.
4. SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION: Using stations, have students rotate through the 5 apology letters. At each station, have 2-3 questions for students to discuss about the apology.
5. WRITE YOUR OWN: Apologizing is healing. Use these as a springboard for a writing assignment. Students will think of something they need to apologize for and write an apology letter. Consider using these guidelines for the perfect apology.