Excitement, active participation, and surprises at North Regional Library

Last week, we conducted our second session at North Regional Library in Durham. We were very excited to see students show up enthusiastically for our second session. As I walked into the building, I even heard one of the students say, “Oooh! Leaders UNITE!” Even though we had skipped a week because of the hurricane, and I had only told the students the name of the club once, I was so happy to hear them excited to participate! Even the boy who began participating at the end of our previous session was actively participating for our whole session today. It was very exciting to see! The students also seemed much more comfortable with me.

Today, we did the Hand Signs activity, and the students loved it! In this activity, one person is the assigned leader, and sees a description of a scenario/scene, which I have typed out for them. They must describe the scene to the other students, who all work together to guess and draw the scene correctly! However, there is one catch: the person describing the scene is not allowed to speak! In a way, this is like charades.

It was very fun and interesting to see how students chose to portray key words in their scenarios. I was very happy to see all of the students immediately and enthusiastically volunteering to be the leader for the activity, and even working together without hesitation with people they did not usually work together with. We did three new scenarios (the students worked together with me to craft fun, exciting scenarios!), and students rotated out who was the leader for the activity.  The three scenarios were as follows:

  1. Draw a forest with a bird on a tree, a lake on the left side, and a dog on the right side.
  2. Draw a school with a school bus on the left side, a kid playing basketball on the right side, and JayZ in the middle.
  3. Draw me at home eating dinner with a rabbit, while my brother is talking on his cellphone.

Here are some notes about how our activity went, which stood out to me as main ideas from each scenario.

  1. In the first scenario, directions were hard at first. It was hard to think about left and right in a context where students were speaking about more tangible words, such as forest or lake.
  2. Although I thought the second scenario would be the easiest, since all of the students go to school together, it was not as easy as I thought. Since the students had different things in common aside from school, and were not anticipating talking about school, it took a while to get school and school bus.
  3. In the third scenario, there were two difficult parts. First was eating dinner with a rabbit, specifically the idea that the rabbit is eating dinner with the students. While the rabbit part was easier to distinguish, the dinner was a bit harder, since it involved both food and a relative time of day. From there, the idea of “with” when saying the rabbit is eating “with” the person was difficult to portray and guess. Another hard one was brother. Again, since students had other things in common, “brother” was often mistaken for ethnicity, friend, partner, and more. After working together, continuing to persevere, and thinking of new out-of-the-box ideas while guessing and portraying the scene, our group was able to get the right answer!

It was exciting to see these students take on such an active role as leaders in our activity, and we are excited to continue giving them opportunities to practice their teamwork and leadership throughout the school year!



Advanced thinking at International Preschool of Raleigh

Leaders UNITE has been a huge success at the International Preschool of Raleigh thus far! During our session last week, students participated in the Creating Your Own Language activity. At first, I was a little bit nervous to do this activity with the younger students, since it was a bit advanced in the instructions. But this turned out to be a session that demonstrated huge growth, teamwork, and advanced thinking in the students at the International Preschool of Raleigh.

Since this was these students’ first non-drawing activity (though they drew on the paper a bit at first), I held the paper for them and helped them get started with the teamwork. One student began the activity, thinking of a really funny and interested way to say, “paper”– Tinko! I was very happy to see her think outside of the box and take initiative. Following that, many of the students had ideas for our next few words (“cat” and “flower”), but once we got to “toy,” the children had two ideas. One person wanted to call it “Kinger,” while another student wanted to call it, “Train.” To encourage teamwork and show students how to respect and appreciate everyone’s ideas, I suggested we combine both words to make the word for “toy,” leading us to call “toy” Kinger Train! Once we got to the next word, “friend,” I didn’t need to say anything about combining words- the students did it all by themselves! The second that two students had different ideas for a word for “friend,” one of the students suggested that we combine the two words. As we continued, the students kept combining their ideas, and even told one another, “That’s a great idea!” The students even wanted to keep doing the activity once time was up, and wanted to think of words for “crown,” “airplane,” and more! We loved to see the students working together, using advanced thinking, encouraging one another, and participating!

Creating Your Own Language IPR


Leaders UNITE Locations

We are proud to have many schools and libraries associated partnering with Leaders UNITE. Use the dropdown menu to see posts from a few of our locations, which talk about activities, reflections, and other information from Leaders UNITE at these locations. If you are interested in starting Leaders UNITE at your school, library, or after school program, contact us here on at leadersuniteclub@gmail.com .

Here are a list of our current and previous partners:

Current partners:

  1. Duke University (Durham, NC)
  2. International Preschool of Raleigh (Raleigh, NC)
  3. North Regional Library (Durham, NC)
  4. South Regional Library (Durham, NC)
  5. East Regional Library (Durham, NC)
  6. International Preschool of Raleigh’s Partner School (Beijing, China)
  7. Jordan High School (Durham, NC)
  8. Durham Nativity School (Durham, NC)

Former partners:

  1. North Hills School (Pilar, Argentina)
  2. Cary Academy (Cary, NC)
  3. Enloe High School (Raleigh, NC)
  4. Chesterbrook Academy (Cary, NC)
  5. Cleveland High School (Johnston County, NC)
  6. Smithfield-Selma High School ((Johnston County, NC)
  7. West Johnston High School (Johnston County, NC)
  8. South Johnston High School (Johnston County, NC)
  9. Archer Lodge Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  10. Riverwood Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  11. McGee’s Crossroads Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  12. Benson Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  13. Clayton Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  14. Smithfield Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  15. Selma Middle School (Johnston County, NC)
  16. Meadow Middle School (Johnston County, NC)


The first set of resources are general resources that pertain to the club’s mission and all of the club activities/discussions:

Curriculum Pathway

Club Poster

Assigned Leaders for Activities

Reflection Questions

Teacher Guide

Student Guide

Here are resources pertaining to specific activities and discussions:

Leaders UNITE first day form

Find someone who…

Find Someone Who (Younger Student Version)

Self vs. Others

Here are resources pertaining to the YAS (You Are Special) initiative:

Compliment Cards Templates

Here are some other miscellaneous resources:

Leaders UNITE New Year Motivation

2019-2020 Leaders UNITE Schedule

The 2019-2020 school year is on its’ way! Since Leaders UNITE works with each school individually to craft a schedule best suited for each school, our schedules are a bit different for each school based on age, interests, and club goals. Here are a few example schedules for a few of our partner schools to give you an idea of how the club works and how you can combine activities to best suit your school. If you plan to use one of our schedules, please let us know, and we can work with you to tailor it to your own classroom!

Leaders UNITE 2019-2020 Schedules:

Leaders UNITE Fall 2019 Schedule International Preschool of Raleigh

Previous years’ Leaders UNITE schedules:

leaders unite 2015-2016 schedule

leaders unite schedule 2014-2015

It’s Dance Time!

Students will work together in groups to think of a dance for one of the following songs. Note: The dance must be your own unique creation, not one that already exists (unless you are tweaking it!)

  1. Let it Go (Frozen)
  2. A Whole New World (Aladdin)
  3. Hakuna Matata (Lion King)
  4. Part of Your World (Little Mermaid)

All students will have 15 minutes to think of their dance. All students in the group should perform this dance together after time is up.

YAS (You Are Special) Leadership!

YAS (You are Special) is a central component of the Leaders UNITE curriculum because we believe that a good leader encourages his/her teammates and takes the time to learn why each team member is special and unique. Because of the success of the YAS movement, we have decided to add a YAS activity for our elementary school students.

In this activity, students will write cards for their classmates that begin with, “YAS (You Are Special) because…”. The cards will be based on the YAS Valentine’s Day Cards that Leaders UNITE created a few years ago, and students will get to give these to their friends and teachers during this activity!