I love words! I always have. You know on Inside the Actor's Studio when he asks celebrities what their favorite word is: I would never be able to choose just one. I think the words people use can tell a lot about them. The message I wanted to get across to my students was-choose your words wisely.
I showed my students this video-also a suggestion from Terri over at Engage Their Minds (can you tell I find a lot of great resources to inspire me over there!) : http://engagetheirminds.wordpress.com . I loved their reaction-they did the same thing I did-they kept asking "what did she write?!". Completely engaged!
I got this idea from another blogger: http://mrsoknows.blogspot.com
I had the kids work in groups to squeeze all the toothpaste out of their tubes and then try to put it back in with toothpicks. That obviously doesn't work-but man, they were trying! :) Then we came back and talked about how once you say words to someone, you can't take them back-it's out there. If you say something mean that may stay in someone's memory for a long time--maybe even forever.
I think they had fun and ended up making a good connection at the same time. :)