Vikings provide 1st graders a “teachable moment” Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) watches as he misses a field goal during the second half of an NFL wild-card football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh/Jim Mone)
Vikings provide 1st graders a “teachable moment”
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After many Minnesota Vikings fans ripped kicker Blair Walsh for missing a 27-yard field goal that could have given the team a win in a playoff game, some first-graders used it as a lesson in empathy.
 
Walsh's miss in a 10-9 loss to Seattle on Jan. 10 drew intense criticism on social media. Some fans invited him to leave the state -- and worse.
 
Judie Offerdahl, a teacher at Northpoint Elementary in the Minneapolis suburban of Blaine, saw a teachable moment for her first-graders. So the students grabbed their magic markers and started drawing and writing.
 
"Dear Blair Walsh," one wrote. "I know it can be hard to get through things that are sad, but you have to try and try again. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes."
 
Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson told the Star Tribune newspaper that the team would make sure Walsh gets the letters.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How did the first grade teacher turn a negative into a positive?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (66)
  • christopherp-2-bar
    1/20/2016 - 04:07 p.m.

    i am a newyork giants fan but whale watching this game i saw Blair walsh miss a 17 yard field gole. my reaction was that this man is a bad kicker but when i saw what these first graders did my opinyin changed. this story touched me it showed me that he made one mistake but that duesant mean he should be made fun of because of it. but the teacher had made this negative into positive buy showing mistakes were made but he shouldn't be judged by it.

  • collinf-2-bar
    1/20/2016 - 05:49 p.m.

    The teacher turned the negative into a positive by using the situation as a "lesson in empathy" for her students. The letters could also make Walsh feel better, which is another positive.

    I found this article interesting because I like football, and I saw the missed field goal, and felt bad for Walsh.

  • kieranw-3-bar
    1/20/2016 - 07:50 p.m.

    The first grade teacher turned the negative situation into a positive by taking what happened and turning it into a learning point or something to fall back on. The teacher was saying that no ones perfect, and everyone makes mistakes and that is life for everyone. I think this was a real act of kindness, it embellishes the ability to get through to someone which in this situation Blair Walsh and tell him or her that it is ok, no one is perfect. This article and idea from the first grade teacher is a good example for the first graders and truly for everyone with an open mind who read this article.

  • calis-3-bar
    1/20/2016 - 08:33 p.m.

    A first grade teacher taught her students that they should be empathetic towards others. When the Seahawks kicker missed a goal, the students wrote letters to him in order to make him feel better. The teacher turned the negative of missing a field goal into a positive lesson of empathy for students. I enjoyed this article, as I thought it was amazing for a teacher to be so caring as to use pop culture, football, to teach her students a positive lesson. The teacher seems very sweet, and I think it is cute that the students took the projects to heart.

  • lucasl-3-bar
    1/20/2016 - 08:50 p.m.

    The teacher turned a bad moment into a helpful teaching lesson for the students to learn about empathy. The teacher showed how people were angry at Walsh for making a mistake, and how the children should write to him. Although fans criticized Walsh for missing the field goal, the teacher and students were empathetic in sending encouraging letters.
    The article was an example of how children can learn important lessons from sports. It was an interesting example of a teacher's lesson to teach the students from a sports event.

  • karliw-1-bar
    1/20/2016 - 10:24 p.m.

    When Blair Walsh, the Minnesota Viking's kicker, missed a 27-yard field goal that could have boosted his team to a playoff game, dissapointment was not the only thing that came his way. Fans that were once so devoted turned against him, throwing vigorous comments via social media. But, there was one fan who didn't criticize Walsh for his massive let down (sorry Walsh, it kinda was). First garde teacher Judie Offerdahl in Minneapolis used it as a learning experience for her young and still learning first graders. Each of her students were assigned to write Walsh a letter that was supporting and empathetic. Offerdahl made the signifigance of her lesson to teach her pupils to be forgiving and empathetic when necessary.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    1/20/2016 - 11:48 p.m.

    The first grade teacher turned a negative into a positive by getting the kids to write letters to Blair Walsh, the kicker for their home team who unfortunately missed a field goal to win the game and keep the Vikings in the playoffs, and acknowledge him for his amazing season. The teacher turned the normal lesson into a optimistic one that made the player feel better. I thought this was a very nice thing to do after all Walsh has been through.

  • ellans-1-bar
    1/21/2016 - 07:15 p.m.

    The teacher turned this negative situation into a positive, by noticing a teachable moment to tell to her students. "So the students grabbed their magic markers and started drawing and writing." The students learned from the teacher that everyone makes mistakes, and you cannot give up after you had failed. I think this article was every interesting, because people have an overall negative attitude towards the world, but the new generations are still opened minded and see the world in a better way. I think everyone should think like first graders.

  • gabriellek-1-bar
    1/21/2016 - 07:47 p.m.

    The first grade teacher turned a negative into a positive by explaining to her students that sometimes you make mistakes and you should not lose faith or hope. I found this article surprising to find out how hard this man was getting criticized. If some of the people took time to realize that everyone makes mistakes and it is what you turn your mistakes into that really counts. Most of the fans could not make a 27-yard field goal if they tried and would see it is a gift to be able to play a special position . I found the article interesting to know that first graders will be sending letters of encouragement to Blair Walsh.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    1/21/2016 - 07:57 p.m.

    The teacher turned this unfortunate situation for Blair Walsh to be a positive by showing first-graders that everybody makes mistakes and if something goes wrong, you must have to try again.

    I found this article very interesting, because it shows the audiences' intensity for something as simple as a football game. I learned that people need to relax, and realize that it's not worth putting someone down, because that won't get you anywhere.

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