Robin Williams said, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” He may have been known for his madcap comedy but when I think of Robin Williams, I remember the day I learned of how he helped save one bottle-nosed dolphin, named JoJo.
I was interviewing Dean Bernal for rewrites on his biopic when he told me about how he met Williams while filming Dolphins In the Wild. During takes of swimming with JoJo and strolling along the powder white sands of Turks and Caicos, the three of them struck up a friendship. Between scenes, Robin listened to Dean tell him story after story of how speed boats and jet skis had injured JoJo. How he had administered first aid and medicines time and again but supplies were running low.
A few months later, when JoJo was injured again using up the last of Dean’s emergency stock of antibiotics, Dean received a generous contribution from the Williams family. Thanks to Robin, all of JoJo’s antibiotics could be purchased for years to come. The dolphin healed well and soon was up to his old tricks again, being a playful comedian, just like his benefactor. Because of Robin Williams’ kindness, this bottlenose dolphin had medication for life.
Thank you Robin Williams.
I wondered how I could I honor his legacy and raise awareness in children. I decided to design the following lesson hoping children would see the connection between art and healing in their own lives.
Objective: After watching the Dean and JoJo Resolutions DVD, the learner will come up with alternatives to bullying by writing ideas on a blank coloring page of JoJo.
Materials: Dean and JoJo Resolutions DVD, class set of blank dolphin coloring pages, crayons, markers, pencils, paper, chart paper, white board or electronic whiteboard
- Tell students that they should look for JoJo’s injuries as they watch the Dean and JoJo Resolutions DVD. Play film.
- List the four kinds of bullies on the board.
Verbal Physical Social Cyber
Cruel words Hurting bodies Excluding Text
Name calling Pushing Gossip MySpace
Intimidation Touching Notes Email
- Ask them to brainstorm what sort of alternatives there are to bullying. List on the board.
- Pass out blank coloring pages. Tell students that they are going to write positive alternatives to bullying on JoJo’s body. As they write each positive choice they are healing JoJo’s wounds.
- Write one example and display for guided practice.
- They fill in more alternatives then color the page.