Classroom Resources

Monthly Themes

Character Building

Writing Prompt

Personal Narrative:

Have students write a paragraph about something they did that showed an aspect of their character, such as friendliness, loyalty, or helpfulness.

Activities

Grade 3: Social Studies
Birthday Pages

Have your students create pictures to celebrate themselves and their birthdays.

Grades 3–4: Social Studies
A Year of Virtues

Have each of your students create a calendar illustrating positive character traits.

Grades 3–5: Social Studies/Math
Similar and Different

Have your students explore the ways in which they are similar and different from one another.

Grades 3–5: Social Studies
Oh Say, Can You See Me?

Have your students research the symbolism of flags, then have each of them apply what they have learned to create a flag that is a personal statement about the person he or she wants to be.

Grades 3–8: Language Arts
Compliments

Giving and receiving compliments properly is an exercise in character development. Sincerity is the key in giving a genuine compliment. It is a powerful way of showing someone you care. Receiving a compliment gracefully, with pride and appreciation (not laughing it off or becoming embarrassed), takes practice. Have your students practice paying compliments to one another verbally or in writing.

Grades 3–8: Art/Language Arts
Star of the Show

Students will have fun creating paper “infomercials” that reveal personal interests and talents. Have each of the students cut images and phrases from magazines to create a collage.

  • Who I Am Collage
  • http://www.eduref.org/cgi-bin/printlessons.cgi/Virtual/Lessons/Health/Mental_Health/MEH0006.html
Grades 3–8: Language Arts
Word Finds

Have the students find character-building theme words in a puzzle.

  • Character Building (grades 3–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/september/pdf/character_wf.pdf
  • Character Building Answer Key (grades 3–8) (PDF file)
  • http://www.eduplace.com/monthlytheme/september/pdf/character_wf_key.pdf
Grades 4–8: Social Studies
Place Map

Have each of the students choose a favorite room and create a map, a map key, and a map index.

  • Using Grids
  • http://www.eduplace.com/activity/usegrid.html
Grades 4–8: Language Arts
Poetic Understanding

Talk with your students about the use of writing as a way of expressing one's feelings and emotions. Then read to the class a poem written by a fourth-grader. Have the students discuss the poem's message and then write their own poems.

Grades 4–8: Language Arts
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Have a dialogue centered on how we perceive ourselves and how others sometimes see us differently. Discuss which is more important to students: what others see or think about them, or what they see and think about themselves. Have each student write an anonymous self-description of positive traits. Collect the descriptions and read them aloud to the class. Have the students try to identify the person from the description. Ask them to provide a rationale for each answer.

Grades 5–8: Language Arts
First Impressions

Explain to the students that a handshake can speak volumes about a person. A limp handshake might indicate weakness in a person, or lack of interest. Demonstrate a firm handshake, and remind students to look the other person in the eye and smile!

Grades 5–8: Social Studies
Help Wanted

Have the students identify and compare common character traits that are necessary to succeed in the working world.

Grades 6–8: Language Arts
Character Building Crossword Puzzle

Have the students solve this character-building theme word puzzle.

Grades 6–8: Language Arts/Social Studies
No Problems

Have your students reflect on the strategies they use—and their degree of success—when confronted with frustration or difficulty in an assignment, project, or activity.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies/Art
The Identity Game

Students at this age have complex identities tied to responsibilities, skills, and talents. Have the students create fun visual models representing those aspects of their lives.

Grades 6–8: Language Arts
Hard Times

Have each of the students think of a difficult experience that required the development of certain inner resources. Then have each student write a personal narrative about that experience.

Grades 6–8: Language Arts
One Small Change

Changing an aspect of one's life is a common wish. Have the students think of what they would like to change and write about the potential consequences of that change.

  • What If…
  • http://www.eduplace.com/activity/whatif.html
Grades 6–8: Language Arts
The Only Constant Is Change

Have a class discussion on the nature and meaning of change. Then have each student write a personal narrative that reflects the discussion.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Stars in Their Eyes

Develop your students' appreciation for the diversity of learning styles, talents, and strengths present in their class by conducting a “star search.”

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
A Time to Share

Have your students celebrate their own unique talents, and those of others, by making personal interest, talent, or hobby presentations.

Grades 6–8: Language Arts
I'm Going to Sit Right Down and Write

Setting goals can make reaching them easier. Have the students set goals for the future and write personal letters detailing how they will achieve those goals.

Grades 6–8: Social Studies
Difficult Choices

Pondering what we would do in a difficult situation gives us a chance to examine our principles before the pressure is on. Challenge your students to think about right and wrong with this game of ethical dilemmas.


Houghton Mifflin