At the start of the year, I always take a day or two to teach character ed. Why? Because I want to set the tone for a positive classroom community on those first days back to school. A simple and effective strategy I’ve used to teach character ed is reading picture books to my students and having them respond to self-reflective writing prompts. These writing prompts require the students to think about the message of the book and apply it to their own lives. This is critical because you want students to internalize these positive behaviors as their own and apply them to novel situations they might encounter in your classroom throughout the year.
Note: The books and writing prompts in this blog post can be used at any time during the school year.
There are so many great books to teach various character ed traits, but the ones above are a few of my favorites. The traits addressed include:
- Kindness and Inclusion
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Integrity and Honesty
As for the free self-reflective writing prompts, you grab them for free HERE.
I’ve designed these prompts to:
- encourage students to see themselves or friends in the book characters,
- wonder how the characters will behave, solve their challenges, or respond to a situation,
- and apply their understanding to their own life to create a meaningful piece of writing.
The beginning of the year is such a special time to get to know each and every one of your students. However, it’s also critical time to establish your classroom as a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community. Use these stories and prompts to promote thoughtful classroom discussions and self-reflection.
These free writing prompts come in a digital version as well. Your students can type their response using Google Classroom.
Below are links to the Character Education books: