Its All About Character Brief Lessons on Character Presented by: Betty White, MEd., LPC firstname.lastname@example.org www.kidtools.net
Things to Remember Ten minute lessons are a part of a total guidance program-NOT the whole program Ten minute lessons are a snack-you will need to add more to make a whole meal You can use Science, Math, Social Studies, or Language Arts (among others) to reinforce your concepts-be creative! PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE- You will not have time to fumble!!
Secrets of the Science of Character Cover one topic only Prepare thoroughly in advance. Know exactly what you will do, what you will say, and have all materials ready Expand the lessons by giving homework that either the teacher grades or that you return to discuss or give rewards for Provide materials to teachers to reinforce topics if possible
Secrets of the Science of Character Follow up on lessons with brief classroom visits or hallway drive-bys when you reinforce the lesson Try for a hook of some sort-have kids write, move, act, etc. to reinforce your concepts Consider using these lessons during group sessions or even with individuals rather than in the classroom
Character Traits Conflict Resolution (Chill Out) Anger Management (Hot-Hot-Hot) Self Control (Angry Explosion) Perseverance (Churn, Churn, Churn) Resilience (Bounce Back Putty) Courage (Stretching Out) Friendship (Attracting Friends) Optimism (Rising to the Occasion) General Character (Reflecting Character)
Character Traits Kindness (Kindness Counts) Independence (Breaking Under Pressure) Problem Solving (Feed Me) Planning (Rolling, Rolling, Rolling) Loyalty (Dont Put Me down) Integrity (Lingering Lies) Wellness (Balancing Act) Teamwork ( Toss it to Me!)
Character Traits Honesty- (Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater) Forgiveness- (Let Me Help You) Fairness-(Shoe Me the Way) Encouragement- (Spotlight!) Integrity- (The Narrow Way) Responsibility ( Dont Let it Snowball!)
Chill Out Advice: Use plenty of salt Dont skimp on bags-go ahead and buy the good ones You can use snack sized bags for the cream Have students twist a towel or several sheets of newspaper around the ice pack for shaking it Consider going outside for the shaking
Anger Management: Hot-Hot-Hot Do not worry about about a little black smoke-it is just the wax burning off the cup Keep the flame away from the lip around the bottom of the cup-it will catch on fire Remember-keep the flame on the part of the cup where the water is DO NOT USE a styrofoam cup Keep wet paper towels to put out the fire
Self Control: Angry Explosion Practice, practice, practice!! Try to find a bottle with a shoulder before the neck-that will concentrate the force. Be sure to have a pan under the bottle to capture spillage Be careful in how you aim the cork! Finally, be aware of the shape of the bottle with older kids
Perseverance: Churn, Churn, Churn Practice ahead of time so you will be able to time your presentation to coincide with the actual solidification of the butter If possible, do not use ultra-pasteurized cream-it seems to work a little better.
Resilience: Bounce Back Putty This is a VERY MESSY experiment-BE PREPARED!! Small snack bags can be used to let students take putty home Parents appreciate getting a recipe for this so they can do it at home For some reason, the laundry starch in the blue bottle works better
Courage: Stretching Out Measurements are not exact-the Borax solution needs to be saturated. Use warm water and add Borax until it stands on the bottom (like southern sweet tea!) This is a little messy-have paper towels handy
Attracting Friends This works best in winter This WILL NOT WORK on a humid day Practice ahead of time to make sure that it will work on the day you need it-if not, substitute another lesson
Rising to the Occasion Be sure that the egg is fresh-older eggs tend to float This may take awhile-it works best if the water is a little warm so the salt dissolves better Stir to help the salt dissolve so the egg will rise
General Character: Reflecting Character This is a really easy lesson. For an expansion, you might talk about how the light separates into a rainbow of colors-who we are is a combination of many different character traits. Another sub-lesson is that you cannot repair the disc once it is damaged-a metaphor for how difficult it is to repair your character once it is damaged
Kindness Counts You can use a variety of methods to recognize kindness-beads, bands, links, handprints Have teachers follow up with the activity within the classroom Color-code by grade level and you can see what kind of cross-pollination is going on
Stress Management: Breaking Under Pressure This is messy-if you have a low mess tolerance, do the experiment in a plastic bag Even though kids may end up with cornstarch on their hands and clothing, it is easily washed off Also makes a great demonstration for parents of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive parenting
Problem Solving: Force Field Be careful with the sticks, as it is tempting to whack each other with them This is very effective if students can actually feed one another-however, it works well if there is a cup on the side of the table that represents the mouth being fed
Planning: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling You must use a ramp rather than rolling the bottles across the floor by hand to eliminate the factor of push Bottles must be identical Bottles with straight sides work better than those with curves
Loyalty: Dont Put Me Down This can be a little slow-it takes a bit of time for the carbon dioxide to pour over the flame and put it out Timing is critical-you need to allow enough time for sufficient carbon dioxide to generate but not enough for it to dissipate You can also use a piece of dry ice to generate the carbon dioxide and talk about Cold Comments or the Cold Shoulder
Integrity: Lingering Lies You can use the soap over by wetting it and rubbing the holes out Most small hotel soaps are very brittle and will break-but that in itself makes a good point
Wellness: Balancing Act For this, a good smooth meter stick from your science department works best This does not always work-allowing for a great discussion about what can happen when things get unbalanced, as well as talking about the fact that even when we try very hard to keep our lives balanced, sometimes we cannot
Teamwork: Toss it To Me! You can use a variety of things for this- plastic bracelets, jar rings, even large rubber bands or power bands to make it harder Make it easier or harder by grade level by varying the distance between individuals Pencils make the best catchers as the erasers are blunt, but an upraised finger can work, also
Honesty: Cheater, Cheater Large, cheap cookies are available most groceries You can make the icing using plaster, spackle, shaving cream mixed with white glue, or laundry soap mixed with water Be sure to allow drying time- and be sure to keep the cookies out of reach-some kids will still try to eat them!
Forgiveness-Let Me Help You! This is best done after the kids get to know you and you have a relationship with them You can also have a student, prepared in advance, be the spoiler
Fairness- Shoe Me the Way In 10 minutes, there will not be time to allow the whole class to do this demonstration- choose about 5 students for each team If time permits, you can re-do the exercise and deliberately make the teams more fairly balanced Choose carefully so as not to embarrass kids
Encouragement- Spotlight! Taping cellophane over the end of the light will allow the team to distinguish one light fro the other After the activity, talk about how discouraging it was to have to go back. You can liken the light to discouraging comments that set us back
Integrity- The Narrow Way This activity can be done on the floor with ping pong balls, or on the table with marbles or other small balls It works best to have an independent judge with each group to call out and restart each team
Parting Words Have Fun!! Dont be afraid to experiment! Practice makes perfect (or at least reduces errors).
Responsibility- Snowball Encourage students to write down a responsibility that is important For younger kids, you may have to write down responsibilities that might be a part of their lives- then have them crumple them and throw them