Character Education Lesson Plans (PDF):
Encourage a Growth Mindset during the New Year New You in 2024

New Year New You Learning Skills: 8 lessons for Citizenship. Does equal mean fair? Lesson Plans, Handouts, Slideshow, SEL product cover

Character Education Lesson Plans (PDF) Dec 13, 2023 update – Encourage a Growth Mindset in your students during your New Year Activities in 2024!

Build classroom community by giving students a common vocabulary to explore character and perseverance in a fun way!

Side note: Why do we need to foster a Growth Mindset in our students?

(As if we need another reason for Social Emotional Learning, lol)

Because ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence are here to stay. The question is not just, “Should ChatGPT be allowed in schools? Or is this cheating.” The question is how do we raise students with good character to make good choices in a world with Chat GPT. Read this section about ChatGPT and Character Education

Here’s what other teachers are saying about these Character Education lesson plans

ChatGPT and Character Education Programs

Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT provide a unique opportunity for teachers to build character.

One part about having good character is doing the right thing, even though no one is watching.

The problem with ChatGPT is that it is simultaneously the world’s best learning tool combined with the world’s best cheating tool.

So, now, it’s all too easy to have Chat GPT do the work for you, and claim it as your own.

  • Is that cheating?
  • Do our students consider that cheating?
  • If you could use ChatGPT to do your homework and not get caught, would you? Why not?

The danger with ChatGPT and any machine algorithm is that we assume they’re unbiased because they’re machines. How can a machine be biased?

And yet, artificial intelligence learns from humans.

For example, Google has learned to be sexist (as demonstrated in the video lesson at 36:45.)

  • If humans are biased, it makes sense that machines can learn to be biased from humans.
  • Are students aware of this?
  • Do students have the strength of character to be self-aware, but also have self-control?

Watch this video about how Google gives misinformation.

Here’s what ChatGPT thinks when asked about to write something about ChatGPT being an opportunity to develop character education.

(I had to ask it to rewrite it at a 6th-grade reading level, as the original output was pretty complex. Do our students have the digital literacy skills to navigate new learning tools?)

Watch 36:45 in this Chat GPT critical thinking video to see how algorithms have already learned to be sexist or give misinformation. Do our students have the strength of character to look for opposing points of view and be open-minded to changing their opinions?

The problem with ChatGPT and Character Education

There are going to be people who think ChatGPT can be an effective tool for Character Education.

Likewise, there will be people who think ChatGPT should absolutely NOT be used to teach students character.

But, by that same token, there are people who think that schools should not be teaching (“indoctrinating”) students with character education – just stick to the 3Rs: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.

And on the flip side of the coin, there are people who think schools should help build good character (i.e. character education programs.)

So many opinions, and so many view points.

Do our students have the resilience to deal with change?

Do our students have the strength of character to think independently – regardless of where the information comes from:

  • School, curriculum, teachers?
  • Friends, family, people in our circle
  • Mainstream media, Social media, non-mainstream media?
  • Extreme views, Aggressive views, Biased views, non-partisan views?
  • Large influencers? Micro-influencers? Cult leaders? Religious leaders? Social media leaders? Personal heroes?

How do we help students develop character, grit, and tenacity, regardless of what their political or personal beliefs are?

Learning has changed!

ChatGPT and Character Education

Source: ChatGPT (GPT-4, May 21, 2023)

Artificial Intelligence (AI), like ChatGPT, is being used more and more in schools. ChatGPT can really help with something called character education.

Character education is when we teach kids to be good people. It’s about learning values like respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and being a good citizen.

Here’s how ChatGPT can help:

  1. Custom Learning: ChatGPT can be set up to help with character education. It can talk to students about important values. This helps kids learn in a way that’s best for them.
  2. Quick Responses: ChatGPT can answer questions about values right away. It can even help kids think through tough situations. This helps kids understand these values more quickly.
  3. Helps Lots of Students: ChatGPT can talk to many students at once about character education. This is helpful in big schools where there are many students and not enough teachers.
  4. Safe Space: ChatGPT gives kids a safe place to talk about values. It doesn’t judge. Sometimes, kids might find it easier to talk to ChatGPT about these things.
  5. Learning About the World: ChatGPT can talk about how different people around the world think about values. This helps kids understand and appreciate how different people can be.
  6. Learning from Students: ChatGPT can learn from its talks with students. This information can help make character education better.

Remember, even though ChatGPT can help with character education, it doesn’t replace teachers, parents, and mentors.

These people give important guidance, empathy, and share their own experiences that AI, like ChatGPT, can’t do yet. AI should be seen as a tool to help teachers, not take their place.


Learning in 2024 has changed

The world we live in has drastically changed over the last few years:

  • Covid shutdowns
  • The war in Ukraine
  • ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence as the ultimate “learning” tool or “cheating” tool

Life happens. Life isn’t always fair.

We can’t always control what happens to us. But we can try to control our attitude and our actions.

And that goes for students, too!

Social-Emotional Learning Skills explored in this 6Cs Character Unit:

SELF-AWARENESS: having a growth mindset and developing a student’s belief in their ability to take action to achieve goals (self-efficacy.)

SELF-MANAGEMENT: managing one’s thoughts and behaviors to achieve goals and aspirations; being brave and taking action; setting personal goals.

Now is a great time to give your students a pep talk to help them take responsibility for their learning!

  • The weather is getting nicer, but it’s not summer vacation, yet!
  • How can we stay focused through tough (or boring) stuff that we have to get through? (Why, yes, the magical world of adulting is all about doing things we don’t want to do, but have to do.)
  • Talk about the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
  • Explore a series of differentiated puzzles so students can practice staying in a growth mindset.
  • Emphasize the key message: Students can choose to shift into a growth mindset.
  • Give feedback in a way that shifts students into a growth mindset. (It’s not the word “yet”.)

Jump to the outline for the character education lesson plans (PDF)

What are other teachers saying about this Character Building Curriculum?

Laura just made my day by leaving a 5-star review on this resource.

How did she make my day?

It’s not just because she left a 5-star review (although that’s always lovely!)

It’s because she talked about using the sudoku puzzles in the lesson to model a growth mindset with her students.

Sometimes I wonder how many teachers skip the sudoku section because it’s hard.

It’s easier to focus on the survey and videos in this character education lesson plans PDF package.

But, struggling through the puzzles is the part where we get to help our students to practice shifting into a growth mindset.

Check out the review below!⭐

“My students enjoyed the topic, especially the videos. We had great conversations stemming from the slides. The sudoku puzzle was such a great way for us to model a growth mindset together. The “very easy” puzzles were pretty challenging but it was perfect for my class. They were able to reflect on their mindset. Overall, pretty great.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Laura V. – 10th and 11th-grade teacher
April 8, 2022 – Read Review

The last normal year…

Doesn’t the idea of “normal” seem so long ago?

When is the last time your students had a “normal” school year?

How is your class feeling about the pandemic?

The pandemic has given us a new normal.

  • Read this post by Reading Expert Kylene Beers.
  • She explains why we need to stop saying our students must catch up.

The struggle is real.

Let’s give our students strategies to get through a changing world.

I know, I know… easier said than done.

But let’s talk about what strategies and character education activities might help empower our students with a growth mindset?

Switching New Year in a classroom instead of online learning can be tough!

(And switching back to online learning because of the next wave of the pandemic can be even worse!)

Change is tough.

  • First we learned in the classroom.
  • Then we had to adjust to learning online.
  • Now many of us are back in the classroom.
  • Then Omicron shows up and all of a sudden some of us are back online.
  • Now things are getting better?
  • Are we on the brink of the next world war? What’s going on in Ukraine?
  • Who knows what will happen tomorrow!?

One thing is for certain: change is inevitable.

Was anyone else excited to go back to “normal,” only to discover that “normal” changed?

Online learning, Distance learning, and Hybrid learning can be tough!

Here’s what some of our students are thinking about online learning:

  • It’s incredibly boring.
  • The teachers aren’t there to help you right away when you need help.
  • It’s hard to get things done by the due date.
  • Why do we have to do this?

And it’s much harder to motivate students on the other side of a video conference call.

(Let’s be honest. Teachers are thinking the same thing: online learning is tough. This isn’t what I signed up for. How can you possibly be expected to teach under these conditions?)

What about student accountability and classroom management?

(And if you have to teach an online group while simultaneously teaching an in-person group?)

🤣🤣🤣

How do we teach our students life skills to be intrinsically motivated so they want to learn and grow on their own?

When we return to the classroom, in-person teaching and learning can also be tough!

Students are excited to be back at school to see their friends after a covid lock-down, but after a few days and weeks, chances are, at some point, our students are thinking…

  • This is boring.
  • The teachers aren’t there to help you right away when you need help.
  • It’s hard to get things done by the due date.
  • Why do we have to do this?

Whether we’re struggling to do homework or classwork, the reality is, no matter where you go, there you are.

What if we could shift our students’ attitudes with a magic wand?

Of course, there are no easy solutions.

Obviously, a single set of character education lesson plans (PDF) will not magically transform your disengaged students into eager beavers!

Life is an ongoing process. Life skill lesson plans are the same way.

Sometimes, there are little tricks, like saying this one phrase. (It’s not the word “yet” although that’s a good one too!)

Other times, it’s important to realize a character education curriculum is about empowering life skills that you can use in different situations.

I love character-building lesson plans for middle school that focus on the idea of “yet.”

  • When a student says, “I can’t do this,” you re-phrase it to “I can’t do this, yet!”
  • Adding yet to the end of the sentence gives us a chance to shift our mindset.
  • Instead of having a fixed mindset where we think we can never do this, we can choose to shift to a growth mindset where we think, I can’t do this right now… I wonder what might need to happen so I could do this.

The hard part is that students and teachers resent the word, “yet.” It doesn’t magically make us able to do something that we couldn’t do five seconds ago.

The reality is that improving takes work. Building up our character (i.e. grit, tenacity, and resilience) takes time. Building Character lessons for Middle School and High School need to recognize it’s a process. It ain’t easy, that’s for sure!

Character Building activities to approach life challenges and academic obstacles with a growth mindset… in any subject.

Teaching a growth mindset starts in the classroom with how we teach our subject matter.

Life skills lesson plans aren’t just for high school homeroom activities or student of the week ideas. This is a paradigm shift that needs to happen in all of our classrooms.

Students practice character education and life skills as they struggle through the academic content of our course. A growth mindset becomes a transferable skill that can apply to all areas of school and life.

  • We don’t have to be perfect, but how can we try to be better than who we were yesterday?
  • What challenges do we face?
  • What strategies might help us overcome the tough stuff?

How can we empower students to have grit, tenacity, and resilience?

Even if we go this new year to the “old normal”, there will always be obstacles.

  • at school,
  • at home,
  • at work,
  • in relationships and
  • in our day-to-day lives.

The start of the school year is a great time to do this lesson package.

The second best time to teach this is right now.

This is especially true today, with new information constantly coming to us

These High School and Middle School Character Building Lessons do NOT contain any information, examples, or language specifically about the Coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine, or ChatGPT.

And that’s a good thing because that makes this lesson package timeless.

You can use this lesson today, during a pandemic, or you can use it in the future when the next obstacle appears.

Also, we don’t want to give your students outdated information. Nor do we want to potentially trigger anxiety by hyper-focusing on the politics of the pandemic or global conflicts.

So, this package uses Sudoku puzzles as obstacles. The puzzles are a character-building opportunity for your students to try to build grit and resilience.

(Especially if they don’t like Sudoku…)

Incorporating a Character Building Curriculum into your classroom isn’t just for Life Skills, Advisory, or Homeroom teachers.

We can teach character-building activities for kids and students at every school.

It doesn’t matter if you teach elementary, middle school, or high school students. We can integrate these life lessons into teachable moments throughout the curriculum.

Sure, teachers have a knowledge-based curriculum that we have to deliver. But, students need 21st century learning skills to be independent learners.

Remember, most of the jobs we have today did not even exist when we were growing up.

And now that we’ve seen what ChatGPT can do, the jobs our students will be competing for will be very different from the world you and I grew up in.

The world is changing. We need to make sure our children and our students have the perseverance and strength of character to handle the unknown.

The New Year is a great time to start the conversation in your class about Growth Mindset and Character Education, but it’s not the only time.

To paraphrase a famous proverb:

The best time to plant a [Growth Mindset] was [at the start of the school year]. The second best time is now.

A Chinese proverb about planting trees, among other things…

(Psst, if you don’t know the one phrase you should tell students, you might want to read this article.)

Character Education Lesson Plans (PDF included) – Table of Contents

What is Character Education?

What is Character Education? Character definition: "the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual"

Schools and teachers often talk about this, but what is character education anyway?

Google defines character as, “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.”

So, character education is a catchall phrase to describe teaching students personality traits and a moral code that will help them to be socially acceptable and successful in society.

Character education is an umbrella term loosely used to describe the teaching of children in a manner that will help them develop variously as moral, civic, good, mentored, behaved, non-bullying, healthy, critical, successful, traditional, compliant or socially acceptable beings.

Source: Wikipedia

I’m not sure if I completely agree with everything in that Wikipedia definition, but I think that’s also the point: Different schools and different organizations will have a different take on what character education is.

And that’s okay. Because everything is based on context, and what works for me in my classroom may not work for you in yours for any number of reasons.

At Educircles.org, our goal is to provide you with lesson plans and teacher resources so you can incorporate 21st century skills and character education elements into your classroom program.

The beauty of this approach is that you can mix and match our lessons to fit your classroom needs and your school’s take on character ed.

(Why yes, you can edit all of the files.)

PSST. Character Education is different from Character Traits.

  • A character trait is something that describes who you are.
  • Character Education is about helping students become better people.

This is actually a really big distinction.

(Aside from the other fact that students think about character traits when we talk about books – you know, like, Hermione Granger is brave and smart. )

A character trait almost implies a fixed mindset – that we are who we are, and that’s that.

  • You’re either good at math or you’re not.
  • You’re great at sports, or you’re not.

Character Education and Character Building are about encouraging a growth mindset. Let’s play with the idea that you can build character and get better.

  • You can improve through hard work
  • Mistakes, although tough, help us to learn and grow
  • Doing specific things and strategies can help us to improve.

When to teach Character Building Lessons

Character Building Activities for kids and older students are not just for the start of the school year (although that’s a great time to build classroom routines and expectations!)

We need to incorporate some basic life skills lesson plans into our day-to-day teaching. Whether we’re doing teachable moments as they pop up or teaching a more focused unit.

Here are some times that you might consider doing some character-building activities and perseverance lesson plans with your class

Character building activities / Perseverance Lesson Plans – at the start of the school year

January is a great time to do character-building activities with your class. Everyone is coming in fresh from summer vacation, and both students and teachers are excited and looking forward to starting the new year with a blank page.

So whether you’re a homeroom teacher, or subject-based teacher, starting the year off right with your expectations about learning and classroom behaviour is important.

Character building activities / Life Skills Lesson Plans – After Report Cards at the start of the next term

Report cards and other summative evaluations mark the end of one term and the beginning of another term.

(Unless, of course, this is the end of the school year.)

Report cards can serve as a wake-up call to both students and families that may be the way that we’re approaching learning might not be the most effective way.

Life skills lesson plans need to help students go from A to B (or maybe C or D.)

This is a good time to try to empower a growth mindset in our students.

  • Do some fun character-building activities to show that we can use strategies to learn new skills.
  • This might help students realize that they can use the same character-building strategies and apply them to their day-to-day learning.
  • We can see on a daily basis how important it is for our students to develop perseverance!

Character-building activities – at the first signs of classroom conflict.

I often told my students that you don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to find a way to work with everyone respectfully.

That’s easier said than done. Inevitably what will happen sometime during the school year is that some classroom conflicts will begin to creep in and change the classroom dynamics.

This is a good time to review some character & perseverance-building activities, as well as communication and collaboration activities to reinforce the idea that having character is not a destination but a journey.

Life skills lesson plans should incorporate transferable skills that students can use in the classroom, the dining room, or the board room.

If you want to build a character trait of perseverance, then you have to keep trying and not give up. If you do that, you’ll start to build a habit of persevering and not a habit of running from your fears.

Character-building activities – as part of middle school advisory or homeroom activities

Middle school advisory or homeroom activities can definitely make or break your homeroom time.

Homeroom Teachers have an opportunity to connect with their homeroom class to teach life lessons and to make sure your homeroom class survives and thrives during the school year.

Middle School Advisory classes are an opportunity to help guide and “advise” our students about academic, social, and future possibilities.

Unfortunately, way too often, our homeroom classes and advisory classes get lost with

  • the endless administrivia, form collection, field trip paperwork, photo day handouts, etc.
  • extra work periods to catch up on homework or classwork from other periods.
  • being expected to talk to our students because they’re misbehaving for other teachers in other classes…

I think part of the problem is that not enough homeroom teachers or advisory teachers have enough middle school advisory or homeroom activities to draw upon to make this time meaningful. That’s why you need Life Skills Lesson Plans in your teacher toolkit.

And then we get into conversations about how we shouldn’t be “wasting” time with homeroom periods or advisory periods. And this is a mistake.

With more and more expectations being put onto teachers who are already jam packed with curriculum expectations to deliver, we get fewer opportunities to build teachable moments into our perseverance lesson plans.

Character building activities and teaching 21st century learning skills to our students is a way to make Homeroom periods and Advisory classes meaningful and fun.

This isn’t about doing a character education curriculum. This is about embedding life skills and focusing on program as we teach our regular provincial and state-mandated curriculum.

We talk about the importance of building character in the classroom – helping our students to develop integrity, overcome obstacles, and be strong

But, how do you teach character and perseverance as part of your learning skills?

Here is a week of character building lesson plans – it’s part of our Exploring the 6 Cs unit

Help your students get a handle on how to build inner strength and character by using strategies to overcome obstacles.

This is a fantastic package introducing the learning skill concept of “Character” (grit, tenacity, perseverance) to your students.

A week of Lesson Plans to Build Character

In this package, we provide a week of Character Building Lessons (PDF) that…

  • introduce the concept of mindset (Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset),
  • allow students to explore character building (perseverance) by working through 9 different Sudoku strategies to develop logical thinking
  • provide discussion points of 4 different YouTube videos with socially relevant celebrities talking about the work required behind the scenes.
  • allow for deeper exploration of the concept of “Character” using the Frayer Model of understanding.

You get 175 SLIDES, HANDOUTS in this Character Building Curriculum

  • Student self-assessment about “What do you believe?” – to see if they have a Growth Mindset or a Fixed Mindset
  • Differentiated Sudoku activities (21 puzzles ranging from easy to expert, allowing for a wide variety of student abilities)
  • Answer key to Sudoku activities (so students can check their own answers.)
  • Vocabulary Builder graphic organizer (to develop a deeper understanding of what character means.)
  • Student Self Evaluation of their “Character” Learning Skill
  • Chapter Review assessment.

We provide 3 different versions of the Character Education & Perseverance lesson plan slideshow (175 slides!):

  • A link to the Google Slideshow so you can show it to your students right away. (Get started in seconds!).
  • A link to a version of the Google Slideshow that you can make a copy of the presentation. (This way you can edit / tweak the content to fix your exact classroom needs.)
  • A powerpoint file that you can download (PPT) and modify. (Edit the presentation to fit your needs, and use the presentation when the internet is down!)

What is Character – Life Skills Lesson Plan KEY CONCEPT:

After this Character – Life Skills Lesson Plan chapter, students will be able to explain that Character is about:

  1. “Grit, tenacity, perseverance, resilience.”
  2. not giving up and developing your inner strength to learn and grow as a person.
  3. who you are when you are going through challenges. It is about the process, and not about the final result (success or failure).

Students will have the opportunity to:

  1. EXPERIENCE struggles / character building through two activities: a mindset self-evaluation activity, and a sudoku activity
  2. WATCH and discuss short videos of celebrities talking about character-building experiences in their lives.
  3. UNDERSTAND what “character” is by using a vocabulary building graphic organizer (Frayer model) to brainstorm features of Character, examples and non-examples of Character, and finally narrow down essential characteristics of the word.
Life Skills Lesson Plans High School, Middle School, or Elementary: 7 Lessons, 55 Pages - sample screenshot of character building activities lesson plans (6 pages)
55 pages of Character Education Lesson Plans (PDF) – 7 lessons

WHO are these CHARACTER EDUCATION LESSON PLANS (PDF) FOR?

Here are some ways you could use this character-building curriculum TO BUILD a community of CHARACTER in your CLASSROOM or SCHOOL.

Teachers could use this package in their classrooms to introduce the concept of character and growth mindsets at the start of the school year in January:

Middle School Advisory and Homeroom teachers – Character Building Activities / Life Skills Lesson Plans

  • The Sudoku strategies and overcoming obstacle strategies (perseverance) set a framework for you to use over the next month or term.
  • Do this package in the first week of class, and then do Sudoku as 5-minute bell work when students come into class every day.
  • Sudoku becomes an ongoing metaphor: You can get better at Sudoku if you keep at it, and keep a growth mindset by learning and applying new strategies to solve increasingly harder puzzles. There will be times that you won’t want to do Sudoku, or you get stuck and want to cheat and just copy the answers. But, the easy way out doesn’t build character or ability to independently solve Sudoku puzzles.

Literacy teachers – Exploring Examples of Character in Character Traits

  • Character traits are things that describe who you are. For example, a character could be kind or mean, good or evil, adventurous or lazy… you get the idea.
  • Use this package to explore positive character traits in a text that introduce inner strength, tenacity, perseverance and a desire to learn (i.e. Growth Mindset) for students.
  • And then, follow up with a character study (short story, novel, movie, play, etc) looking at characters and how they overcome challenges. (We provided short video snippets of celebrities talking about their experiences and discussion points about how this connects to their character…)
  • Possible teaching points:
    • Which fictional characters in your character study demonstrate a growth mindset?
    • How might a fictional character answer the “What do you believe” mindset handout?
    • How might they answer the “Character” learning skill self-evaluation handout?

History teachers – Exploring Examples of Character in Historically Significant Figures

  • Similar to the literacy teacher suggestion, but after doing this Character introduction with your students,
    • explore historical people from the curriculum
    • evaluate whether they had a growth mindset or how they might do on the learning skills self-evaluation handout.
    • Justify answers with historical evidence/inferencing.

School leaders (Principals, Admin, Division Leaders) could use this Character Learning Skills lesson package in their schools to create a common language and exploration of growth mindset.

SCHOOL ACTIVITIES / IDEAS to create a culture of character building

It’s easy for teachers to become individual islands, but how do you create an entire culture of character-building?

Well, you need a common school goal with a common language that everyone buys into.

Many schools have a School Learning Plan (SLP) that is focusing on a school-wide approach to exploring “Growth Mindsets.”

It’s very easy to put up posters about “YET.” That’s a great start. We can create a habit and get our students to say things like, “I don’t get it, yet… “

But how do we empower our students to see themselves as learners? How do we show them how to not give up when the learning gets tough?

Principals can share these life skills lesson plans as a starting point for conversations with their staff. Adapt these lessons to fit your specific school climate.

This Character Education Lesson Plan PDF Package provides:

  • a self-assessment of students’ mindsets,
  • an introduction to growth mindsets and fixed mindsets, and then
  • an activity (Sudoku) to struggle through and try to maintain a growth mindset.

The open-ended class discussions of videos of socially relevant celebrities that students can relate to / look up to help us to realize that the ten seconds of running that Usain Bolt does at the Olympics is simply the tip of the iceberg of all the training he has to do to get there.

We can develop our inner ninja and inner character to get through life’s challenges!

  • Sudoku puzzles are a great, generic, differentiated learning activity. It’s perfect to role-model struggle, perseverance, and a strategy-based approach because eventually, the puzzles get tough for everybody.
  • These experiences can transfer to other learning tasks and challenges throughout the year (like studying for a quiz, test, or exam!)

Common Language, Common Learning Goals

These Life Skills lesson plans provides a systematic way for a grade, division, or school to explore learning skills / character development as a framework of delivering provincial / state curriculum..

  • The sudoku activities provides everyone with a common experience between classes so that students can support each other, even though they’re in different classes.
  • Doing the same  vocabulary building graphic organizer (Frayer model) provides a common tool / framework that students and teachers can build around in other areas (i.e. math concepts, grammar concepts, science concepts, etc).

Ultimately, this unit chapter is meant to kick off a year / lifetime of discussion, as opposed to being a one-off activity.

If all classes start off with the same approach, then throughout the year, as teachers do different activities, we can all still connect it back to concepts of growth mindset, and how to persevere.

Customize the Powerpoint or Google Slide

SAMPLE ONE WEEK SHORT RANGE PLAN:
(7 CHARACTER EDUCATION LESSONS for Middle School and High School)

I based this schedule on a 50 minute period. My goal is to provide around 40-45 minutes of content per lesson.

(Let’s be honest. It takes your students a few minutes to wander into class, and you’ll probably need a few minutes at the end of class to go over homework or administrivia stuff.)

Depending on your teaching style and the chattiness of your class, you may find that you can get through all 7 lessons in 5 days… or it stretches out to two full weeks (10 days).

TEACHER PRO TIPS:

If you’re short on time, you might consider adapting these Life Skills Lesson Plans:

  • Simplify the Sudoku section by doing fewer hand outs / strategies / rounds.
  • We provide four video suggestions as examples of Building Character lessons for Middle School and High School. Only watch one video.

PART 1. EXPERIENCE

LESSON 1 – Activity #1 What do you believe Self Assessment Handout  / Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset (40 min) – SLIDES 1-39

  • Chapter introduction / Part 1 – EXPERIENCE character – Slides 1 – 2
  • Doing the “What do you believe” survey (20 min) – Slides 3 – 25
  • Taking up the answers – Discussing growth mindset (20 min) Slides 26 – 39

LESSON 2 – Activity #2 Sudoku (40 min) – SLIDES 40 – 90

  • Round 1 (20 min)
    • Reviewing Mindset (5 min) Slides 40 – 49
    • What is Sudoku (10 min) Slides 50 – Slide 72
    • Round 1 work period (5 min) Slide 73
  • Round 2 (20 min)
    • Sudoku Strategies #1-3 (10 min) Slide 74 – 89
      • Strategy 1. Inspection – Slide 75-77
      • Strategy 2. Start with the Most – Slide 78-86
      • Strategy 3. Write down Candidates – Slide 87-89
    • Round 2 work period (10 min) Slide 90

LESSON 3 – Sudoku continued (45 min) – SLIDES 91 – 124

  • Round 3 (20 min)
    • Sudoku Strategies #4-5 (10 min)
      • Strategy 4. Go by number – Slide 91 – 96
      • Strategy 5. Pointing – Slide 97-102
    • Round 3. Work period (10 min) Slide 103
  • Round 4 (25 min
    • Sudoku Strategies #6-9 (15 min)
      • Strategy 6. Go by row – Slide 104-108
      • Strategy 7. Double Check – Slide 109-111
      • Strategy 8. Go by box – Slide 112-117
      • Strategy 9. Hidden Singles – Slide 118-123
    • Round 4. Work period (10 min) Slide 124

LESSON 4 – Sudoku continued and Introducing Videos (40 min) – SLIDES 125 – 138

  • Round 5 (20 min)
    • Overcoming Obstacles (Perseverance) Strategies (10 min)
      • Introduction – Slide 125-127
      • Obstacles and strategies to overcome obstacle / develop perseverance – Slide 128-132
    • Round 5. Work period (10 min) Slide 133
  • Watch Video (20 min)
    • Introduction: Part 2 – Watch Videos – Slide 134
    • Video and open-ended discussion: Kobe – Slides 135-138

PART 2. WATCH

LESSON 5 – Videos continued (45 min) – SLIDES 139 – 150

  • Video and open-ended discussion: The Rock (15 min)- Slides 139-142
  • Video and open-ended discussion: Bolt (15 min) – Slides 143-146
  • Video and open-ended discussion: Ellen (15 min) – Slides 147-150

PART 3. UNDERSTAND

LESSON 6 – Playing with words (40 min) – SLIDES 151 – 167

  • Introduce Part 3 – Understand (Vocabulary Builder) – Slide 151
  • Graphic Organizer set up – Slide 152 – 153
  • Minds on – Slides 154-155
  • Filling out the graphic organizer – Slides 156-159
  • Revising graphic organizer – Slides 160-164
  • Summary Slides 165-167

LESSON 7 – Self Evaluation / Review (40 min) – SLIDES 168 – 175

  • Student Self Evaluation Slides (10 min) 168 – 174
  • Chapter Review Test (30 min) Slides 175

BONUS EXTENSION ACTIVITY: Emoji Sudoku

This 6Cs Character Building Activities Bundle now also includes some Fun Emoji Sudoku puzzles. More opportunities for students to work on their resilience muscle!

  • No prep, just print PDF to include in your end of year activities.
  • Use the 27 EMOJI SUDOKU puzzles to explore building perseverance and resilience!
  • Includes a solutions PDF so students can check their own progress.

This is a great activity to use at the end of the year! It’s something a little more fun, but still has learning value.

Overcoming obstacles is an important life skill – whether you’re trying to figure out the solution to a sudoku puzzle, or life challenge. (Hello, covid!)

Some of the Sudoku strategies online can be difficult for students to understand.

So, these Emoji Sudoku puzzles work well with the section about Sudoku strategies in our Week of Character Building Learning Skills Bundle 

Sudoku is a fantastic opportunity for students to explore a Growth Mindset and resilience strategies.

Use these emoji sudoku puzzles before or after exploring the concept of mindset (Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset.)

  • Let your students struggle with sudoku puzzles first to provide context before showing them the growth mindset slideshow…
  • Or, use the emoji sudoku puzzles as an extension after they’ve done the numbered sudoku puzzles in the lesson package.

Here’s what you get in the Character Building Unit ZIPPED FILE

Here’s what you get in a pretty zipped file:

This lesson plan is available in PDF format for printing. Pretty.

  • 175 Slides!
  • Customizable Powerpoint PPT file so you can change the slideshow to fit your classroom needs.
  • 175 Slides!
  • Get a Google Slideshow link so you can present the slideshow as is (right away without any changes)
  • Get a different Google Slideshow link to make a copy in your own Google Drive and modify it to fit your specific needs.

HANDOUT: 21 Sudoku Puzzles with Growth Mindset tips (PDF)

21 different unique Sudoku puzzles ranging from very easy to ridiculously hard.

  • Solutions are also provided so students can self-check their work and move on to the next puzzle.
  • Growth Mindset phrases and ideas from the slideshow are included at the bottom of each puzzle to remind students to choose to stay in a growth mindset during the activity.

HANDOUT: “What do I believe” Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset self-assessment (PDF)

Adapted from questions and answers in Carol Dweck’s book on Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. What is your mindset when it comes to:

  • Intelligence
  • Sports Ability
  • Artistic Talent
  • Personality and Character?

(Answers in slideshow)

HANDOUT: Character Learning Skills Self Assessment (PDF)

Student Self Evaluation of their “Character” Learning Skill at the end of the week. You can use the same handout at 3 different times in the term to get diagnostic, formative, and summative information to help with Learning Skills comments for the Report Card. 

HANDOUT: Chapter Review Assessment (PDF)

6 short answer questions to see what students remember from the week’s worth of lessons. 

DOWNLOAD the Character Education Lesson Plans (PDF) from the Educircles Teachers Pay Teachers store

Life skills lesson plans should help your students experience, watch, understand. Sample images of handouts, slideshow, and self-evaluation

Product Reviews

Note: Reviews are taken from people who have purchased this product on our Educircles Teachers Pay Teachers store.

  • Only people who have purchased the product may leave a review.
  • Teachers Pay Teachers use a 4 star rating system, but Google uses a 5 star rating system, so we have multiplied the TpT rating by 1.25 to figure out what the rating would be out of 5. For transparency, we have included the original TpT rating for each review.
  • All of the original reviews can be viewed here

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What Character Education Lesson Plans (PDF) do you use in your classroom?