We provide over a week of lessons to teach character building with your class...

… to help them get a handle on how to build inner strength and character. (We have a complete breakdown of ALL 7 LESSONS at the bottom.)

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

Welcome to Chapter 1. Character (Learning Skills – Exploring the Six Cs)

In this package, we have a series of lessons that

  • introduce the concept of mindset (Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset),
  • allow students to explore character (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.

WHAT IS CHARACTER? (Chapter Big Idea):

After this 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 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.

WHO IS THIS CHARACTER LESSON PLAN PACKAGE FOR? HOW COULD YOU USE THIS TO BUILD 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 September:

Homeroom teachers – Building Character

  • 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 everyday.
  • 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 Character in literature

  • Use this package to introduce inner strength, tenacity, perseverance and 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 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 Learning Plans (SLPs) exploring “Growth Mindsets”

It’s very easy to put up posters about “YET” – and get students to say things like, “I don’t get it… yet”… But, how do we empower students to see themselves as learners and not give up when the learning gets tough

This Character Lesson Plan 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 helps us to realize that the 10 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.

You need to develop your inner character to get through life’s challenges!

Common Language, Common Learning Goals

This unit 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 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.

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET when you download the Character Lesson Plan (Exploring the Six Cs Unit - Chapter 1) zipped file:

We provide handouts to teach Character:

  • 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 lesson 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!)

PROPOSED GAME PLAN: Complete breakdown of ALL 7 CHARACTER BUILDING LESSONS

We based this schedule on a 50 minute period and providing 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 for your class.)

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 TIP: If you’re short on time, cut out some of the rounds of Sudoku and only watch one video.

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

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

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

DOWNLOAD THE FULL LESSON to help you teach a full week worth of CHARACTER LEARNING SKILLS:

Exploring the Six Cs - Chapter 1 - CHARACTER (Learning Skills) WEEK

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

Printable PDF lesson plan

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

Powerpoint file

  • 175 Slides!
  • Customizable Powerpoint PPT file so you can change the slideshow to fit your classroom needs.

2 Google Slides links

  • 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 onto 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. 

  • Answer Key not provided as different teachers will be looking for different points that they have been stressing throughout the lessons.

OTHER EDUCIRCLES products that you might want to look at:

This package is part of a larger unit exploring the Six Cs.

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