This activity is designed to help you develop a lesson that teaches character through the curriculum and encourages ethical reflection. Part of your project may be in the form of a webpage, videography (no longer than 10 minutes), poster, brochure, song, poem, or any other instructor-approved medium to teach character education.
- Select one of the following content areas you already teach (CCSS or state standards): >> I teach Math_ Algebra 2 & Geometry<<
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Physical Sciences
- Physical Education
- Modern Language
- Using your selected content area, design a lesson plan presentation for Character Education through the Curriculum. This lesson is designed for use in your classroom to help students develop the cognitive side of character (performance, civic, and/or moral) by (include all the following):
- Raising ethical awareness
- Creating an understanding of virtues of your chosen character type (vocabulary) and how to apply them in concrete situations
- What materials are you planning to use to support the concept
- Plan for reflection opportunities
- Helping students to take the perspective of others
- Helping students to reason morally (Why are some things right and others wrong?)
- Helping students make thoughtful decisions (the virtue of prudence)
- Helping students create self-knowledge, including the capacity for self-criticism (the virtue of humility)
- Formative assessment – How will you informally measure the students’ understanding of the lesson? What activity will they do to demonstrate their learning?
- You are still learning and will continually develop. To finalize your project, look to the future: What’s next? Now that you know more about character, what skills might remain to still be refined or added? What might you want to explore further in the arena of moral leadership?
Support your statements with evidence from the required studies and your research. Cite and reference your sources in APA style.
Peer Responses (Due Thursday)
Read your classmates’ responses. Reflect and substantively comment on at least three of your peers’ submissions.
- Share your overall impressions of the lesson/project.
- What areas are done well and why?
- What is one suggestion can you offer to the author that may support growth opportunities for future lessons?
- Share any expertise you may have to support an area the author would like to develop.
Support your statements with evidence from the required studies, other research, and experiences. You are required to respond to comments or questions about your posts
>> Classmates’ posts<<
Character in the Curriculum: “What if Everybody Did That?”
I created a lesson that focuses on Language Arts while also helping students to develop his/her own character. With the recent rise in COVID cases in my area, our schools are moving into hybrid or completely remote learning. Knowing this, I created my lesson using Nearpod. That way, whether we are in school or remote, the students will be able to complete the lesson. The lesson will be presented in a way that allows for a lot of interaction and peer discussion. If we are in person, the lesson would be set as live participation that way I controlled the slides the students are seeing, that we can have whole group discussions through each slide. If we are remote, I could have students complete it two different ways. One way is through live participation using zoom. Presenting it this way, allows students to see the slides I was presenting while also being able to have active discussion. The other way is allowing it to be student paced. This means that the students could work through the lesson on his/her own time and we would be able to have a whole group discussion via zoom at a later date/time.
For the lesson, students will work through the Nearpod, following the directions on the screen. They will listen to the story by Ellen Javernick called, What if Everybody Did That via YouTube. This book focuses on moral, performance, and civic character because it takes situations where someone does the wrong thing but brushes it off due to it being just one action and that action would have little impact. It then asks the question “what if everybody did that?” which causes the character to reflect on his actions. It addresses moral character because it looks at and addresses behavior that makes the character and students focus on his/her own morals through “qualities-such as integrity, justice, caring, and respect-needed for successful interpersonal relationships and ethical behavior” (Seider, 2012, p. 32). It addresses performance character in a way of making sure you do the right thing. “Performance character must always be regulated by moral character to ensure that we do not do bad things in the pursuit of our goals” (Seider, 2012, p. 128). This book does a fantastic way of demonstrating that. What if Everybody Did That? goes above and beyond in terms of teaching the character (in the book) and students the importance of civic character. Civic character focuses around an individual’s role within his or her local, national, and global communities while giving them the skills needed to be effective contributors to those communities. (Seider, 2012). The situations in the book, show the character making a bad choice that affects the people around him and could ultimately affect his local, national, or even global communities. It teaches students that every one of us is responsible for the actions we take, and in turn the effects of those actions. Sometimes (most times), those effects also affect others around us.
Throughout the lesson, students will be reflecting on the book and relating it back to his/her own personal experiences and the virtues that make our character. Some of the virtues addressed are empathy, respect, humility, self-control, fortitude, etc. (Lickona, 2003). These reflections are done in multiple ways such as discussions, mental reflection, collaboration boards, draw it slides, graphic organizers, and writing prompts. These reflections will allow for students to reflect on the perspective of others, think about why some things are right and other things are wrong, the importance of thoughtful decisions, self-knowledge/self-criticism all of which will help raise his/her ethical awareness. As for the assessment piece, students would be assessed through multiple means such as discussion, the Nearpod activities (draw it, collaboration boards, matching game), and their written responses.
Standards addressed during the lesson:
CC.1.2.3.A: Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
CC.1.2.3.B: Ask and answer questions about the text and make inferences from text; refer to text to support responses.
CC.1.2.3.C: Explain how a series of events, concepts, or steps in a procedure is connected within a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
CC.1.2.3.G: Use information gained from text features to demonstrate understanding of a text.
9.2.3.F: Know and apply appropriate vocabulary used between social studies and the arts and humanities.
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
- Determine the main idea of the book, What if Everybody Did That, and use details to support the main idea
- Make inferences about why some things are right and other things are wrong
- Explain cause and effects of our actions
- Describe and explain a situation that would create a problem if everyone did it, using self-reflection
- Use the vocabulary we have been learning and relate it to the reading and personal situations.
Materials needed for the lesson:
- Chromebooks (Headphones, Wireless Mouse)
- Nearpod Website/App
- Nearpod Active Lesson Code
- Zoom App
- Hard Copy of the Book (Optional)
My Nearpod Lesson Link:https://share.nearpod.com/knjRTiLJwbb
I also attached a copy of the lesson as a PDF.
Lickona, T. (2003). The content of our character. Retrieved from http://character-education.info/Articles/TheContentofOurCharacter.pdf
PA State Standards. (2020). Retrieved November 18, 2020, from https://www.pdesas.org/Standard
Seider, S. (2012). Character compass: How powerful school culture can point students towards success.Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press
Winter, S. (2018, October 8) What if Everybody Did That? [Video File]. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWm2WXZic1k
Attachment: What if Everybody Did That_.pdf (3.514 MB)
Lesson Plan for Character in the Curriculum
The goal for this lesson is to have students identify, discuss, and explore the meaning of the performance character trait perseverance and how it can be applied in math class and beyond! Many math students struggle with completing their work throughout the year. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most common is if the student doesn’t understand how to do something right away, they choose to give up and disengage. My hope is after completing the activities in this lesson, students will reflect on how they can use perseverance in math class and become more confident in pushing themselves past their comfort zone.
Raising Ethical Awareness and creating an understanding of Performance Character:
- Students will be asked to describe the word perseverance in their own words, prompting an opening discussion on everyone’s initial opinion of the character trait.
- Students will be working in pairs to discuss how they see perseverance being presented in three different video clips from the movie, Finding Nemo.
- A popular Disney, Pixar film that will grab the students attention
- Some students may not have realized, until now, how a main message from the film was the act of perseverance
- Students will also discuss how they could use perseverance both inside and outside of the classroom.
- In the final activity for the class, students will post responses to the question: How can you show the trait of perseverance in math class? Students will post these responses on a virtual collaborative bulletin board where other students can see their answers and potentially gain ideas from other’s responses.
- Interactive Nearpod lesson (PDF of lesson attached)
- Warm-up: Open-ended question
- Video clip: Perseverance – Finding Nemo
- Three open-ended question imbedded in video clip, students must answer before continuing
- Partner discussion (reflection opportunity)
- Detailed reflection on video clip
- Applying perseverance in and out of the classroom
- Someone who displays perseverance in their life and how
- Closure: Collaborative Bulletin Board (reflection opportunity)
- Students share how they can show perseverance in math class
- Discussion on student responses – intriguing and thought provoking
1. Student responses to warm-up question
2. Student-pair discussions on perseverance from the video clip, using it in and out of the classroom, and someone who shows it in their life
3. Student responses to closure question
I need to commit to implementing some sort of character education within my classroom. It is too important to ignore and let pass by for another group of young minds. I believe I need to reflect on what is truly important to me as a teacher and want I want to instill in my students. I think the best way to do this is to work with my Geometry and Consumer Math PLC teams to come together and discuss which virtues we want our students to learn and eventually apply in and out of the classroom. Seider (2012) states, “particular curricula and practices should be considered only after members of a school community have come to a decision about the overarching approach to character education that best suits their particular students and context” (p. 222). The sooner we come together a group and decide on a common vocabulary of virtues we would like to use, the sooner we can start implementing those virtues within our classroom curriculum.
I also want to explore this idea with my entire school. I believe my school is missing a common language amongst administration and staff. If we were to come together as a group and discuss what specific virtues are most important to us, as a community, the stronger and better our potential character education could be.
Heinz, S. (2015). Perseverance – Finding Nemo [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRQytOBTlN8
Seider, S. (2012). Character compass: How powerful school culture can point students toward success. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Attachment: Perseverance in Math Class.pdf (631.541 KB)
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