“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.
This is how character is built.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Character education helps kids learn more about basic morals and values and their importance. Character-building is often included in class lessons and in the supporting curricula used in classrooms across our country. Typical character traits that are taught in these lessons are compassion, kindness, honesty, perseverance, justice, acceptance and diversity. Teaching peace is also a major focus of many powerful character education programs.
A school typically has its set of chosen values and incorporates a specific character education curriculum to support them. These are values that they think are the most appropriate to teach and cultivate and what they think their community should practice. Also, character education is an important subject to many lawmakers and government officials who see the importance of teaching good character to our nation’s youth and of ensuring that future leaders possess essential life-skills such as honesty and integrity.
Methods of Teaching Children Character Education
Literature is an effective tool to demonstrate morals and values to children because story-telling helps them to understand these types of deep concepts. Books with colorful pictures and entertaining stories have been used by teachers for many years to inform and pique children’s interest in a particular subject. Character education books may be used in many different ways with children, but the most effective method is through stories combined with experiential learning activities.
Role playing is a great teaching technique because it places children in a hypothetical situation where they can use the values that they have learned in a story and apply it to a situation. This is experiential education at it’s best!
Furthermore, after reading a story and discussing it, educators may have students perform a variety of activities that help children fully understand the values they have just learned. These activities often encourage students to identify more profoundly with the characters and the dilemma they were facing. Additionally, group discussions and story expansions as well as written exercises are some of the more powerful and effective ways to elicit understanding and comprehension of character education in children.
“Our character is what we do
when we think no one is looking.”
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Of course, we think that journaling is a great character teaching tool also. To get started using character building in your classroom, see this list of 52 fabulous character building thoughts. There are many great thoughts for kids to ponder and to write about in their personal journal.
You should know also that the Journal Buddies books for girls and for boys teach character traits such as kindness, cooperation, understanding and respect.
Until next time, journal on…
“A sweet, simple journal for kids!”