But Harmony- yea that one was harder.
Excellence- hard to teach how to be Excellent.
But our Character Trait this month is Integrity- and one of the more difficult concepts to teach. It's really hard for students to understand the concept of doing the right thing for no specific reason other than it's the right thing to do. Why should I "do the right thing even when no one is looking". They can spout it off verbatim but do they really live it? It took a lot of searching but I found some awesome activities to use. Plus, since our district just finished with Math and Science Nights, I made my activities focus on Integrity through a science viewpoint... And two of my favorites (so far) are these:
My First graders got to read The Empty Pot by Demi.
|An AWESOME book that teaches the importance of telling the truth and doing the right thing even when no one else is.|
Next, our Third Graders learned that when we do the right thing (even if no one is directly impacted), it changes the atmosphere, the composition, and the makeup of the entire school. We read The Principal's New Clothes by Stephanie Calmenson.
It's a funny school-related take on The Emperor's New Clothes and it's an older book but for some reason my Third Graders really like it. We talk about how the entire school learns to do the right thing no matter who sees or what others think. But then we talk about Invisible Cloth... and Invisible Ink. :)
"But Mr. Allen, there's no such thing!"
Oh yea?! Well I love science. So here's what we do. I give them all a piece of paper, have them write their name on it, and then flip it over to the blank side. Every student then gets a new writing tool...
|Wax makes an awesome writing medium... :) EWWW|
I ask them what a pencil is made of and they respond "wood". But does it write with the wood or need something else. Well duh, it needs something else- The
I then ask them to dip their Q-Tip and write on their paper HOW they show Integrity in school (a specific example). And slowly students realize they can't se what's written. Neither can I. Neither can their neighbors. Neither can their teachers.
|Their papers done and dried "blank"|
I take the papers home that night and place them four-at-a-time in my oven set to Low Broil.
And something amazing happens...
The writing burns quicker (because of the acid) and their little acts of Integrity show through!
The next day I hang them in the hall so EVERYONE can see how Third Grade is showing Integrity (even if they THINK no one can see!)
Science meets Counseling! New twist on an old concept. Gets them thinking and engaged. I LOVE IT!