How to Teach Character Education

As teachers, there are many demands on the precious hours we have with our students. We have many standards to teach and students to prepare. Sometimes the thought of adding one.more.thing is enough to make a teacher scream. However, there is one thing we owe to our students to prepare them for the future. No, it’s not more academic knowledge. It’s the practice of instilling good character. Character education plays an important part in preparing our students for lifelong skills. I’m excited to share these Character Education in the Classroom Year-Long Activities! As well as help you develop a plan for incorporating these ideas into your daily lesson plans.

How to Teach Character Education in the Elementary Classroom

Why Teach Character Education?

Teaching important values is often left out of many state standards and curriculums. However, it’s so important to the future of our kids, our country, and our world. Character education fosters the development of ethical and responsible students by teaching them about the good values that people should have. It teaches students the values of perseverance, integrity, responsibility, kindness, respect, and other important traits that make for an upstanding citizen. Character education not only helps students face the many opportunities and unknown dangers in today’s society, but it also helps with academics. We owe it to the future to make time for it.

Including character education in the classroom is something I am passionate about. I feel that its importance in shaping our students’ futures ranks right up there with academics – if not higher. That’s why I spent hours upon hours creating a character education curriculum that is effective, easy to implement, and won’t take a lot of your precious classroom time.

Character Education Integrity

As teachers, we are world changers. Yep – you are a world changer. You have the opportunity to touch lives through the children you teach each year. You are a world changer!

I don’t know about you, but it goes so much beyond book knowledge and academia when I think about changing the world. I want to help instill moral values in each student. However, that requires teaching and building good character.

Incorporating Character Education Into Your Day

Don’t let the thought of adding character education feel impossible. For instance, I don’t believe that character education is best taught in one 45-minute lesson. Students respond best to short, daily mini-lessons and activities. This gives students time to process what they learn and apply it to their lives. By making it a daily activity, it stays at the forefront of their minds.

Character Education Integrity

This character education program is designed to cover a different character trait each month. You can easily break down the activities into small bits. For instance, you could choose to spend the first week of each month teaching a character trait. Or, you could choose to spend one day per week incorporating the lesson plans. I don’t know about you, but I can find a few minutes in the day for something so important with a little tweaking.

Maybe you would rather use these resources and activities in larger blocks of time? If so, you could absolutely do that! The goal is to use them in whatever way works best for your classroom and schedule.

Why This Resource Is Helpful

This engaging character education program includes 10 different units. You can use these printable and digital activities throughout each month. The idea is that for one month, you focus on a specific character trait and really dig into it with your students.

In addition, each unit includes no-prep printables and digital activities. This makes it quick and easy for you to add these important lessons to your day.

Character Education Self-Discipline

The first step is introducing the character trait and what it means. A class discussion is a great way to do this. Also, each unit includes is a fun, colorful character trait poster to display on the front board. Or, you could also hang the poster beside your classroom door. By doing this, students can see and refer to it throughout the day.

After that, try incorporating the extension activities and character trait choice board. This will provide students with additional opportunities to further develop each trait.

What Students Will Learn

This year-long bundle helps students learn how to be successful in the real world by teaching them the values of caring about other people, honesty, responsibility, and many other important traits that make for an upstanding citizen! Additionally, students will learn how to:

  • treat other people through kindness
  • develop a sense of responsibility
  • master the importance of integrity
  • sustain self-discipline
  • be tolerant of others’ differences
  • show respect, and so much more!
Character Education Kindness

Goals are clearly stated, which helps teachers establish the expectations for each lesson and what students can hope to learn.

Each lesson includes:

  • a classroom poster
  • an introduction of the character trait
  • a mentor text with comprehension questions
  • extension activities through a choice board
  • a printable and digital Google option.

Moreover, the extension activities allow students to analyze quotations, conduct research, develop technology skills, write journal entries, and work on additional projects.

The character education posters are the perfect addition to any classroom! Colorful and useful, these posters are an excellent way to visually reinforce character traits throughout the year.

Character Education Tolerance

Through scenarios and stories, students will develop a deeper understanding of each character trait, what it looks like, and how to apply it to their everyday lives.

In addition to these no-prep activities, it is really easy to incorporate opportunities for students to write about the character trait using quick writes. Writing is a great way for students to assimilate their learning.

Most importantly, students gain a deeper understanding of these character traits through mentor texts. By using the stories included, students can focus on the thoughts and actions of the characters to gain a better understanding of the character trait.

Apply It!

Finally, students learn how to apply the character trait to their real life. With the activities provided, you can challenge your students to think of ways to practice each character trait. In turn, this helps students put them into action!

Character Education Perseverance

Each character education mini-unit includes a choice board. Your students will be given a variety of options to choose from. This allows them to be creative as they gain a better understanding of each character trait. It has always worked well to hand the choice board out at the beginning of the month and have it due at the end of the month. It’s a great activity to add to learning stations or to send home. Also, you can easily incorporate these choice board activities as daily assignments to support your character trait lessons.

Perfect for:

  • morning meetings
  • whole-class discussions
  • small groups
  • independent desk work
  • early finishers
  • counselor lessons, and so much more!
Character Education Bundle

Teach Character Education All Year Long

There is no right or wrong order for teaching these lessons. They are easy to add to other topics or units you are teaching. For instance, you might choose to teach tolerance during January when you study Martin Luther King, Jr. This would be a great way to connect tolerance to real-world events in history. Similarly, maybe you are doing a novel study on the book Hatchett by Gary Paulsen? You could easily add the perseverance character trait to this unit. The possibilities are limitless!

You can find each unit individually using the links above, or grab the bundle and have the entire year ready to go!

I hope this post helps you better understand the importance of teaching character education in the classroom. Building character will help your students learn how to interact properly with adults and peers. Since students spend most of their time at school, it is the perfect place to instill moral values in them!

Save For Later

Save these character education ideas so you can come back when you need tips, ideas, or resources on teaching these important life skills. Just add the image below to your favorite Pinterest board!

Character Education Activities for the Classroom

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