Classroom Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Format

The Character Development & Leadership Curriculum utilizes a consistent set of 12 lesson plans to teach each of the 18 character trait units. This is both the simplicity and the beauty of this curriculum. It’s what the teachers love and the students come to rely on. Once the students understand the 12 lesson plans, they know what to expect, which provides consistency. At the same time, one ethical dilemma (for example) doesn’t look like the next, so each lesson plan is unique and fresh.

Below you will find the format. Each lesson plan is aligned with the common core standards for English and ties into a specific learning style.

Note: This was originally taught as a class so the 12 lesson plans fit neatly into the days of the week. Many schools do not teach this curriculum as a stand-alone course so those days of the week do not matter to them. The important thing to understand is that there are 216 lesson plans available in the curriculum (12 lesson plans x 18 character trait modules).

(1) Definition/Quote Exercise

This is a nice way to introduce the trait and get students thinking and reflecting. To make sure students are on the same page, students are given the opportunity to define the featured trait. Then students are given quotes that pertain to the trait from people throughout history and asked to personalize and provide context.

(2) Ethical Dilemma

Students are confronted with real-life scenarios that force them to use critical thinking skills, recognize potential options, understand the consequences of their choices and to ultimately make better decisions. Students initially write their answers down on paper, but the hallmark of an effective classroom is getting students up and moving around, forming debates and looking at the issues from diverse perspectives.

(3) Topic Lecture

It is essential to provide students with relevant and research-based information related to the topic of the week. This information helps students move forward by knowing the facts. In addition to the lecture notes, visuals and handouts are provided in the curriculum.

The 12 lesson plans (listed above) are repeated over and over about a different character trait that is paired with a different topic (listed below).

18 Character Traits/Unit Topics Chart

Weekly TopicsCharacter TraitsRole Models
Orientation & ExpectationsAttitudeMattie Stepanek
Developing Goals & PrioritiesPreparationChelsey "Sully" Sullenberger
The Importance of EducationPerseveranceBooker T. Washington
Showing Respect to OthersRespectDwight Eisenhower
Building a Positive ReputationHonestySherron Watkins
Developing Personal ValuesIntegritySonia Sotomayor
Handling Peer PressureCourageAmelia Earhart
The Importance of Role ModelsAppreciationChristopher Reeve
Managing Anger & AggressionComposureMartin Luther King, Jr.
Positive Communication SkillsEmpathyHelen Keller
Expressing Gratitude to ParentsGratitudeBob Hope
Cultural CompetenceToleranceArthur Ashe
Citizenship in the CommunitySacrificePat Tillman
Sustaining Long-term RelationshipsLoyaltyNancy Reagan
Employability & Workplace SkillsResponsibilityCal Ripken, Jr.
Addressing Bullying at Your SchoolCompassionOprah Winfrey
Becoming a Strong LeaderLeadershipMike Krzyzewski
Being a Strong Role ModelCharacterSummary Chapter

Students and teachers rely on this format since it provides consistent and stable learning.

To learn more about potential methods of implementation, click one of the buttons below.

High SchoolsMiddle SchoolsAlternative Schools

To provide a deeper understanding, we are providing you with lesson plans from an entire unit. This is the Unit 15 on Responsibility, which is paired with the topic of Employability and Workplace Skills.

Week 15 Module


What separates this curriculum from other “soft skills” curricula is an emphasis on reading and writing. For each unit, students write a two-page essay and read a chapter from the Role Models text book. The literature is clear that all curricula needs to be rigorous and academically challenging. There are high expectations placed on each child – students can’t just show up and get an A in this course.

We also designed the topics to be relevant and meaningful to a child’s life. It is very important that every student understands how each lesson plan will impact their future. Detailed lesson plans, an online blog, virtual lectures on leadership, overheads, PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, final exams, syllabi, grading scales and everything necessary to teach this course is included with this curriculum.