The Character Development & Leadership Curriculum utilizes a consistent set of 10 lesson plans to teach each of the 18 character trait modules. 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 10 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 10 lesson plans fit neatly into the days of the week, as listed below. 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 180 lesson plans available in the curriculum (10 lesson plans x 18 character trait modules).
This is a nice way to introduce the trait and get students thinking and reflecting. 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 10 lesson plans that are integrated into the weekly format listed above get repeated over and over about a different character trait that is paired with a different topic, as seen below.
18 Character Traits/Weekly Topics Chart
|Weekly Topics||Character Traits||Role Models|
|Orientation & Expectations||Attitude||Mattie Stepanek|
|Developing Goals & Priorities||Preparation||Chelsey "Sully" Sullenberger|
|The Importance of Education||Perseverance||Booker T. Washington|
|Showing Respect to Others||Respect||Dwight Eisenhower|
|Building a Positive Reputation||Honesty||Sherron Watkins|
|Developing Personal Values||Integrity||Sonia Sotomayor|
|Handling Peer Pressure||Courage||Amelia Earhart|
|The Importance of Role Models||Appreciation||Christopher Reeve|
|Managing Anger & Aggression||Composure||Martin Luther King, Jr.|
|Positive Communication Skills||Empathy||Helen Keller|
|Expressing Gratitude to Parents||Gratitude||Bob Hope|
|Cultural Competence||Tolerance||Arthur Ashe|
|Citizenship in the Community||Sacrifice||Pat Tillman|
|Sustaining Long-term Relationships||Loyalty||Nancy Reagan|
|Employability & Workplace Skills||Responsibility||Cal Ripken, Jr.|
|Addressing Bullying at Your School||Compassion||Oprah Winfrey|
|Becoming a Strong Leader||Leadership||Mike Krzyzewski|
|Being a Strong Role Model||Character||Summary Chapter|
Students and teachers rely on this format since it provides consistent and stable learning.
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To provide a deeper understanding, we are providing an entire module — a “week’s” worth of lesson plans. This is the Week 15 Module on Responsibility, which is paired with the topic of Employability and Workplace Skills.
What separates this curriculum from other “soft skills” curricula is an emphasis on reading and writing. Each week, 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 weekly 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.