The activities are divided into primary and intermediate grade levels, each with
appropriate developmental strategies. The purpose of each activity is to address the
holistic approach to character educational instruction. The focus concentrates on blending
the social and cognitive domains in an integrative and cohesive manner.
My Name Is Me!
Do You Mean?
Take A Second Look!
What Size Is It?
Read It, Write It, Count It!
What Should I Purchase?
You Tell Me!
If I Had the Power
There Are Two Sides to Every Story
I Am Me and Nobody Else!
Black and White = Polka Dots
Is It What I Think or What I Know? (Fact and Opinion)
If I Could Be an Inventor, I Would Invent . . .
What and Why (Cause and Effect)
Old Wisdom: New Learnings
Take a Look in the Mirror: What Do You See?
To help students with self-discovery
To promote students' appreciation of their individuality
To help students understand their feelings
To help students make inferences
Promotion of language and thought development
Introduction and development of vocabulary words
Introduction and development of higher-order thinking skills
Write the sentences listed below, and any others you wish to include, on individual
sentence strips or large cards. Place in a box. Have students form a circle. Select a leader
to stand in the middle of the circle. The leader will pull a sentence strip or card, read it
aloud, and then point to someone in the circle to react.
The student who has been selected must begin his or her reaction by saying, "I feel . . "
The student can either answer in words or express feelings with facial expressions or
body language. If facial expressions or body language are used, the other students are to
try and guess or read these expressions and determine how the student feels. Discussion
about why some students feel the way they do about certain things and how to help bad
feelings turn into good feelings should follow.
To ensure that everyone gets a turn at being a leader and the opportunity to participate in
expressing themselves, student leaders should be rotated after two sentences, and
selections of students should be done in a clockwise fashion.
How do you feel when you:
. . . are praised for something good you did?
. . . are not included in a game?
. . . get all of your math problems correct?
. . . have something taken away from you?
. . . share with a friend?
. . . win a game?
. . . want something that belongs to someone else?
. . . are told that you did a very good job?
. . . are home alone?
. . . are accused of something you did not do?
. . . get a hug or a kiss?
. . . and your best friend have an argument?
. . . are told that you are smart, beautiful, helpful, loving?
The circle leader pulls the following sentence from the box: "How do you feel when your
big brother plays with you?"
Selected student: "I feel great, happy, wonderful, etc." (or the student can give a broad,
Teacher: (If the student gives an oral response, the teacher may ask), "Why do you feel
(If the student smiles, the teacher may ask), "Class, can you tell me how Maria feels by
reading her expression?" "Maria, why do you feel happy when your big brother takes
time to play with you?"
How were students able to demonstrate their ability to express their feelings using
How did students exhibit their understanding of body language or facial
How were students able to demonstrate their ability to use inferences?
How did students express empathy for and understanding of others' feelings?
To promote the students' awareness and appreciation of who they are
To help students reflect on their self-worth
To enhance students' self-esteem
Enhancement of vocabulary skills
Development of thinking skills
Development of writing and reading skills
Encouragement to use synonyms and homonyms
Development of cognitive skills
Students will use prior knowledge, cognitive skills, vocabulary knowledge, and creative
thinking to complete the following activity. It can be done individually, in pairs, or as
Each student will print his or her name vertically down the left-hand side of a sheet of
lined paper, writing each letter separately. The student will try to think of a self-
descriptive word or phrase that matches each letter of their name.
Students are to write a descriptive paragraph or story about themselves, using the words
or phrases they have selected and any others they can think of as they are writing their
paragraphs. The students are to share their writing selections with the class.
My name is Miguel. I am an intelligent young man with a magnificent mind. My friends
like me because I am a very unselfish person, who is always willing and eager to help
others. I am also an extremely eager and ambitious leader, who can follow as well as lead.
I am brave and gutsy. I am not afraid to try new things and go to new and different places.
This activity is an excellent homework assignment for involving parents in their
How did students use their knowledge and cognitive skills?
How did students demonstrate pride and self-esteem?
Did students exhibit an improvement in writing skills? How?
How did this activity help students increase their vocabulary skills?
To motivate students to use their higher-order thinking skills
To motivate students to read
To help students develop an appreciation for their culture as well as those of
Use of knowledge
Use of cognitive skills
Integration of listening, speaking, writing, thinking, and reading skills
Students will read and interpret the sayings listed. Students and teachers are encouraged
to add to this list. This activity should be done by students working in cooperative teams.
This activity encourages students to concentrate on comprehension skills as they attempt
to figure out what the sayings really mean. It also is an excellent avenue to address
cultural diversity, because many of the sayings or phrases originate from various racial,
religious, and cultural groups. This is an effective way to involve parents, grandparents,
and other family members. Have students ask their family members to share some of
their traditional sayings or proverbs.
After students have determined what the sayings mean, have them discuss how they can
help them improve their lives, behavior, or how they treat others.
Traditional Sayings or Proverbs
When it rains, it pours.
Two wrongs don't make a right.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
Birds of a feather flock together.
The early bird gets the worm.
Half a loaf is better than none.
Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.
The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.
Do not judge a book by its cover.
Old saying: Little but mighty!
Interpretation: Someone may seem to be small in size or position, but that doesn't mean
they are not strong or important.
Statement: I have to remember that everyone is someone important; and that it doesn't
matter how small in size the person may be. Therefore, I must respect people for who
they are and not for their color or size or where they work.
How did students exhibit their ability to interpret the sayings?
How effective were the students in using their knowledge and metacognitive
Did students exhibit more of an interest in their culture or others' as a result of this
Did students exhibit their use of higher-order thinking skills? How?
To enhance students' higher-order thinking skills
To promote cooperative learning
To help develop students' perspective that beauty and good qualities can be found
in things and people
To encourage students to use their knowledge and cognitive skills
Enhancement of students' awareness of cultural and ethnic differences
Promotion of the idea of looking for and finding good qualities in people
Integration of thinking and writing skills
Arrange students in teams of three to five students. Have a pre-selected group of objects
or articles that have been placed in a bag or box (a suggested list is provided). A member
from each group will, without looking in the bag or box, select one object. The selected
object will be examined by each team member; then the team will follow the directions
written below, which are to be written on the board:
1. Think of a way in which your object or article is like a person.
2. List two things that make your object or article beautiful.
3. Name three ways your object or article can be useful to you, your friends, or your
4. Name four reasons why you love your object or article.
5. Tell three things you can do that would help your object or article feel good about itself.
Give the teams enough time to discuss each of the instructions and write their responses.
Each team will share their information orally with the class. A reporter from each team
will explain what its object was and will then share its attributes.
The follow-up discussion should center on how the students were able to think of all the
nice and positive things to say about their objects, as though these were real people. The
discussion should guide the students to understand how easy it is to find good and useful
qualities in everything, especially people, if one takes the time to look.
Sample List of Possible Objects or Articles
(Teacher and/or students are encouraged to add to this list)
stick of gum
piece of candy
roll of tape
rock or pebble
small sea shell
How did students use their knowledge?
Were students able to demonstrate an understanding of how good qualities can be
found in simple, ordinary objects or articles? How?
How did students demonstrate their use of higher-order skills?
Were team-building skills exhibited? How?
To encourage students to use their knowledge and experiences
To use mathematical concepts to encourage students to use their higher-order
To help students develop their concept of size
Use of higher-order thinking skills
Use of knowledge
Use of mathematical skills
Integration of Content/Subject Areas
Arrange the students in teams. Write the following words on the board:
small large tall smart
smaller larger taller smarter
smallest largest tallest smartest
Discuss the comparative qualities of each with the students. Ask what the difference is
between the words in each set. Have them demonstrate their understanding by first
creating some type of drawing or picture that depicts the difference in the degree of
words. After they have completed their drawings or representations, have them write their
descriptions or explanations.
Example: long, longer, longest
Lina has long black hair, but Sue's hair is longer. Jennifer has the longest hair of all the
girls in our room.
Encourage the students to be as creative as they can as they think of ways to describe the
comparisons. Have each team share how they described each set of words. Ask whether
they can think of other words to compare. Students may contribute other words, such as:
big, bigger, biggest
bright, brighter, brightest
white, whiter, whitest
black, blacker, blackest
mad, madder, maddest
narrow, narrower, narrowest
wise, wiser, wisest
neat, neater, neatest
How did students use their critical thinking skills?
Did students demonstrate an understanding of comparisons? How?
Were students' writing skills enhanced? How?
Were students able to distinguish words that could be used for comparisons from
those that would not fit into this category? How did they demonstrate this
To encourage students to use their critical thinking skills
To help students better understand math concepts
To help students see the relationships among reading, writing, and thinking skills
Use of cognitive skills
Use of critical thinking skills
Use of problem solving concepts
Students will use the process of solving math problems as a foundation for enhancing
reading, writing, and thinking skills. The teacher will write sample math problems on the
board. Sample problems are provided (teacher and students can also contribute math
problems to be solved).
Give students the option of working individually, in pairs, or in teams. They will solve a
problem, and then write a sentence or word story about the problem they solved. This
will be done for each problem. Students will share their math sentences and stories with
Tomas and June were walking down the street on their way home from school. As always,
they had to pass the neighborhood drugstore. But today there was something different
about the windows in the store. They were all decorated with beautiful red and white
fancy cards. Tomas looked at June and said, "I did not realize that tomorrow is Valentines
Day! I have to buy my mother a card, but I don't have enough money."
"How much money do you need?" June asked.
"The card I see costs two dollars and twenty-five cents, and I only have one dollar and
twenty-five cents. I need another dollar."
"I have a dollar I can let you have," June said.
"Oh thank you," Tomas said happily. "I will pay you back when I get my allowance next
So Tomas added June's dollar to his dollar and twenty-five cents. Now he had enough to
buy his mother the card for Valentines Day.
How did students demonstrate their problem solving abilities?
How effective were the students in creating sentences or stories?
How did students demonstrate the use of their knowledge or experiences in
writing their stories?
Did students exhibit good critical thinking skills? How?
To encourage students to use their critical thinking skills
To enhance students' creative skills
To enhance students' comprehension skills
Use of higher-order thinking skills
Use of knowledge
Use of reading skills
Students will use their knowledge and experiences to create stories in pictures ("wordless
stories"). Give students the option of working individually, in pairs, or in teams.
Direct the students to first write a story on any topic they choose. Next, direct them to
rewrite their story, using only drawings, pictures, stick figures, and so forth. They may
use words such as the, then, next, my, etc. But all nouns, adjectives, and verbs must be
represented by pictures.
After completing their stories, students are to give them to another student or team, who
will attempt to "read" the picture story using the picture clues provided. After students
have read the pictures, give them the story in words and ask them to compare their
version with the actual story in words.
Discuss with the class how it was that some students were able to read or infer what the
story was about. Ask them what skills they used in doing so.
Story in words
The dog chased the cat down the street. The cat ran into a house, but a lady with a broom
chased the cat out of her house.
Story in pictures
How did students use their knowledge or experiences?
Did students demonstrate an ability to create stories that had a beginning, middle,
and end? How?
How did students demonstrate their use of higher-order thinking skills?
To enhance students' understanding of the different types of writing
To help students enhance their writing skills
To encourage students to use their writing skills for different purposes
Use of writing, reading, and thinking skills
Develop speaking skills
Develop interpersonal skills
Develop communication skills
Students will listen to commercials on the radio, watch them on television, and read
advertisements in the newspapers, magazines, and "junk mail" received at home. This
activity can be done individually, in pairs, or in teams.
Have a dialogue about commercials and focus on how and why they are successful in
getting people to buy certain products, cars, and foods. How are these commercials able
to convince people that they should spend their vacations in a particular country or on a
certain island? Ask students why their parents shop at a specific clothing or food store
and why they purchase certain brands of blue jeans, shoes, or other items.
Have students read advertisements. Have them select key words or distinctive phrases
that catch their attention or appeal to them. They are to make a list of these words and
phrases and discuss the reasons for their selections.
Using these key words and phrases as a guide, the students are to select an existing
product or create one and write their own "persuasive TV commercials." Each student or
team member will present their commercial orally, using their oratorical skills to
convince the class that their particular product should be purchased.
How did students exhibit their understanding of persuasive writing?
Did students demonstrate an ability to gather information from various sources?
How did students demonstrate improvements in their writing skills?
How did students exhibit improvements in their oral speaking skills?
To help students' comprehension skills
To encourage students to use higher-order thinking skills
To promote students' use of their knowledge and inference skills
To help students learn how to construct meaning
To help students learn correct grammar usage in the context of writing and
Use of knowledge and experiences
Use of inference skills
Enhance comprehension skills
Use of correct grammar in writing and speaking
Students will read the sample statements provided. Using their knowledge and
experiences, they will determine an appropriate word that will complete the sentence in a
After they have practiced completing the sample statements, place the students in teams
and have each team develop five to ten statements that leave missing words. An "answer
key" with the missing words for each will also be developed by the team.
Each team will then exchange statements with another and determine what the missing
words are. The teacher will have the answer key to check correct responses. The answers
do not have to be the exact words in the answer key but must make sense in the context
of the sentence. The sentence must have a subject and a verb, the correct tense of the verb,
and subject-verb agreement. Correct spelling of words is also essential.
The team that completes the statements first and correctly will win the honor of being
"best team for the day."
This activity can also be extended by the teacher to include such other content areas as
science, mathematics, social studies, and geography. For example, if the class has been
involved in science lessons about plants and how they grow, you may give them the
following sentences to complete:
Plants need ______, ________, _______ in order to grow and stay alive.
Some plants can live and grow without _____________.
________ grows only in _________________.
Sentence: The man ________ the little boy fall.
Possible correct answers: saw, made
The man saw the little boy fall.
The man made the little boy fall.
Incorrect answers: was, laugh, walk
The man was the little boy fall.
The man laugh the little boy fall.
The man walk the little boy fall.
Other incorrect answers would be the incorrect tense of the verbs saw and made.
Can you _________ me find my blue socks?
My _________ came to visit last summer, I hope _______ will come back soon.
Did you know that ____________ have wings?
______________ do experiments to find out how or why something happens.
The capital city of our state is _____________________.
The leader of our city is the _____________________.
The leader of our state is the _____________________
The leader of our country is the _____________________.
The tallest building in our city is the ____________________.
Chin Lee had one hundred and seventy-five dollars. He went downtown shopping and
spent $96. He came home with ____________ left.
How did students demonstrate their ability to complete the sentences?
How did students exhibit an improvement in their writing skills?
Were students able to construct their own meaning? How was this demonstrated?
How did students exhibit the use of higher-order thinking skills?
To encourage students to use their cognitive skills
To promote higher-order thinking skills
To help students become more aware of their environment
Use of creative thinking
Use of knowledge
Use of higher-order thinking skills
Students will use their knowledge and/or experiences about various topics to help them
complete the following activity. Place the students in cooperative groups. The teacher
will write statements similar to those listed below on the board. Students will think of
ways they can address the problem or situation. Each group will discuss the same
problem. After deciding on a possible plan of action or solution, each group will select a
reporter who will share the team's plan.
The students will discuss how they formulated their plan and why they think it would
work. Sample statements are listed below. The students should be encouraged to add to
"If I had the power to ________, I would . . .
get someone to clean my room everyday, I would . . .
stop children from going to bed hungry, I would . . .
help older people, I would . . .
get my mother to let me eat only what I liked, I would . . .
stop children from fighting with each other, I would . . .
make my (some relative or friend) feel better, I would . . .
make my school a neat and clean place, I would . . .
stop people from selling drugs in my neighborhood, I would . . .
help everyone in my classroom get good grades, I would . . .
stop wars in other countries, I would . . .
buy my family a new home, I would . . .
give everyone a loving family, I would . . .
If I had the power to eat ice cream for breakfast every day, I would rent a big rental truck,
drive it to the supermarket, and fill it with every flavor of ice cream the store had. Every
day I would eat a different flavor; maybe on some days I would mix two flavors together.
Since I would have the power, I would let my little sister eat ice cream for breakfast too.
How were students able to relate to current problems in their home, school, or
In what ways did they exhibit problem solving skills?
How did students demonstrate an awareness of events that surround them?
How did students exhibit team-building skills?