Character is what defines a person. It gives their personality substance. It’s what they rely on to make solid decisions throughout their lifetime.
As a teacher and a role model, you have the power to help shape your students’ character. By modeling the right types of behavior and including lessons that focus on character building, you’re able to influence children and help them develop traits that considered desirable by society as a whole.
Here are some character building activities you can use in the classroom today:
- Fill the bucket. Give each student slips of paper. Ask them to write something complimentary on them for each one of their peers. Have them pass out their compliments accordingly. Once everyone is finished with the task, ask the students to share some of their favorite compliments with the class.
- Gratitude flower or tree. Create a gratitude flower or tree out of paper to place on the front of your classroom door. Whenever your class feels gratitude for something that has happened during the week, add a petal or leaf to the gratitude flower or tree. Give your students a turn posting the gratitude for the week so that everyone feels the magnitude of sharing it.
- Helpful or hurtful. Have older kids look at magazines and share the language they feel is helpful and the language they feel is hurtful. Ask them to explain why they believe it to be true. This teaches them about empathy and thinking about how words make other people feel.
Character building is underutilized in schools nationwide. By engaging in activities that teach core values such as honesty, respectfulness, integrity, loyalty, compassion, and fairness, you’re helping children prepare for the real world and the many life lessons they’ll learn as adults. The more you focus on character building, the brighter future you give to your students who learn by example.