character education

The Voyage of the Mayflower Lesson Plan

Posted by in 21st century skills, books, character education, Content Areas, critical thinking, english, social studies | 0 comments

The Voyage of the Mayflower Lesson Plan

  Learning about the Pilgrims and their journey to America is important to understanding the founding of our country and the history of the United States. The Pilgrims’ voyage on the Mayflower was full of hardships. Today, a replica named the Mayflower II sits in Plymouth Bay, where the Pilgrims eventually landed and settled in Plimoth. Plimoth Plantation is also a great field trip if you’re in the New England area — it’s a great opportunity teach your students first hand what living as a Pilgrim was like. One way to understand the Pilgrims and the trials they...

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The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, by Lee Harper

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The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, by Lee Harper

The Emperor’s Cool Clothes is a cool new take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes.  In it, a penguin who has always wanted to be cool and his counselors, who are very proud of how cool they are, are taken in by a couple of tricksters. The idea of wanting to be cool may have more immediacy for today’s students than the idea of wanting to be thought wise. Enjoy the book as a read aloud for your younger students, or use it as a lesson starter for older students. Here are some cross-curricular activities for the book: Use a Venn diagram to compare this...

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Mystery at the Olympics: Rush for the Gold

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Mystery at the Olympics: Rush for the Gold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein is a young adult novel set at the London Olympics and the run-up to them. The main character, Susan Carol Anderson, is a competitive swimmer. She learns firsthand, as she prepares for the competition, that it’s easy for a competitor to become a commodity. Her friend Stevie is reporting on the Olympics, and his experience as a writer and a journalist is explored along with the experiences of the athletes. Read the book aloud or assign chapters to students for independent reading. Then follow up with cross-curricular...

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Routine Tasks in the Classroom

Posted by in 21st century skills, character education, technology | 2 comments

Routine Tasks in the Classroom

  I’m a teacher, but I’m also a parent, and I’ve occasionally had disagreements with my kids’ teachers. Once a teacher complained to me about my daughter’s resistance to doing routine stuff like copying out spelling words repeatedly. “Most of our lives as adults,” she said to me, “consist of doing repetitive, boring, routine tasks.” My reaction: “Not my kid.” I hope I didn’t actually say that, because I know — as a teacher — how it sounds, but I remember that I thought it. That kid is now a data analyst...

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The Soldier’s Tale Study Guide

Posted by in character education, economics, music | 2 comments

  The Soldier’s Tale by Igor Stravinsky tells in music, narration, and dance the Russian folktale of a soldier on leave who trades his violin — and his soul — for wealth in the form of a book that foretells changes in the stock market. The soldier agrees to go home with the Devil for a couple of days to teach him how to play the violin. At the Devil’s home, he tastes a life of luxury, and when he continues on to his village, he discovers that three years have passed, not three days. His fiancee has married another, his mother thinks he’s a ghost, and his old...

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Frankenstein Lesson Plans

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Frankenstein Lesson Plans

Frankenstein is the story of a man, Victor Frankenstein, and a monster, who is never given a name. It was written by Mary Shelley, who began creating the tale when she was just 19. Read it online at Literature.org. Having read and enjoyed the book, choose from the cross-curriculum connections below to explore the issues in it more deeply. English Advanced classrooms will appreciate the Signet teacher’s guide. It’s a very through discussion of the book as literature, referencing the Romantic period, literary influences in the work, and scientific and philosophical questions raised...

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