Teaching Character Education and Traits

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Teaching character education in the classroom is essential. Regardless if you have class meetings daily, weekly, or even monthly it is important to discuss character traits. I am guilty, this is something I did not make much time for my first years of teaching, but later realized it was the backbone to my classroom.

There are hundreds of character traits you can focus on, but I saw it important for my class to pick a few and focus on those traits. I can say my students were pretty awesome, every single year they impressed me more and more. I account much of this to building relationships, and focusing on positivity with our character traits.


Teaching Character Traits and Social Emotional Learning in upper elementary

So you are probably wondering what I did and which traits I focused on. Honestly, I chose traits that are essential to everyone throughout their lives. When you think of qualities that are important to you… what traits do you choose? That is how I came down to 10, why the number 10? Well, that was easy- I wanted a round number and a number that we could focus on all year. So we did 1 a month every month.

My friends, these are the 1o character traits I focus on all year: (Kindness, Diligence, Trustworthy, Integrity, Respect, Fairness, Responsibility, Gratitude, Courage and Perseverance). 

Character Trait Lesson Ideas

Let me share what I did with my students to teach these traits, hopefully you can use some, or all in your classroom setting.

  1. Every week in my class we had class meetings. These were right after morning announcements 1-2 times a week, or depending on the week we may have more. This was my students and my favorite time of the week. We spoke, shared stories, sometimes I read a quick passage out of a book, but every week we focused on our monthly character trait.
  2.  I did not ever have an order of which trait I would teach. It really depended on my class needs. There were months we needed to focus on kindness, others on perseverance, and so on. My class dynamic taught me what we needed to focus on.
  3. Activities: I would have the trait created into a poster and it would be the focus on a bulletin board. We would do quick activities (writing, drawings) with the focus. And I would also hand out awards to students I noticed really showcasing the trait (I made sure every student received the awards).
  4. At the end of the year our bulletin had all 10 traits on display and kids felt so proud that they had learned and grown in these areas. It was fun to say to them, “Natalie, I love how trustworthy you are,” “Colin, you showed courage speaking up today!” My kids felt so much pride learning and earning these badges of honor as I like to call them.

Character Trait Activities

When I created all these activities I put them together to save you the time in your classroom.

  • You can take a peek at my complete Character Traits Packet with Writing Pennants, Posters, Awards packet.
    • included you will find the 10 posters: (Kindness, Diligence, Trustworthy, Integrity, Respect, Fairness, Responsibility, Gratitude, Courage and Perseverance)  in color and black backgrounds.
    • 10 Teach-Go Pennants: as we focus on the trait the students complete this activity and I display the pennants on the bulletin with the posters. You can keep them together so at the end of the year they have all 10 together and will see how much they have grown. (in color and bw)
    • 10 Awards: Also included are awards you can pass out to students when they show this character trait. (in color and bw)
    • Also, this year due to distance learning I added these student pages in digital format.

I would love for you to take a peek at the complete packet here!

I hope these tips and resources will help you in finding success in teaching character education in your classroom.

Bonus: You can grab this exclusive freebie today. It includes: 1 Poster, 1 Writing Pennant, and 1 Award to get you started on teaching character education in your classroom.

Just click HERE to download exclusive freebie this week only!

Teaching Character Traits and Social Emotional Learning in upper elementary

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Teaching Character Traits and Social Emotional Learning in upper elementary


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