Core Values Build Character

Help students intentionally evaluate and build character through demonstrating and developing, with peer support, core values and traits

Photo of Sarah Swain
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This idea was inspired by Madeline Levine's book Teach Your Children Well. In the back of her book, page 251, there is a checklist of core values that she encourages readers to use to identify their family's core beliefs and family culture from which to make critical decisions. What if students did this exercise at the beginning of the year? In each class? In advisory? In home room? Each student could identify their core values. Maybe they also take the exercise home to their family. After students do the exercise individually, the group or class can identify the top 5 or 10 to be their goal values that will guide decisions and discussions throughout the year.

Make sure to check out the awesome updates to this idea in the PDF below!!

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Core_Values_Build_Character (1).pdf

My initial idea was a loose inspiration from reading Madeline Levine's book Teach Your Children Well. As I received feedback in the evaluate stage of this design sprint, I fleshed out the ideas into the following plan for advisory, homeroom, or class groups to work on throughout the year. I plan to pilot this activity in my advisory group this year. I'm excited to see how core values build character!


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Photo of Erin Quinn

I like this idea. I also like the idea of kids self-identifying which core values they want to improve throughout the year. Someone in the Blab last night defined character as something that must always be progressing, growing. It would be neat to have kids continue to reflect on the opportunities they took to improve themselves in their core values throughout the school year.

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