What is Character?

Give students an opportunity to define and defend their understanding.

Photo of Nicolette James
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I would like to engage my students in the process of thinking about this project themselves on day one by having every student select a quote on character that resonates with them by asking themselves, "What is character and how do we show it?" They would then find a few peers to discuss their understanding of the quotations with and they will plan how best to demonstrate or explicate what the quote means to them. They would then determine a way to share their Character is... projects with all of the students in our district in an interactive way.

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Photo of Nicolette A. James

To find the quote they will search the Internet. Every year, I have students do this in the beginning year as an introduction.  Once they have chosen a quote, that will share it with a small group to practice interpreting the quote, explaining  why they selected it and what it means to them. Then, they have to come up with a way to communicate their interpretation of the quote to a larger audience (in this case, the students in the elementary school). By this time, I would have done a mini lesson on a few ways they could possibly do
it: blog, video, podcast, Skype. Etc
Throughout the year,  they will complete several projects similar to this one so jumping right in with a lesson on character would be a great way to begin.

Photo of Valerie Lewis

I wonder what they would create if given choice boards on how they want to present? Would the younger ones be familiar with technology to create memes or graphics to share out their interpretations!

Photo of Nicolette A. James

Please share. I'm not too sure of what a choice board is (I think I have an idea from the name but I could be wrong). I usually just have them choose from any of the ways that we know we can communicate ideas to those who are not necessarily in front of us. (Although we also go on actual trips to the middle school and elementary school to work with the kids on character ed.)

After the younger students view the older student's projects, I'm thinking they could create storyboards or some kind of animated strip to share what they understood.

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