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Friday, February 12, 2016

Character Day: Focus In

In part, I hope to recognize Abraham Lincoln's birthday on Character Day
Today is Character Day for our fifth grade team.

This is how we'll recognize this special day.

First, students will create dodecagons that are decorated with the attributes of good character. This is a simple activity to simply recognize what good character includes. After that we'll review the attributes during a class discussion, a discussion led by MLK's inspiring quote, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

Next, students will list to J.K. Rowlings'  Harvard Commencement Speech, and as they listen they will note attributes of character that she mentions. While this speech is a stretch, I find that when you make the time to "stretch" children, they reach for the big ideas and gain inspiration.

Then I'll introduce the day's project which is to illustrate an element or elements of character in one of the following ways:
  • write a song, rap, poem, story, or essay that depicts good character.
  • make a poster that teaches the whole school what good character is and why that's important
  • create a commercial advertising good character
  • enter a rap or essay contest related to good character
  • write and perform a short skit or play about good character
  • if students have another idea, they're free to share it with the teacher and likely able to carry it out.
The project timeline will be a day so we'll expect everyone to be close to finished by 2:30, and then there will be time to share.

I'd love to fit in some time for read aloud too if possible. This will depend on how students' creativity with the project work takes off. If time permits, I'd love to read a good biography picture book about Abraham Lincoln since it's his birthday and he's a good example of good character. 

The day also marks the end of our Team Week Celebration so students will exchange "Party in a Box" creations and Valentine's Day Cards. Of course there will be time for play too. It will be a good day--this day before the February Break.