Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Character Education Skits

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!

I hope that you all are having a fun and festive holiday.

Before I share my thoughts and freebies on character education, here is a quick health update.  The verdict is that I have...MONO!!  Yep.  I never had a sinus infection.  I had mono.  The reaction I had to the antibiotic was because apparently mono and amoxicillin don't play well together.  Actually, that is a MAJOR understatement.  For the last 4 days, I have been taking a double dose of Benadryl every 4 hours and my skin is still not fully back to it's normal paleness.

The upside to having mono is that I do not have to permanently avoid amoxycillin in case I need it in the future.  The downside is that I have mono and the antibiotic did nothing to help, so I will still have it for awhile.  My best guess is that I've had it for a little over three weeks now since that is how long I have not felt well.  That means it could be another several weeks before I have my full energy back.  I am thankful that it is break so I can rest up a lot.  However, it's Christmas and I don't want to be lame and miss out on things because I am zonked out on the couch all the time, so it has been hard for me to really feel like resting.

Anyways, that's my status.  Now, on to more educational things.

I thought I would talk a little about character education since my class just performed their character education skit for the whole school last Friday.

My school addresses character education by having monthly assemblies.  At each assembly, one kindergarten, one first grade, and one second grade class perform something about a specific character trait.  Classes usually either recite a poem/reading of some kind or perform a skit.  At the end of the assembly, all three classes sing a song.  These are the character traits for the year:

  1. Cooperation
  2. Attitude
  3. Respect
  4. Effort
  5. Sharing
  6. Communication
  7. Responsibility
  8. Empathy
Although the assemblies are a lot of work and can be quite stressful, I enjoy them and think they do a decent job of introducing students to character traits and providing them with examples of how to act out the traits.  Ideally, students are learning these things at home, but we all know that unfortunately, not all children have positive role models at home.  

As a first year teacher last year, I was nervous about preparing for the assembly, but quickly became excited about getting to be theatrical.  I was in theater all through high school and miss it a lot, so when I got the chance to perform a play with my class, I jumped at.

My class was assigned to the Sharing assembly.  I found an AWESOME readers' theater for the book, The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Psister.  I downloaded it FREE from within Dorothea Conte's paper, "Readers' Theatre Developmental and Corrective Reading Processes."  I only had to adapt it a bit to suit my class and to emphasize sharing a bit more, but it worked great.  

My kids learned their lines by reading through the script every day and by practicing at home.  We worked with the art teacher to make some AWESOME costumes.  The kids did all the painting!

For the rainbow scales, we used shiny metallic paper cut into circles.  The scales were taped on, so that when it came time for the Rainbow Fish to share them, he could take them off and stick them on the other fish.  I wish I had a better picture, but this gives you the idea of how they looked.

At the end of the assembly, we sang "The Sharing Song" by Jack Johnson.

For this year's assembly, we had to focus on Respect.  I was happy to be assigned that trait because my three classroom rules are: Respect Yourself, Respect Others, and Respect the School.  On the very first day of school, we go over the rules and think of examples of how to show respect.  Then, we sing the "Respect Song" from Have Fun Teaching.

For the assembly, I scoured the internet to find a skit or readers' theater about respect, but surprisingly had no luck, so I decided try to write a skit myself using "The Respect Song" as a basis.  

The skit is a game show called "Respect or Not?" hosted by Rita and Ricky Respect.  There are 4 contestants who must watch various classroom scenarios being acted out and then decide if the students were being respectful or not.  There is also an audience participation component because the hosts ask the audience if they think the students were respectful or not too.  My students and the audience really got a kick out of the scenes where the students were being disrespectful because they were based off of common classroom scenarios. 

If you would like to check out the skit, you can download it FREE here: "Respect or Not?"

One note about the script: I used my students' names for the contestants and students, which made them feel special and helped them respond to their cue lines better.

After my class performed, we joined with the kindergartners and second graders to sing a different "Respect Song" from Have Fun Teaching.

With both skits, I learned that I can't expect Tony award winning performances from first graders, but that as long as the kids have fun and everyone learns more about the character trait, then it's all good.

Before, I go take a Benadryl-induced nap, I want to ask you all about what your schools do for character education.  Do you have assemblies?  Do teachers just do their own thing or is there as specific curriculum?  What traits do you teach about?

I would love it if you would comment to share your thoughts.

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your skit about Respect. I was looking for something like that, and have had trouble finding one online. You just saved me a lot of work!