Now that I have shared why we are teaching character and how we are teaching character, I thought it might be beneficial to see the teaching a little more up close. In posting these, my hope is that it will encourage you and also give you some ideas that you can incorporate into your family time.
During our first week, we focused on the quality of ATTENTIVENESS.
Definition, "I will" statements, and verse we memorized during the week:
I used the definition straight from the Character First curriculum. For the "I will" statements, I tweaked them a little. Each day we practiced our definition, our verse, and we focused on one of the "I will statements." I focused a lot on making sure the kids understood what the definition and statements meant, as well as gaining an understanding of how we could incorporate them into our lives. For example, on the whiteboard photo pictured above, I drew a picture to help them understand what it means to give our "undivided concentration." We did a lot of practicing these "I will" statements -- both in showing how to do them and how not to do them. The kids especially loved acting out the latter.
BIBLE VERSES/STORIES USED:
Luke 10:38-41 (Mary and Martha). We read the passage, talked about who was being attentive and who was being distracted, and then we acted out the scene. The kids loved getting to play all the parts (which means we acted out the scene 5 times so everyone got to play every part!)
Mark 6:30-35 (Jesus feeds the 5000). We talked about being eager listeners and how even when the people were hungry, they still sought after Jesus and listened carefully. We also discussed how Jesus and the disciples were attentive to the needs of the people and realized that they needed to be fed.
Matthew 2:1-12 (Story of the Magi). We discussed how the magi had to follow the star for a long time to get to their destination. They had to be attentive to make sure they got to where they were going!
Silly Commands: We played a game that was like Simon Says, but with a twist. I would give silly commands and if my hand was on my lap, they had to do it, and if my hand wasn't on my lap, they didn't have to do it. The point was for them to practice being attentive to details.
Talking to others: We practiced saying hi to people/introducing ourselves. We practiced looking people in the eye, responding to their questions, and making sure we listened to what they had to say. The fun thing was, the day after we practiced this we had an opportunity to practice it. We were at the school where Jason works and Caleb and I ran into the principal. The principal said hi to Caleb and Caleb stopped, looked him in the eye, said hi, answered his questions, and then gave him a fist bump (the principal's greeting of choice!) As we left I told Caleb how good he did with being attentive and he said, "Well, it was easy...you had told me what to do. If you don't tell me what to do, I won't know. But since you told me, it was easy!"
Learning about deer: We learned about the white-tailed deer and how attentive they are. We learned about how deer LOOK, LISTEN, BLEND, and RESPOND. We practiced these characteristics. We also read books about deer and did a coloring page.
Listening Ears: We made a pair of "listening ears" to remind us to listen well. The kids had a lot of fun wearing them every day.
Magnifying Glasses: Using cardboard and Saran Wrap, we made magnifying glasses. When you add a drop of water to the Saran Wrap, things are magnified. These were to help us remember to look carefully.
Treasure Hunt: By answering riddles that were placed around the house, the kids found a secret treasure. This was to help them remember to read closely, think through things carefully, and then look intently.
Following the Magi: To go along with our story of the Magi, we played a "follow the star" game, similar to follow the Leader.
At the end of the week, all the kids had the opportunity to recite their attentiveness definition, "I will" statements, and Bible verse. They all did great (even Katie, who is three, was able to do most of it) and they each earned a "medal" for attentiveness. The hope is that they will continue to earn more medals throughout the year. Getting out the glitter and making their own medals was probably their favorite part of the whole week!
Next stop: OBEDIENCE!