New Resource! Character Building and Classroom Culture Materials

I recently discovered a new resource I want to share with you! It’s a blog called Come Follow Me FHE (FHE stands for “family home evening,” where your family spends time together at home). Each week, kindergarten teacher, Angie, shares a short lesson about a character-building type topic and includes printables and activity ideas aimed at children.

The lessons are based off of a manual called Come Follow Me, which focuses on the New Testament. If sharing ideas from a religious topic is inappropriate in your school, use the basic ideas of good character to strengthen your students. For example, her second week lesson focuses on the Beatitude. Rather than calling them the Beatitudes, call them “character bees” or say “we should be humble”. I firmly believe these Christian values are critical to good character development in children and will strengthen us as a society.

Here’s a freebie she sent me from week 2: bee coloring page

I also liked week one, with the theme “we are responsible for our own learning.” This. Yes! A thousand times yes!! I went to the manual (available here) and found this lesson idea (I’ve modified it to fit a classroom setting):

Matthew 13:1–23  One great way to help [your classroom] prepare to learn this year is to review the parable of the sower. Your [class] might enjoy looking at different kinds of ground near your home to visualize the types of ground described in the parable. What can we do to cultivate “good ground” in our [classroom]? (Matthew 13:8).

This analogy lends itself to all kinds of discussions. “Our mind is like a garden” or “plant good ideas in our heads” and the list goes on…

Here’s his you get the freebies: Subscribe to the Come Follow Me FHE weekly email. I don’t like to give out my email or subscribe to things (I already get so much email!), But this one is a simple once a week email sent on Tuesdays. I’ve tried it and I don’t get a bunch of useless junk emails. If you missed the previous week’s worth of lessons and activities, you can get them at Angie’s Etsy shop. She’s got cute display printables for each lesson if you like pretty things!

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Rainbow Fish – Friendship Activity

Rainbow Fish- Friendship STICKERThe children’s book, Rainbow Fish, has been the subject of a few posts recently (click here and here for the previous posts). Rainbow Fish has so many good applications to character development. In the book, Rainbow Fish learns that he has more friends when he shares. Here’s one more activity you can use to develop this theme of what real friendship looks like. To complete the activity, students are directed to only color in the fish that have characteristics of real friendship.

Click here for the free printable PDF: Rainbow Fish Learns Friendship

Rainbow Fish Activities (2)

A few days ago, I wrote about the Children’s book, Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister. Click here for the original post. I found a few more fun activities that can help you continue your focus on social skills and high morals.

Retell the story and act it out using decorated clothespins as scales (source).

Glue pieces of tissue paper and googly eyes onto paper plates (source unknown).

Decorate old CD’s with sequins and glitter (source unknown).

Rainbow Fish Activities (1)

The Children’s book, Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, has always had a special spot in my heart. From the time it was published in 1992, I have loved the illustrations, and especially the morals (sharing and humility brings happiness). The author has since published many more books that teach about character and social skills (click here for more information). I think these books are perfect for classrooms, especially since schools are being given more and more responsibility for teaching children basic character and social skills. So here are a few activities to do after reading the book. Use each activity as an opportunity to discuss these character traits and social skills with your class.

Trace hands and make fancy fish (source).

Create a class wall piece showing the qualities of a friend (source).

Paint bubble wrap and then press it onto paper like it’s a stamp (source).

Poster Board Character Presentation

abraham lincoln character cut-out copy

I saw this cute idea at a charter school a while back. The students were assigned to research a famous person, prepare a report and then present their findings to the class. They each made a poster of the person and cut out a circle so they could stick their face through as if they were the character. For example, in the picture above, the student presented as if he was Abraham Lincoln. This works with a regular poster (if the student holds up the poster while they talk) or with a 3-fold presentation board (which stands up on its own).

I’ve also seen this kind of thing done as a “museum,” where all the students are in a large room and as guests walk by, they give their presentation or answer questions as if they were the famous person.