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After School English-Language Arts Lessons

A Note about After-School Programs

The Anaheim Family YMCA Anaheim Achieves After-School Program participated in the Institute for Character Education Professional Development Program for teachers. The lessons presented here were developed by the participating YMCA teachers and are specifically designed for the after-school program setting. For infused character education English-Language Arts lessons designed for typical classroom use, click here.

The Anaheim Achieves After-School Program staff choose supplemental children’s literature selections for some lessons, while other lessons are “free-standing” with no book purchase needed to conduct the lesson.

After-School Alignment with the Daytime Program a Key to Success

Team with the schools to promote character education as an integral curriculum component.
Select strong and caring program personnel to carry out the program.
Provide character-based lessons in the after-school program.
Know, share, and live character education.
Collaborate for goal achievement by capitalizing on community opportunities.
Keep schools and staff informed about character education goals and progress.
Celebrate successes with staff, daytime program personnel, and community.

Lesson Presentation

Overview of After-School Character- and Literature-Based Lessons

After-school character education lessons are presented in two formats. One set of lessons is for programs with access to selected trade books. The other lessons have been developed as free-standing for use by after-school providers as stand-alone lessons. Use the printable page button to access worksheets in full page version.


1. Read and discuss the story and the lessons learned before you conduct an extended activity or assessment. Check for evidence of student understanding.
2. Use activities as different lessons on different days or provide your class with a selection of activities from which to choose on a given day.
3. Emphasize critical thinking skills in discussions.
4. To assist students with organization, you may wish to provide binders for Character Education lessons.


​Grade Level

Character Traits​

​Lesson Name and/or Trade Book Name

​Stand-Alone Lesson*






​Showing Respect Feels Good

The Feel Good Book (Todd Parr, Little, Brown and Company,

ISBN: 0-316-07206-0)



The Birthday Swamp

(Loretta Lopez, Lee and Low Books, Inc.,

ISBN: 1-88-0000-89-X)​



A Chair For My Mother

(Vera B Williams, Mulberry Books,

ISBN: 0-688-04074-8)





Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

(William Steig, Aladdin Paperbacks,

ISBN: 0-671-66249-4)




Jack Can't Climb


Luka's Quilt

(Georgia Guback, Greenwillow Books,

ISBN: 0-688-12154-3)





The Batboy and His Violin

(Gavin Curtis, Aladdin Paperbacks,

ISBN: 0-689-84115-9)

​4-5 Respect​ Twin Decisions ​X


Friendship and Good Sportsmanship Require Respect

(John Wooden, Inches and Miles, the Journey to Success, Perfection Learning Corporation)​

​4-6 ​Responsibility ​I Want to Read ​X



​Lesson Plan Format

Intro: Motivation and setting the standard

Through: Lesson plan development

Beyond: Application beyond the classroom​

​Vocabulary: Words are featured in each lesson
Character Trait Focus: ​Integrity, respect, and responsibility are the three main character attributes of program focus. Lessons also contain related traits. Click here for definitions.
​Academic-Character Objectives: Objectives are stated at the top of each lesson.
​Procedures: Lesson procedures are stated so that an instructor with minimal training in methodology can present the lesson.
​Critical Thinking Skills: Lessons include questions that foster critical thinking and character-based learning.
​Curriculum Alignment: After-school programs align with the daytime program to achieve character education goals to achieve continuity.


 © Copyright 2007 Orange County Superintendent of Schools. All rights reserved worldwide.