Script are not enabled
Department of Education
The Character Education English-Language Arts Project is a set of sample classroom lesson plans that infuse character education and social-emotional learning into the English-Language Arts curriculum. The lessons in this database are free for educational use and searchable by character trait (respect, responsibility, integrity and related traits), grade level, literature title, and California English-Language Arts Standards Tool. Currently these lessons span first grade through eleventh grade levels and are designed for classroom use. Lessons can be viewed on the website, or downloaded as a PDF version, containing accompanying lesson materials such as worksheets and readings. Looking for lessons for an after-school program? Also available at this site are character-infused English-Language Arts lesson plans designed by providers of the Anaheim Family YMCA Anaheim Achieves After-school Program.
Public and private elementary, middle, and high school teachers, called Character Education Fellows, participated for one or two years in an Institute for Character Education (ICE) Professional Development Program. One element of the program included learning strategies for integrating character education into English-Language Arts lessons based on teachers’ most frequently used classroom reading materials, such as the Houghton Mifflin series Reading: A Legacy of Literacy, short stories, or novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird. The lessons posted on this website have been carefully selected and edited as stand-alone model lesson plans. These lessons are not a comprehensive curriculum. However, we hope these sample lessons illustrate the process of how to infuse the learning of core ethical values and social-emotional competencies into your curriculum as well as inspire you to create your own character-infused lessons, whether in English-Language Arts or other academic curriculum. The feedback from our ICE Character Education Fellows has shown that the process of thinking and creating these lesson plans has influenced their own understanding of character education, their teaching practices, and their awareness of being a character educator.
The Character Education English-Language Arts Project focuses on three core character traits:respect, responsibility, and integrity. The lessons on this website focus on one or more of these and other related character traits which have been defined for student understanding. The definitions of the traits addressed are included in the lesson plan as well as in a separate list of character trait definitions under the "Support Materials" section. Each lesson addresses California English-Language Arts Content Standards and a California English-Language Arts Content Standards Tool is available to identify a lesson by the content standards addressed. Lessons contain both academic and character education learning objectives and include prompts for reflective writing and suggestions for academic and character education assessments. Additionally, to support the use of these lessons, there is information on teaching models that promote social-emotional-character competence such as cooperative learning, peer discussions, and reflective thinking.
Character competence grows over time in non-linear and often unpredictable ways through the guidance, influence, and modeling of parents, family members, teachers, and peers. Character competence is actualized through the development of the social and emotional intelligences and involves thinking, feeling, and behavior. Dr. Thomas Lickona refers to these three spheres as “knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good” (Lickona 1991, p.51). These character-infused academic lessons focus on these three spheres. Students explore the meaning of character traits, such as responsibility, and have the opportunity to develop the desire, emotion, and inspiration to care about being a responsible person, as well as practice the social and emotional skills that actualize responsibility such as working cooperatively, assessing their own behaviors, solving problems, being self-disciplined, and controlling impulses.
The lesson format used is designed for use by both novice and experienced teachers and can be adapted to fit the needs of your students. Each lesson contains elements of focused instruction to engage students in thinking about the learning as well as reflecting on how the learning connects to their own lives and behavior. Assessment is built into each lesson and is most effective when used for learning and not just for grading purposes.
The Institute for Character Education wants to acknowledge and thank all of the following teachers for participating in the lesson development project.
7th - 12th GradesDiane EricksonBill KelloggDaniel KlatzkerJennifer LutzChris MilordKaren PollackBrian SeguinTony TorresChris Wright
Kindergarten - 6th GradesStanley AnjanAna Romero AyalaErica ChappellDonna FreyKatie KollesBrenda LarsonKarina OrtizMandy Paterson
3rd - 4th GradesRon MastersonBetty Sarvis
3rd - 5th GradesStephanie CaldwellMichael MontriefKristine OlquinKristin ShepherdEddeane SimsJenny Watson
Elementary - Middle SchoolCarmen JaberSaema KhwajaMichael L. Martin
Alternative EducationAlternative, Community and Correctional Education Schools and Services6th - 12th GradesWendell BrooksBecky CooperDavid DelmastroJohn HarringtonKristi HofstetterSusan KeathleyTom KosticPeggy McIntoshMichele MoranAlice RochvergerRebecca TurnerConnie Verhulst
7th - 10th GradesSteve BabnickJennifer GardnerRaegan HansonLisa HedspethArnold HyunJeff LakeLeanna ShibataLaurie Wielenga
9th - 12th GradesAnnie PieriniDaniel Trotter
Middle School, Before-School and After-School ProgramsJanet GarwinAmy HemphillYvonne MaselliBarbara Trigillo
Lucy Vezzuto Anderson, Ph.D., Orange County Department of Education