Stepping Up to Character
For grades 3-6. This program promotes an essential set of character traits and skills in a warm-hearted, uproarious skit performed by Michael Pritchard and our lovable, zany puppet characters. Our problem-solving format sparks student discussion in guided brain-storming sessions with Michael bringing his trademark insight and caring humor to research-based solutions.
Each lesson includes two video segments, plus a problem-solving leader's guide is available online which provides detailed questions for a scripted discussion as well as follow-up activities.
Lesson 1: The Power of Respect
One of the twin foundations of character, respect is the basis of a range of skills and attributes -- empathy, caring, conflict resolution, violence prevention and the ability to get along with others - and is essential for a successful navigation of the teen years. When Dieter and Zazi put out a joke edition of their school newspaper for April Fools' Day, they learn that it is easy to disrespect and hurt others, even with the best of intentions. An awareness of cultural differences is fostered as well as sensitivity to physical differences and vulnerabilities.
Lesson 2: Making Responsible Choices
Responsibility, the second fulcrum of character, is explored and fostered in this important program. When Zazi and Dieter have to decide between completing an important group project and a unique opportunity for fun, they learn the importance of honoring commitments and keeping your word, even when it is difficult. Problem solving techniques are developed as our dynamic duo brainstorm positive solutions to their thorny dilemma and the related character traits of honesty, trustworthiness, persistence, discipline and doing your best are instilled.
Lesson 3: Using Good Judgment
As the teen years approach and students face a growing set of more complicated choices, good judgment becomes a critical life skill, not only for the successful transition to adulthood, but often for mere survival. The complicated dynamics of growing up -- rules, freedom, choices, risk assessment, good judgment and safety are humorously explored in this essential program as Zazi and Dieter weigh a number of options to fill a long and empty summer afternoon. Our indomitable duo learn that with freedom comes responsibility and to gain the independence they crave, they must first earn it by making good choices.
Lesson 4: Being True to Yourself
Self-knowledge, the highest order of social-emotional skills and the foundation of consistency and good character is developed as Zazi faces some tough challenges when she moves into a new- and faster - social group. When her newfound friends begin to mistreat her and push her to betray her values, Zazi must decide between an exciting new social life and her true identity. Self-awareness, self-respect, the difference between true and false friends and the importance of sustaining nurturing, positive relationships throughout childhood and the teen years is also explored.