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Messages and Plans: Currently Featured


Here are your currently featured materials through June 2017.

There are several ways you can implement this content:

  • Take 10 minutes to read the message (either on the PA system, in-house television system or as a class read-aloud), and then follow up with the discussion generators.
  • Take 20, 30, or more minutes and choose one of the outstanding follow-up activities written for different grade levels by an accomplished reading specialist and childhood literature expert.

. . . The choice is yours.

You’re going to discover that these plans follow a consistent, easy-to-follow format that provokes meaningful reflection and dialogue about issues that really matter.

"We have been reading the Words of Wisdom to our students since the school opened, 13 years ago. We have gone through several administrative changes in that time, but one of the constants has been the Words of Wisdom. We often receive student feedback on how helpful they find the messages."

Laurel, Middle School Registrar, Colorado


Reading List
  • Disagreeing with Respect

    Respect makes all the difference in the world when we are speaking with someone who disagrees with us. When we speak respectfully to others, they are more likely to listen to our point of view. Students will consider the idea that choosing the right tone and respectful words will lead to a more civil discussion. 
    Key Idea: Being respectful to others even when we disagree with them
    Character Traits: Respect - Civility - Open-mindedness
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Strumming Heartstrings

    When our emotions and thoughts are condensed into words chosen for their sound, rhyme, or rhythm, the result is poetry. Reading, writing, and sharing poetry can help us gain self-awareness, as well as increase our awareness of how others think and feel. Through this process, we can discover amazing things about ourselves, our purpose, and our character.
    Key Idea: Poetry as a means of gaining a better understanding of ourselves and others.
    Character Traits: Respect - Empathy - Understanding - Self-awareness
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Rainy Days

    You are never too young to learn to save money for the rainy days of life. Life is unpredictable and we never know when we will be faced with a challenge that requires some money to resolve. Students explore the benefits of making a lifelong habit of saving money.
    Key Idea: The importance of saving money - Financial literacy - Personal financial education 
    Character Traits: Responsibility - Trustworthiness – Gratitude
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Planting for the Future

    Arbor Day began out of one man's vision for planting trees on a Nebraska prairie and the tradition is continued more than 140 years later across our country. Students will consider the importance of continuing the Arbor Day tradition and recognizing the positive impact that just one caring and responsible person can have in our world.
    Key Ideas: Planting trees for the future - Conservation - Arbor Day 
    Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship
    Message and Lesson Plan*


Reading List
  • Stuff, Stuff, More Stuff

    Even though many of us have more stuff than we need, we still shop for more. The old stuff might still be good but we think the newer stuff will be better. This message and lesson plan help students consider the time spent taking care of their stuff as well as exploring the possibilities of reusing old stuff, recycling, or donating it to others.
    Key Idea: The difference between needing and wanting things - Taking care of our things - Discarding things respectfully
    Character Traits: Responsibility - Respect
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Helper’s High

    Research indicates there are real health and emotional benefits when we are generous with our time, energy, and money. The brain actually produces "feel good" chemicals which then create what's called a "helper's high." Students explore the idea that giving can be as good for the giver as it is for the receiver.
    Key Idea: Research shows that when we help others we are healthier, happier, and less stressed out.
    Character Traits: Helpfulness - Generosity - Kindness
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Mighty Powerful

    Lao-Tzu once wrote that: "The person who conquers others is strong, but the person who conquers himself is mighty." If students want to live a truly successful life, they need to learn how to control their negative emotions. Students consider the benefits of developing self-control and explore some techniques.
    Key Idea: Learning self-control is an important attribute for a successful life.
    Character Traits: Self-control - Respect
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Fallen Heroes

    Memorial Day is much more than just a three-day holiday or the beginning of the summer season. This national holiday is an important reminder of the sacrifices made by brave men and women in uniform who lost their lives in service to our nation. Students discuss the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday and how they can honor our fallen heroes.
    Key Ideas: Memorial Day - Gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans
    Character Traits: Respect - Gratitude
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Elders in a High-Tech World

    Sometimes it's hard to imagine our world without the Internet, cell phones, and tablets. However, that's the world that some older citizens face because they don't have access to or don't know how to use the modern technology that we use every day. Students consider the idea of teaching elderly people how to use modern technology and also consider that they can learn from their elders.
    Key Ideas: Young people teaching the elderly to use new technology - Learning from our elders
    Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship
    Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Older Americans Month (May).
    Message and Lesson Plan*

June (two weeks)

Reading List
  • Beyond the Moment

    Hopping from one fleeting moment of immediate gratification to the next can lead us into a very shallow and meaningless life, without any enduring sense of happiness. Reading a good book can provide a long-lasting sense of satisfaction and has a long-lasting payoff. Students are encouraged to read over the summer break.
    Key Idea: Reading as a lifelong habit that can foster "enduring happiness"
    Character Traits: Responsibility - Caring
    Note: This message and lesson plan work well for summer break.
    Message and Lesson Plan*

  • Cloud Watching

    Reflection is a key component of character development. Students are encouraged to spend some time this summer watching the clouds go by and reflecting on the kind of person they are and the kind of person they want to become.
    Key Idea: The importance of reflection for character development
    Character Traits: Self-respect - Responsibility
    Note: This message and lesson plan work well for summer break.
    Message and Lesson Plan*

Plan Ahead

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Additional Messages with Lesson Plans

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> Life Skills/Pressing Issues

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