Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday: Tough Choices * (third Monday
of January) Dr. King faced many difficult decisions
in his life. With these materials, students have an opportunity
to reflect on the fact that each of us faces many decisions
each day. Some may be very difficult, but whatever the situation,
we can learn from Dr. King's example by using these opportunities
to do the right thing.
Key Idea: The time is always right to do what is
Character Traits: Moral Courage - Integrity - Honesty - Fairness - Tolerance
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Black History Month.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Winning Hearts * This message and plan are written
to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, but do
not directly discuss the horrors of the Holocaust, which would be
inappropriate for this age group. Materials focus instead on the
unfairness of treating others unkindly because of differences. Students
explore how fairness and kindness create more peace in our homes,
schools, and communities.
Key Ideas: Hurtful teasing - Unfairness - Creating
more peace in our homes, schools, and communities
Character Traits: Respect - Kindness - Fairness
Mozart's Birthday: Everyone Has Genius Mozart was a musical
genius whose compositions have entertained, inspired, and
moved generations of listeners. He believed that love, not
just genius, was at the heart of his compositions. Students
stop to consider how giving love and attention to the small
things of life can help them succeed.
Key Ideas: The life and birthday of Mozart (Jan.
27th) - Each of us has a special gift - Using our special gifts to contribute to the world
Character Traits: Respect - Love - Caring
Be On Purpose Month: Did You do That on Purpose? * Life can be so
random at times. It can be confusing and challenging. For
life to make sense, it has to have meaning. It has to have
purpose, and having purpose in our lives is something we
choose because when we do anything on purpose, we do it
deliberately. Students explore the importance of choosing
a worthy purpose in their lives.
Key Ideas: Making good choices - Goal setting
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility
National Family Fitness Month: Healthy and Happy * Many of
our students are not eating right or getting enough exercise.
Childhood obesity is on the rise and according to the Mayo
Clinic, treating it requires the entire family. January
is National Family Fitness Month which is a great time for
students to stop to consider ways they and their families
can help each other get fit.
Key Ideas: Resolutions or promises to get fit - Family fitness
Character Traits: Self-discipline - Respect - Responsibility
National Reaching Your Potential Month: Reaching for Greatness
* Every single one of us has the potential for greatness, no matter what
circumstances we were born into, no matter what types
of challenges we face. Students have the opportunity to
consider that greatness can manifest in many ways.
Key Ideas: Personal potential - Striving to be one's best - Overcoming challenges
Character Traits: Determination - Hard work - Encouragement
New Year: Go for the Goal ** Michael Phelps once said: “I want to be able to look back and say, ‘I’ve done everything I can, and I was successful.’” Students will examine the benefits of resolving to do one’s best to reach a goal so they will have no regrets, regardless of the outcome.
Key Ideas: New year - Resolving to do one’s best - Turning adversity into strength - Goal setting
Character Traits: Perseverance - Self-respect - Discipline
New Year: Helpful Hands
* Volunteers are essential to our homes,
schools, communities, and nation. Without their help there
would be much less love and joy in our world. In this message
and lesson plan, students are encouraged to offer their
own hands to help others in need. Each student will consider
the idea that by helping others they are becoming a better
person and making a real difference in the lives of others.
Key Idea: Volunteering helps us become better people
Character Traits: Citizenship - Volunteerism - Caring
New Year: Keeping Resolutions
* The New Year is traditionally a time to make promises for a better year. Students explore
the notion that it's important to put our whole heart into
whatever promises we make to ourselves. They explore the
idea of being a more active participant in all aspects of
Key Idea: Making resolutions as a way to reach goals and dreams
Character Traits: Determination - Commitment - Confidence - Positive attitude
Olympics: Overcoming Obstacles * No Olympic athlete has worked harder
to get to the Olympics than those who compete in the Paralympics
for disabled athletes. One such athlete is Ralph Green.
Ralph has a story that will inspire both you and your students.
Key Idea: Turning obstacles into opportunities
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Self-discipline - Commitment
* These same materials can also be found under a Life Skills/Pressing Issues category.
** These same materials can also be found under August for the new school year.
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