Project Wisdom Logo

Life Skills/Pressing Issues



Appreciating Those Who Teach * — Almost all of us can point to a special teacher whom we admire. Students explore the idea that what we admire most in others is what we ourselves would like to possess. They also consider how best to show appreciation for the teachers who have made a meaningful difference in their lives.
Key Idea: Showing appreciation for teachers
Character Traits: Caring - Kindness - Respect - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Teacher Appreciation Week: Please check the Internet for future dates.

Birds of a Feather — George Washington was a great leader who understood how peers influence us, for better or for worse. He also understood the need to treat one another with civility and respect. With this special message and lesson plan, students explore the notion that choosing friends wisely is very important.
Key Idea: Our peers influence us, for better or for worse
Character Traits: Responsibility - Respect - Trustworthiness - Citizenship
Note: This broadcast message and lesson plan also work well for Washington's Birthday.

Brave Hearts — Moral courage requires that we act upon the principles in which we believe, while being conscious of the risks involved. Moral courage can be encouraged and taught by example and by practice. Learning to have the courage of one's convictions is an important part of creating a life that is both successful and meaningful.
Key Idea: Acting upon core ethical values often requires moral courage.
Character Traits: Courage - Kindness - Honesty - Citizenship

Civil Discourse ** — Our democracy depends on responsible citizens who have the courage to discuss difficult issues in respectful ways. As unpleasant as a debate may become, without respectful debates about important issues there would be no progress in the affairs of government. Students will explore the notion that disrespectful discourse blocks resolution to common challenges, while civil discourse encourages it.
Key Ideas: Democracy depends upon civil discourse - Respectful disagreement drives improvements and progress in a civil society
Character Traits: Respect - Civility

Cooperation — Supplemental Daily Broadcast - No Lesson Plan
This message takes a look at the importance of cooperation and highlights the benefits of working together. Students will consider the idea that reaching a goal is easier when a group unites with a common purpose rather than each person working alone. 
Key Ideas: Cooperation - Common goals 
Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship - Respect

Counting for Something * — It's a privilege and a responsibility to participate in our democratic system, and voting is a right we shouldn't take for granted because the right to vote defines our democracy.
Key Ideas: Voting - Democracy
Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for election season.

Cybercitizenship — We live in a cyberworld where we can instantly communicate around the globe. These materials remind students that they shouldn't treat others differently online than they would treat them face-to-face, and that it's just as important to be a good cybercitizen as it is to be a good citizen in their community.
Key Ideas: Cyberethics - Cybercitizen - Cyberworld
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Honesty - Fairness - Citizenship

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 older 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).

Extraordinary Possibilities * — Students consider the significance of the U.S. Constitution and have the opportunity to consider two important notions: 1) they live in one of the freest and most prosperous nations in the world, and 2) it is a nation full of extraordinary possibilities created by ordinary people.
Key Ideas: Democratic process - Power of each individual voter - Civic duty
Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Constitution Day: September 17.

Fate, Freedom, and Coming to School *— Democracies are made strong by educated, responsible, and caring citizens. Some would say that a democracy cannot survive without citizens who are capable of making informed and wise choices. This is an opportunity for students to consider the benefits of a free and public education and how their education can impact our common future.
Key Ideas: Citizenship - The importance of educated citizens in a democratic society
Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for the beginning of the school year.

Finding the Dream * — It is important to set goals and work hard to achieve the American Dream. Vice Admiral Antonia Novello, the first woman and first Hispanic Surgeon General of the United States, tells young people that they should also take a stand for what they believe in and serve others. Students will take a look at the traits needed to achieve their dream.
Key Ideas: Contributions of Hispanic-Americans - Antonia Novello - American Dream
Character Traits: Self-reliance - Positive work ethic - Service to others - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Hispanic Heritage Month: Sept. 15 - Oct. 15.

Going to the Trouble * — Being a person with strong character means being a person who goes to the trouble of doing what's right instead of doing what's easy, and that's not always convenient. In honor of Inconvenience Yourself Day, students are encouraged to take time to step outside of themselves and commit a random act of kindness by doing something special for someone else.
Key Ideas: Going to the trouble of being a person with character - Thinking of others
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Random acts of kindness - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Inconvenience Yourself Day: 4th Wed. in February.

Head, Heart, and Hands — To develop strong character, you need three things: your head so you can carefully consider what values to live by, your heart so you care enough to make those values part of who you are, and your hands so you put those values into action.
Key Ideas: Character is power - Choosing a strong character - Character in action
Character Traits: Self-Responsibility - Citizenship

A Hero's Character — On January 15, 2009, Captain "Sully" Sullenberger landed a crippled plane on the Hudson River and saved the lives of 154 passengers. He is known as a man of strong character and has been hailed a hero for his actions. People of good character make positive impacts on our world every day. Students consider that every time someone acts with honor, integrity, and caring, our world is better for it.
Key Ideas: "Sully" Sullenberger - Fame and popularity fade, but character endures - Heroes
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Humility - Ethics - Citizenship

Honestly * — Thomas Jefferson once wrote that "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." Our students deserve all the benefits that come from living an honest life and from making wise choices. It's essential that they learn to understand the importance of being honest with themselves and with others. Choosing to live an honest life will help them achieve true success.
Key Idea: True success in life requires honesty with self and others.
Character Traits: Honesty - Integrity - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Thomas Jefferson's Birthday: April 13.

Honoring Elders * — Often we place too much importance on the young and beautiful, and forget the beauty that comes with age. The elderly have much to offer. As Plato wrote, "They have been over the road that all of us must travel and know where it is rough and where it is level and easy."
Key Ideas: Wisdom comes with age - Young people can benefit from listening to their elders
Character Traits: Respect - Caring - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for International Older Persons Day: October 1.

Leading the Way — Great leaders are those who inspire others to reach their goal. They must show good character while helping others to have confidence in their own skills. Young people can be leaders in our school, community, and country. Students will take a look at the character traits needed to be a good leader as well as considering their own potential leadership skills.
Key Ideas: Becoming a good leader - Leading with strong character
Character Traits: Responsibility - Citizenship - Perseverance

Let Nature Be Your Teacher * — Students consider the wisdom that can be gained from observation of our natural world. They also examine the values we need if we are going to successfully protect our environment.
Key Ideas: Understanding the values needed to protect the earth - Lessons learned from nature
Character Traits: Caring - Respect - Responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Earth Day: April 22.

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 almost 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

The Power of Ideas * — The founding of America has been called a grand adventure in ideas. Our Founding Fathers knew how to share, analyze, and debate ideas respectfully. As students move through life, it will be important that they listen to and share ideas with others, debate ideas respectfully, and most importantly, pay attention to how ideas influence them and the choices them make.
Key Ideas: U.S. Constitution - Founding Fathers - Citizenship - Ideas
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Cooperation
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Constitution Day: September 17.

Quiet Strength — We don't hear a great deal about humility today. With so much pressure to succeed, the virtue of humility can get lost. Students will consider the idea that someone who is humble shows strength by appreciating his or her own talents but not boasting about them and that by choosing to be humble, they can discover a quiet strength within themselves.
Key Ideas: The virtue of humility - Encouraging others
Character Traits: Humility - Strength - Kindness

Remembering the Holocaust * — This lesson was inspired by the now famous Paper Clips Project. Students will explore the consequences of injustice, prejudices and apathy, and consider how they as individuals can make a difference.
Key Ideas: Human rights - Making a Difference
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Tolerance - Dignity - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan is appropriate for any event that memorializes the Holocaust.

Respecting the Land * — There are more than 500 Native American tribes in the United States. This message and corresponding lesson plan focus on the reverence and respect that Native Americans have for the earth, the concept of a "web of life," and making decisions with future generations in mind.
Key Ideas: Environmental protection/Enjoying and respecting nature
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Native American History Month or Earth Day.

Teamwork — Supplemental Daily Broadcast - No Lesson Plan
In this message, students will learn about some of the benefits of teamwork — beyond winning. Working as a team can teach communications and time management skills as well as perseverance. While individual talent is important, students will consider the advantages of working with others toward a common goal. 
Key Ideas: Benefits of teamwork - Building skills    
Character Traits: Responsibility - Perseverance - Fairness

* Materials with an asterisk (*) relate to Citizenship and are also related to a calendar event. These same materials can also be found under Calendar Events.

** These same materials can also be found under Respect of Self and Others.

In order to access these messages and lesson plans, your school must be a paid subscriber. Order Now!

spacer spacer