Elementary school teachers often incorporate lessons on positive character traits, such as considerateness, into their language arts curriculum. Classroom activities should center on ways young students show consideration by treating others with respect and taking care of resources at their disposal. Art projects, writing assignments, volunteer efforts and hands-on activities will help students learn the importance of consideration.
Ask your students to make "thinking-of-you" cards for someone in your class or at school who's having a difficult time, such as a classmate who's been sick or a teacher who recently lost a loved one. The objective is to teach them that they can show consideration in small thoughtful ways. You can have them create cards for someone in their family if you can't think of a person your entire class knows. Provide paper, stickers, old magazines for cutting out pictures, water colors, pens and markers for the cards. Instruct your students to write friendly, personal messages inside their cards. Package them up and send them to the individual or have your students take them home to their loved ones.
Musical Concert or Talent Show
Organize a visit to a local senior citizens' facility or a nursing home and host a small concert or a talent show. The goal is to help your students learn the importance of reaching out and sharing their talents with others. Sing some familiar tunes, such as "You Are My Sunshine," "Yankee Doodle" and "Bingo" and encourage the nursing home residents to sing along. Ask individual students to share a special talent, such as juggling, playing a musical instrument or tap dancing, or have them read short poems or perform short skits. Before the visit, they can create artwork with friendly sayings, such as "Have a good day" or "You are loved" to hand out to residents at the end of the presentation.
Have your students make bookmark that support a specific slogan or theme, such as saving the environment, protecting endangered species or supporting animal shelters. The goal is to help your class learn that considerateness also includes being kind to animals and the environment. Instruct your students to research facts about the chosen theme and include tidbits or factoids on their bookmarks. They should decorate the bookmarks with colorful drawings or artwork. Ask the school librarian if your class can donate the bookmarks so others can use them when they check out books.
Formal Lunch or Tea
Host a formal school lunch or a tea party with your class to teach them the importance of manners. Ask your students to wear formal attire, such as dresses, ties or dress pants, for the event. The goal is to help them understand that sharing, politeness, self-control and self-discipline are ways to demonstrate considerate behavior. The event will also help them develop their social skills. Divide the class into groups of four or five students and have them take turns pouring drinks and passing food around the table. Instruct them to use their best manners, such as saying "Please," "Thank-you" and "Excuse me" and to use their napkins to wipe their mouths. Encourage your class to discuss particular topics, such as current events, and take turns talking so no one dominates the conversation. Ask parents to help with the event, such as setting up tables, distributing food or drinks and monitoring the tables.
- Kids Care! -- 75 Ways to Make a Difference for People, Animals & the Environment; Rebecca Olien
- Character Education -- Consideration; Lucia Raatma
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As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.