All the lessons on this page are free!
If you want to see some of my lessons for introducing the Depth and Complexity icons using pictures books, checkout my
Enrichment Ideas for the Character club series
When I was in the classroom full-time, literature based teaching was all the rage. I still believe it is a valuable tool today. I remember on occasion needing to continually reteach a concept. There would always be a few students whose eyes would still glaze over. But if one of them found that same concept in a chapter book, suddenly my teaching was validated and stuck! With that in mind, all of the books in the Character Club series have mini lessons or teachable moments incorporated into them. Here is an index of all the mini lessons and in which book they can be found.
Descriptive Verbs - Jeanie Blair, Author Extraordinaire, Chapter 7
Ecosystems - Liar, Liar, Ethan McWyer, Chapter 4
Limericks - Rachel Landon, Feeling Abandoned Chapter 2
Math concepts - Improper Fractions, Absolute Value, and Reciprocals - Rachel Landon, Feeling Abandoned Chapter 1 - Ordering Fractions - Chapter 5
Nouns - Benjamin Blair and the Case of the Missing Noun Hound - See Lil Sib page
Similes/Metaphors - Jeanie Blair, Author Extraordinaire, Chapter 3
Below are book talk videos to build anticipation for reading each book followed by enrichment activities for the books in the character club series. If you have students who thrive on enrichment they may choose one or however many you wish! Also a great resource for homeschool parents.
1. Research someone who has received a Purple Heart. Write an essay about their life, or see if you can interview them.
2. Choose a topic below to research. Then write a report or make a Power Point presentation.
The Battle of the Bulge
Clara Barton's life
The life of Susan B Anthony and/or Frederick Douglass to see how compassion played a huge role in their character
Another civil rights activist
Florence Nightingale Syndrome
3. Interview someone currently serving in the US military. Why do you think it is important that we still have people who do this? Write a card thanking them for their service or put together a care package. See guidelines here or here.
4. Write a new verse or two for the Strugglin' song to describe something tough you are going through or have gone through.
References for Jeanie Blair, Author Extra…
1. Read the biography of Johnny Appleseed. Prepare a written report about what you learned or dress up like him for an oral report. Check out this one.
2. Study the ecosystems where you live. Choose one and create a 3D model identifying it's specific features.
3. Research the lives of one of the following to see how Integrity played a role in their character:
Martin Luther King, Jr
4. Interview someone you know personally who you believe shows integrity and find out why it's important to them. Prepare to share what you learned in an essay or digital presentation.
References for Liar, Liar, Ethan McWyer
1. Class activities: The “games” that take place at Character Club are all activities I’ve conducted at my own club. They are powerful object lessons to encourage the importance of forgiveness. It’s easy to have students write on a paper something they need to forgive. You can follow up with the minefield activity or just show what happens to the paper when you try to uncrumple it. If you can get enough big rocks for students to carry around, that is another impactful lesson. The rest of these ideas are great to allow individual students to choose from.
1. Choose a flower and research its meaning. Make a poster to show off what you learned.
2. Read The Hiding Place to learn more about the life of Corrie ten Boom.
3. Interview someone who had a family member who was alive during World War 2. Ask them at least 5 questions about what they were told it was like - even better, can you find someone who survived it to interview?
4. Research a family heirloom (item that has been passed down through generations) and find out why it is important to your family or the family it belongs to. Write a report or make a presentation to share with some family friends.
References for Rachel Landon…