Monday, August 2, 2010

Caring Coupons

Over the next few weeks I will be focusing on character education. I believe that character education is a beautiful compliment to the teachings in the Bible and how God wants us to behave.

The first core virtue of character education we focused on was caring.

During circle time the children and I discussed what caring looks like or means to them.

Here is the list we came up with:

• Be nice to others
• Be compassionate
• Show you care
• Express gratitude
• Forgive others
• Help and take care of people in need
• Think good thoughts towards others
• Be generous with kind words and actions

I told the children we were going to make “Caring Coupons” for others. They were very excited about this and couldn’t wait to get started.

On the tables I had stapled together 5 coupon-shaped pieces of
paper into a booklet. In pencil (very lightly) I wrote “Caring Coupon Book” so that each child could trace over the words with a marker or crayon of their choice.

I put out stickers and pictures from magazine of cats, dogs, clothes, food, books, newspapers, gardens, flowers and other pictures that would represent something a child could do to show they cared.

The children glued the pictures into their books and dictated what they would do with that coupon to show they cared. For example, Andy glued a picture of a dog and said that he would take care of his dog and make sure he had food and water. Sarah glued a picture of flowers and said she would help her mom water the flowers in the garden.

It was so exciting because each book was unique to the individual child and they really seemed to grasp the concept of caring for others.

If you try this with the children in your class, there are many ways to make it appropriate for children of different abilities. For example, instead of magazine pictures the children could draw pictures on their own; the shapes of the coupons could be preprinted and children can practice cutting them out; or have the children cut the coupons out to make any shape they want.

As always, peace and joy,