Character Building Activities for Middle School Students

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Character building supports students as they develop the values and social skills that enable them to become contributing members of society. The following activities may be used to build character among middle school students.

Character Building

While character building may influence the education environment in positive ways, it serves a broader purpose of preparing students for citizenry. Learning interpersonal skills enables students to become better workers and neighbors. These activities engage middle school students in kinesthetic group work that make learning memorable.

Words Matter

Students will work in small groups to create a collage that identifies positive and negative words. They will use the supportive words they find to create personalized notes for classmates.

Materials:

  • magazines
  • markers
  • poster board
  • glue/tape
  • scissors
  • index cards

Procedure:

  • Divide students into small groups and provide all groups with supplies.
  • Have students create a T-chart on poster board and title the columns 'Words that Help' and 'Words that Hurt.'
  • Have students cut out words from the magazine and place them in the correct column.
  • Have students write a quick note on an index card to each of the people in their group using words from the 'Words that Help' column.

Celebrating Uniqueness

Students will identify personal objects that reflect their uniqueness and then learn about the exceptionality of some of their classmates.

Procedure:

  • Have students choose 3 things from their purse, wallet, backpack, or cell phone that represent them.
  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Have students share their items with the people in their group and explain how their items symbolize them.
  • Provide each student an opportunity to introduce the students next to them by communicating something interesting they learned from this exercise.

Recipe for Success

Students will identify character traits and behaviors that produce success and use this information to create and share recipe cards.

Materials:

  • recipe cards
  • binder rings
  • hole punch

Procedure:

  • Brainstorm character traits and behaviors that lead to success.
  • Have students use that information to create a 'recipe for success' that includes ingredients and directions.
  • Collect all cards and bind them with binder rings to share in the classroom library.

Anti-Bullying Campaign

Students will create a video about the roles people play in bullying situations and ways to intervene when this type of behavior occurs.

Materials:

  • video recorder
  • computer/editing software

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