The Core Virtues program utilizes a three-year cycle of virtues for the entire school and suggests grade-level appropriate readings for morning gatherings. The terms used in our general cycle are appropriate for all grade levels. Our experience is that this focus alone nurtures a fruitful, virtue-based ethos in the school. Teachers themselves will have many ideas about how to make the general virtue cycle more meaningful for students at their own grade level.
In this section we offer grade-level specific ideas that should be seen as suggestions, not straitjackets or requirements. Some of our suggestions have to do with vocabulary. In Kindergarten the words "self-control," "generosity" and "courage" are good choices. By sixth grade, the words "temperance," "magnanimity" and "fortitude" may be introduced. (Definitions for these are found here.) Some virtue sequencing can be keyed to content choices. If a fourth grade class is studying the Middle Ages with its various codes of honor worldwide (the European knightly code of chivalry or the Japanese code of bushido), those tie in well with September concepts of "responsibility" or February focus on "loyalty" or the March focus on "faithfulness." Core Knowledge schools and classical schools have rich content sequences particularly in language arts and history, which offer an opportunity to bring virtue to life through events, biographies, and key sayings of thoughtful people. Here are some prompts to get you started.