Core Virtues is surprisingly easy for schools, teachers, and parents to implement. It does not require elaborate teacher training or contrived pedagogical techniques. It involves introducing the language of virtue with a new virtue each month, then reading quality stories that inspire children to do their best and be their best. The key is helping children fall in love with the good through stories that inspire them. Here's the basic plan.
📗 Each month focus on a new virtue. School wide virtue-themes can be found here.
📙 Three times a week in Morning Gathering read a story from the Virtue of the Month recommendations. For example, for September, clickhere. Quality Morning Gathering stories can also be found under the monthly Hero tab here.
📗 The Morning Gathering may be as short as 15 minutes or as long as 30. If you are reading a longer book, it is best to spread it over two or more days.
📘 Allow time for students to share any reflections they might have. But don’t allow Morning Gathering to be a dreaded exercise in dissecting “the moral of the story.” Let the stories do their own work.
📙 In discussion make whatever connections seem logical with rest of the academic curriculum. If your school is using the Core Knowledge sequence, for additional reinforcement, check out our Core Virtues-Core Knowledge Connections page.
📘 If you are just starting the Core Virtues program, check here for a suggested book lists for grades K-3 and 4-6.
📙 Inspire yourself each month by reading our "Telling Our Stories" blog, which offers teachers and parents a deeper dip into the virtue of the month.
That's it. Do this. The rest will follow organically. A strong program in character education does not depend on lecturing or finger-wagging. Through personal and pointed literary example, put before the child the drama of virtue: strong (or weak) men and women who confront difficulty, temptation, danger, or vice, and triumph - perhaps at great personal cost. These are the super-hero dramas necessary for the moral imagination. They provide children, teachers, and schools with an axis for behavior and a rich common language of moral excellence.