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.
📘 At the beginning of the month at Morning Gathering, introduce the virtue with a post-able definition. You may purchase our posters, or simply make your own. Definitions can be found here.
📙 Three times a week in Morning Gathering read a story from the Core Virtues booklist or the monthly list on our website to reinforce or exemplify the virtue.
📗 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.
📙 In discussion make whatever connections seem logical with rest of the academic curriculum. Chapter 8 in the Core Virtues book provides a number of Core Knowledge connections listed by grade level.
📗 Don’t allow Morning Gathering to be a dreaded exercise in dissecting “the moral of the story,” but allow the stories themselves to make the gathering the “heart of the day.”
📘 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.