For many children Kindergarten is the introduction to life in a structured, non-familial environment. Any Kindergarten teacher can tell you that there's lots of work to be done in community-building. Let's infuse the days with love of the good -- introducing the vocabulary of virtue and providing uplifting models for our youngest scholars' behavior. For additional content suggestions, compatible with Core Knowledge or classical schools, see Core Knowledge Connections.
Best treated in general terms: we live in a community—family, friends, classmates, town, country. We respect each other. We treat each other with high regard. Manners are one way of showing of respect. Introduce "courtesy" as an aspect of respect, and bring on those manners books. Kindergartners and first graders should be introduced to "the golden rule."
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The Golden Rule
Responsibility Focus on the responsibilities we have, especially to our family, friends, and classmates. We each do our part our part.
Seems like a big word for Kindergartners, but they'll respond readily when you explain it. It's all about doing your part even when it takes hard work. Like learning to write letters and numbers.
For the gift of life. For the gifts in life and our wonderful world. Introduce Kindergartners to Pilgrims, Squanto, and the First Thanksgiving. And if you're doing a unit on continents, it's a great time to marvel at the physical wonder of our world.
Here's the most basic form of "charity." "Kindness" is a key word, and builds on a child's natural sympathy for others. Caring for each other in all we do and say.
Is doing more than your part.
Courage is a big virtue, and in Kindergarten, we like to focus on physical courage. The courage to try swimming or sledding or riding a bike.
Is telling the truth. That very basic concept needs to be emphasized in K-1. Stories of Honest Abe and even the old stand-by of Washington and the Cherry Tree are options. Don't miss our great book selections for this grade.