Teaching responsibility in the classroom with character education is more important than ever! If you have been looking for ways to incorporate character education in your classroom, read through this entire post. It’s filled with lessons, activities, and ideas to help you build a positive culture in your classroom, empower students to be their best selves, and make this school year different!
My responsibility resource shown below has a variety of tools for teaching responsibility in your classroom. Check out all the ways you can start promoting personal responsibility in the classroom.
Responsibility Pacing Guide
Use the pacing guide to plan your entire month of lessons on responsibility. This will help you plan to set aside time to complete as much of the curriculum as you want with students.
Responsibility Bulletin Board
Whenever I start a new Character Education trait, I like to create a bulletin board. It’s a great way to introduce and define the concept and start class discussions. In my responsibility resource, I include everything you’ll need to introduce responsibility to your students with a beautiful bulletin display. Keep this display in your classroom for the entire month that you are teaching responsibility.
Customize your display to fit your class culture. Add a quote of the week, scenarios to promote responsibility, writing prompts for the day or week, and posters.
Responsibility Read Alouds
Read alouds are perfect for starting discussions. You can find a collection I have put together to read with students in my resource. These will expose your students to characters who will show what it means to be responsible, and you can explore with your students through conversation.
In my Character Education: Responsibility Resource, I include a list of mentor texts to check out along with links to each that you can use to purchase.
Use the calendar to challenge students to promote personal responsibility each day. It is editable so you can change the month, customize the acts of responsibility to fit your student needs, and make different versions so students are doing different activities than their classmates.
Each day, I take a few minutes to talk about the day’s act of responsibility with students. We can discuss examples and color in the squares as they are completed. The main goal is to establish good habits. Having a calendar of activities is definitely a good aid. Building habits is all about creating actions from our good intentions.
Doodle Coloring Reflection Page
A doodle coloring reflection is a great way to get students to think about responsibility. Included are reflection questions, examples of responsibility, fun quotes, and doodles for students to color.
I Am Responsible Activity
Have students think of all the ways they are responsible each day with this activity. Students create a bullet list in each of the given boxes, allowing students to think about how they are responsible for different parts of their day.
I have two options for printing this activity, as well as a key with ideas to help students who are stumped. They may be surprised at just how responsible they already are!
My Dream Pet Responsibility Activity
Owning a pet is a big responsibility. Even before owning a pet, there is planning and preparation needed to take care of a pet every day. Have students plan what their dream pet would be and create a plan for what they need to have first.
This writing activity is a creative way to get students to think about multiple layers of responsibility needed in a single task. Students will plan a typical day with their pet as well as write a letter to their family explaining how they will show responsibility to take care of their dream pet.
Teacher Assistant Application Activity
Give students a real opportunity to show responsibility and help their class with this teacher assistant application activity. Students will fill out an application by answering questions about their skills and strengths. There are two options for printing, a star-system with pre-written options, and a blank version for students to fill in themselves.
As a bonus, find ways to incorporate your students’ skills and strengths into real responsibilities they can have in the classroom.
Responsibility Parent Letter
Parent letters are so important for continuity between home and classroom. Getting help from parents and guardians is one of the best ways to reinforce your character education concepts. My letters are designed to provide parents with tools to help them explain, model, and praise responsible behavior at home. I have also included a list of books and films that families can enjoy together.
Responsibility Anchor Chart
Create a useful anchor chart on responsibility for your students. Anchor charts are great for keeping learning accessible to students because they can refer back to it as they respond to questions, work independently, and contribute to discussions.
This anchor chart is a great activity to do with your students after introducing your bulletin board on responsibility. It’s also a great activity to accompany a mentor text or read aloud. Because this anchor chart has a discussion question, I believe students will get the most benefit from doing it together as a class.
Posters are a great way to remind students to be responsible.
This resource includes three different posters that define responsibility. Each poster has the same message with different clip art that shows examples of responsibility.
You can hang the posters on a bulletin board to create a display, display the posters around the classroom or in your hallways, pass the posters out to students to keep at their desks, or use the posters as a cover page in a folder.
Responsibility Quote of the Week
For each week you spend on responsibility, you can share a new quote with students. This activity includes five different responsibility quotes with three short-answer questions to help students reflect on the quote’s meaning. I selected quotes that have a unique perspective on responsibility and will help you have great discussions with students in your class!
Each quote is available in a speech bubble that you can print for use on a bulletin board or for hanging around your classroom. The discussion questions are on a separate page. There is also an option to print the quote and discussion question on a single page.
These scenarios are great to inspire meaningful conversations about responsibility in your classroom. Students can learn a lot from each other as they work through these scenarios, so I’d encourage you to use these for whole-class or small-group discussions.
You can display the scenarios on your bulletin board for a class discussion or print the scenarios and allow students to work in groups or independently.
Responsibility Reader’s Theater
These reader’s theater scripts are such a great tool for promoting responsibility in the classroom. They allow your students to get creative and create a memorable experience based on responsibility. Additionally, they will help with fluency, comprehension, and speaking all while doing Character Education.
In my responsibility resource, there are three scripts for students to read and perform:
The Excuse Buster: In this story, a boy named Quinn will find any reason to avoid responsibility. When faced with his responsibilities, Quinn says he doesn’t care, he can’t find things, he forgot, or he doesn’t do things he doesn’t like. Luckily, the Excuse Buster appears each time and helps Quinn get back on track!
The Little Red Hen: In this story, students will play the role of Little Red Hen and several other farm animals. Throughout this story, Little Red Hen asks for help planting, growing, and harvesting wheat for bread. When no other animals share the responsibility for the work, Little Red Hen does it all herself. In the end, the other animals learn a valuable lesson.
Devon’s Odd Jobs: In this story, students will learn what it means to be responsible when doing a job. The main character, Devon, loses his job as a babysitter, lawn mower, and dishwasher at a restaurant. However, his grandma gives him some good advice and helps him think about how he can be more responsible as a dog walker.
Responsibility Writing Prompts
Writing prompts encourage students to write about responsibility in a thoughtful and creative way. They are also a great tool to help students reflect on ways to be responsible.
In my resource, there are five writing prompts that encourage students to reflect and write about responsibility. They include describing one way you show responsibility at home, what students in your grade need to do to show responsibility at school as a how-to manual, think of something you’d like to have when older and what responsibilities are involved, writing a short story with an irresponsible character and writing a short story with a very responsible character. I’ve also included writing paper and clip art to turn this into a published piece of writing to display in your classroom or hallway.
The responsibility resource shown above is a small part of my Character Education or Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum that you can use for the entire year!
The individual pillars (kindness, respect, responsibility, courage, cooperation, empathy, generosity, perseverance, friendship, and integrity) each cover an entire month. Each pillar of my Character Education or SEL Curriculum is filled with meaningful lessons, materials, hands-on activities, anchor charts, bulletin board materials, parent letters, and more that will set you up for the entire year.