Weekly writing prompt


October 19-25, 2008

National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week!

Join more than 4 million kids in the U.S. and around the world who are celebrating good character during the week of October 21-27. Make an extra effort to promote the Six Pillars of Character in the classroom this week using this week’s prompts.

Visit the CC! Week homepage for more ideas and free resources.


Write or discuss it! Foundations for Life gives teachers an easy way to improve students' critical thinking and composition skills. Each of these weekly prompts comes with a maxim illuminating an ethical issue. Students can analyze it and apply it to current events and their own lives, through discussion or writing. Each prompt also references at least one of the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. As a result, students can easily tie the author�s words to community values. Suggestions for using the prompts:


Elementary level

"If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out."
� Mother Teresa, Indian missionary nun and Nobel Peace Prize recipient (1920-1997)

Focus Pillar: Respect
A major greeting-card company asks you to create a National CC! Week card for people to send to friends and family whose character they admire. Write a couplet poem — one with two rhyming lines of the same length — for your card using the Six Pillars of Character as your inspiration.

Extension Activity: Students can type and print their poems and then decorate and give away the final card.

Secondary level

"Prejudice is the child of ignorance."
� William Hazlitt, English essayist and critic (1778-1830)

Focus Pillar: Fairness
For CHARACTER COUNTS! Week, your language-arts teacher decides to publish a collection of student poetry celebrating good character. Your teacher selects you as the editor-in-chief, which means you must select which submissions to include in the volume. Write a rubric for evaluating poems according to a consistent set of criteria. Be sure to think about:

Extension Activity: Have students apply their rubrics to poems by famous writers. Visit the Academy of American Poets website for examples.

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