Character Counts Week

IALAC Tags Lesson

Read the story “I Am Lovable and Capable” (IALAC) by Sidney Simon out loud to students. Discuss the impact of positive and negative comments on people’s feelings and self-esteem. 

Have students create IALAC tags to wear around their necks for one day. 

  • Hand out markers and either half sheets of white paper or 5″ x 7″index cards. Have students write their names on the cards, along with the acronym “IALAC.”
  • Pass a hole puncher around and have students punch two holes in the top of the card, one in the upper left corner and one in the upper right.
  • Then pass out 20” pieces of string and have students tie the ends through the holes in the cards. Students should wear the cards around their necks for one whole school day. 

When they hear a positive comment aimed at them, they color a section of the tag, or add a sticker. If they hear a negative comment directed toward them, they tear off a piece of the tag.  At the end of the day, students reflect either in discussion or in a journal on the state of their own cards and the cards of others, and what that means about the caring (or lack thereof) that was demonstrated. Consider having students make tags the next day as well, and see if the tags are in better condition at the end of the second day than the first. 

Note: Some students may jokingly make negative comments to purposely destroy someone’s tag. Use this as a teachable moment to show how joking can be just as hurtful as real teasing or bullying.