CHARACTER COUNTS! Week is a fun opportunity to celebrate your students’ good character, recognize great role models, and highlight your character education efforts!
Here are just a few of the celebrations we’ve seen so far. Make sure you include #CharacterCountsWeek on social media so we are sure to see your photos!
Ten Fun and Easy Ways to Celebrate at School
Here are ten ideas you can use with a single class or an entire school/organization. They’re easy to adapt to your grade level and can be adjusted to meet the needs of your students.
We’ve also included examples of school celebrations from last year. We’d love to share your CC! Week plans, activities, and photos too!
Don’t forget to share your celebration on social media and use #CharacterCountsWeek in your posts.
Decorate Your School!
- Use signs and posters to remind everyone of your CHARACTER COUNTS! Week celebration. Here are some fun examples from Yung Elementary (VA), Williams Elementary (CA), Patterson Elementary (TX), and Discovery School (NY).
- Each class could decorate their room or door. (And have a contest for the best decorations!)
- Click here for free images you can print, or visit our store for banners and posters.
- Everyone wears the same color each day to highlight one of the Six Pillars. Or, pick one day during the week, and each grade/class wears a different color. Here’s an example from McNeill Elementary School (TX).
- Create fun themes for each day. Here are some examples from Discovery Elementary School (VA), Winnetka Elementary School (TX), Bluff City Elementary (TN), Leaman Junior High (TX), and Randle High School (TX)
Did You Know?
Each of our Six Pillars of Character has a corresponding color!
Recognizing students who show good character and make positive choices is an important part of character education and a great way to celebrate CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. Here are a few ideas:
- Look for ways to acknowledge as many students as possible!
- Ask teachers to tell each of their students which Pillar of Character the student excelled at that week.
- Highlight one student from each class every day in front of the whole school.
- Ask students to nominate someone who shows trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, or good citizenship.
- Extend this idea – ask students to write about someone whose character they admire.
- Check out our awards and incentives.
For quick activities anytime, pick one of the Six Pillars of Character and give students opportunities to practice that skill or discuss it. Here are a few examples (that you can adapt for your grade level) focused on caring.
We show caring by being kind, compassionate, grateful, and forgiving others.
- Ask students to write a character compliment about someone else in the class. They can hand deliver it, or you can collect and hand them out.
- Students can write notes of gratitude to school faculty or staff. Read the short thank you notes over the PA throughout the day.
- Have a class discussion about someone in history who showed compassion or forgiveness.
- Ask students to journal about someone they know that exemplifies caring.
Character education can be fun!
Give students opportunities to explore their passions while also developing their character skills.
- Give students time (even as little as 20 minutes) to create something inspired by good character skills. It could be artwork, a game, song, play/skit, poem, puzzle, etc.
- Then, highlight the students’ creations throughout the school and share some of your favorite projects with families and other school supporters.
Educators love CHARACTER COUNTS! because it can be customized to your class or school.
It’s also easy to weave values like the Six Pillars of Character into your current academic lessons. Here’s an example of how you could highlight character this week.
- Review your upcoming lesson plans and look for examples of character. Choose discussion/journaling prompts or activities based upon what you’re already planning on teaching. Here are a few examples:
- Language Arts: Consider the books you are reading. Which characters show respect? Which characters don’t? Have any characters made an important decision? Did their decision reflect good character?
- Social Studies: Who are historical figures who were trustworthy? What made them trustworthy? How do character skills impact the citizens of our world?
- Math: Look back on their last lesson. Ask students which character skills they demonstrated while learning new concepts. Which skills make them more successful?
- Heath/PE/Wellness: Ask students what character skills they need to have a healthy lifestyle.
Once you start looking at your lesson plans, you’ll be able to quickly see how naturally you can include just a few character and social-emotional concepts in what you’ve already planned.
Six Pillar Relay Race (K-5)
This game gets students active while learning the Six Pillars of Character.
Cut out enough of the Six Pillar cards so that each group has a set. After the relay race, the goal is for each team to put those cards in Six Pillar order (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, citizenship).
- Divide your class into teams of 4-6 people.
- Set the cards for each team 15-20 feet away from the starting line.
- When you say “Go!” students will participate in a relay race to get the cards. One team member will run down, grab a card, and return to their team.
- When that person gets back, the next person goes and grabs another card.
- Teams with all six cards must put them in Six Pillar order. The first team to do that wins!
- Option: to make this game more challenging, print out these Pillar’s actions, and students will race to match the action with the appropriate Pillar. For example, “Show Compassion” should match with Caring.
Number Writing Race (K-5)
This activity allows students to practice trustworthiness and fairness.
Students will compete to write the numbers 1-10 (or 1-20, etc.) with their index finger in the air.
- Pair students up.
- When you say, “Go!” students will race to write the numbers 1-10 with their index finger in the air.
- The student that finishes first in the pair wins.
- Have winners play winners until you have a champion!
- Discuss being trustworthy when competing.
Integrity Ball (Grades 6-12)
This activity allows students to practice trustworthiness and fairness.
You’ll need a ball for students to toss around. A NERF-sized ball generally works best. Have students stand in a circle.
- Students will throw a ball around the circle. If students break one of the rules below, they are out of the game.
- Each person is to interpret these rules for themself. Instruct students to step out of the circle (and out of the game) if they feel they have broken any of the rules. No one decides for anyone else. Rules:
- Don’t make any sound.
- You can only move to catch or throw the ball.
- Don’t drop the ball.
- Don’t make a bad throw.
- Play until you have one person remaining, then ask the following questions:
- Was there a time when you weren’t sure if you should pull yourself out? Did you stay go?
- Was there a time when you thought someone else should have pulled themselves out of the game (without saying names)?
- Do as many rounds as appropriate for the group and see if anyone’s actions change.
Electricity (Grades 6-12)
Schools that emphasize character development and build a positive school culture are more likely to succeed when students, faculty, and staff build respectful and healthy relationships. This activity is a fun way for students to learn about each other.
- You will need a ball for this game.
- Divide your class in half. Label one half as “Team 1” and the other as “Team 2.”
- Have Team 1 stand shoulder to shoulder, all facing the same direction.
- Have Team 2 find a partner from Team 1 and stand directly across from them. There should be about 3 feet in between Team 1 and Team 2
- Place the ball at the end of the line on the floor.
- Pose a question for the pairs to discuss. Give 30-60 seconds to discuss. Use your own question, or use the ones provided below.
- Once conversations are finished, explain to the teams that they will be working together to pass a high-five from the start of their line to the end of their line.
- The first person in line high-fives the next person in line, and so on.
- When the last person in each line has been given a high-five, they will attempt to be the first person to grab the ball.
- The first person to grab the ball after receiving the last high-five wins a point for their team.
- Have Team 1 slide one person to their right, so all students have new partners; repeat the process.
- If you could go anywhere, where would you go on a vacation?
- Who is your favorite musical artist right now?
- What’s the best show you’ve seen on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc.?
- Which of the Six Pillars is your strongest?
- Which of the Six Pillars is your weakest?
- Who is someone that you admire for their character?
We’ve selected a variety of activities that are great additions to your CHARACTER COUNTS! Week celebration.
You’ll find K-12 activities for
- Each of the Six Pillars of Character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship)
- Setting and achieving goals
- Growth mindset
- Good decision-making
Plus, we’ve shared CC! Week music and activities.
Families impact kids’ character by being good role models who teach values and good decision-making.
CHARACTER COUNTS! Week is a great opportunity to distribute our Family’s Guide to Teaching Good Character.
Helping your school and community demonstrates all of the Six Pillars of Character!
- Collect food for the local food bank.
- Ask students to donate new books to donate to a local childrens’ hospital.
- Ask non-profit organizations in your community how your students can help.
- Encourage students to pick up trash they see or take a few minutes to work together to help clean up a classroom, hallway, or another part of the school.
Social media is a great way to show your community and families how you’re celebrating CHARACTER COUNTS! Week. Plus, you’ll help other schools that are looking for new ideas!
Everyone who includes #CharacterCountsWeek on a social media post this month will receive a free digital copy of our Good Ideas book, featuring 320 activities to teach character and social-emotional skills – a $34.99 value! (If you don’t use social media, you can submit your activities here.)
Idea: you can even let your students take over your social media platforms, like Woodson Park Academy (GA) did last year! Or, post your students dancing to the Six Pillar Shuffle.
Here’s how schools around the world are celebrating.
Do The Six Pillar Shuffle
🔵 Twist is for Trustworthiness.
🟡 Roll is for Respect.
🟢 We’re gonna reach up for Responsibility.
🔴 Then we blow a kiss for Caring.
🟠 Flap your arms for Fairness.
🟣 Stomp your feet for Citizenship.
The Six Pillar Shuffle is a kick!
Every year since 1993, the U.S. President, U.S. Senate, state governors, and officials around the world proclaim the third week in October as CHARACTER COUNTS! Week.
Check out this year’s Presidential Proclamation.