Integrated PreK-12 Academic and Character Development Program

Learning for Life’s team of educators have developed a supplemental PreK-12 educational program that uniquely integrates its well recognized character development program with the core academic content areas of reading, math, science and social studies. This unique blending of state and nationally aligned core curriculum content (state standards correlation) with universally recognized positive character traits enables schools and teachers to offer a proven character development program that also reinforces key academic concepts.

The Learning for Life integrated academic and character development program has been shown to improve academic proficiency, attendance, graduation rates, and the overall campus climate.

The Character focused lesson plans feature themes such as Accepting Consequences, Conservation, Ethnic Heritage, Meeting Deadlines, Gangs, Never Give Up, What Is Freedom?, Respecting Differences, Violence Prevention, and Sticking to What’s Right. More detailed program descriptions follow.

Early Childhood-2nd Grade

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This Program offers an integrated approach to character development designed for Early Childhood through 2nd grade youth. The program blends character development, life skills, academic learning, and outdoor experiences into a comprehensive program geared to help students successfully handle the complexities of contemporary society, reinforce social skills, critical and creative thinking, ethical decision making, conflict resolution, and build their self-esteem.

The 8 core character traits promoted in this Program are: 1) Respect, 2) Responsibility, 3) Honesty/Trust, 4) Caring/Fairness, 5) Perseverance, 6) Self-Discipline, 7) Courage, and 8) Citizenship.

The Early Childhood program (Ages 3 and 4). The years before a child reaches kindergarten are among the most critical in his or her life to influence learning. Children ages 3 and 4 have a unique and fun opportunity to learn more about character traits, life skills and cognitive, emotional and social skills through an Early Childhood program developed by Learning for Life.

Our Early Childhood program consists of a Teacher’s Guide with 58 lesson plans including topics: Sharing, I am Special, I can Listen, Being Brave and Healthy Eating. Lessons are based on the eight character traits, life skills and focus on the cognitive, emotional and social skills development. Each lesson plan also includes a “Home/Family Activity Worksheet which teachers send to the student’s parent/guardian as an extension activity to reinforce the lesson plan in the home environment. To enhance the vocabulary development, listening skills, and understanding the purpose of the printed word; a children’s book, Wonderfully Made Under My Bed by Janice Bloom is included.

• Also included in the program is a “Parent’s Guide to Abuse”, a DVD called “Play It Safe” which features ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and his friends. The emphasis of the DVD is to teach pre-school children the four rules of personal safety which include: 1) Check first 2) Go with a friend 3) It’s my body 4) Tell a trusted Friend.

Grades K-2 consists of 61 lessons plans, all age-appropriate and grade specific. Lessons focus on themes such as “Accepting Consequences,” “Gangs,” “Meeting Deadlines,” “Respecting Differences,” and “Sticking to What’s Right.” Through reflection activities in each lesson, students engage in analyzing their behaviors. Lessons are easily integrated into core curricula subjects. Each lesson plan also includes a “Home/Family Activity Worksheet” which teachers send to the student’s parent/guardian as an extension activity to reinforce the lesson plan in the home environment.

• Also included in the K-2 program is a Safety Seekers value added program book filled with many individual and group activities that review the four rules of personal safety. The four rules include: 1) Check with a parent, 2) Go with a friend, 3) It’s your body, and 4) Tell a trusted adult

3rd & 4th Grades

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The 3rd & 4th grade program combines character development, life skills, academic learning, and outdoor experiences specifically designed for 3rd and 4th grade youth. The age appropriate, grade specific lesson plans focus on the same 8 character traits as the K-2 Program: 1) Respect, 2) Responsibility, 3) Honesty/Trust, 4) Caring/Fairness, 5) Perseverance, 6) Self-Discipline, 7) Courage and 8) Citizenship. Life Skills topics, Hobbies and Art lesson plans are also part of the 3rd & 4th grade Program.

Each of the 3rd and 4th grade books has 61 lessons plans focusing on many of the same themes as the K-2 Program; however, lesson plans progress in difficulty and cognitive level. Lessons focus on critical thinking, conflict resolution, perseverance, courage, interpersonal skills, and ethical decision making.

A “Home/Family Activity Worksheet” is included which each lesson to the lesson plan at the home.

Includes anti-bullying/internet safety program. Each book contains an interactive CD-Rom game for students titled “SuperSafe.” The game presents a series of six age-appropriate scenarios where students have to make choices about safety issues. The six scenarios are: Internet Safety, Nonviolent Strategies, Verbal Abuse, Bullying, Youth Protection, and Unsupervised Children.

5th & 6th Grades

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Specifically designed for the cognitive and developmental levels of 5th and 6th grade students, this Program continues Learning for Life’s integrated academic/character education emphasis by integrating components of K-4 programs. This Program focuses on the same 8 character traits of: 1) Respect, 2) Responsibility, 3) Honesty/Trust, 4) Caring/Fairness, 5) Perseverance, 6) Self-Discipline, 7) Courage, and 8) Citizenship.

Life Skill themes such as Money Management and Fire Safety are an added feature.

The 61 age appropriate, grade specific lesson plans in each of the 5th & 6th grade books focus on topics such as “Being Responsible,” “Making Good Decisions,” “Code of Ethics,” “Empathy,” etc. The lesson plans are geared to a higher-level of cognitive and developmental learning than the K-4 lessons.

Teachers can send to the student’s parent/guardian the “Home/Family Activity Worksheet” which is included with each lesson. It can be used as an extension to reinforce the character trait in the home environment.

Includes anti-bullying/internet safety program. Each book contains an interactive CD-Rom game for students titled “SuperSafe-2.” The game presents a series of six age-appropriate scenarios where students have to make choices about safety issues. The six scenarios are: Internet Safety, Nonviolent Strategies, Verbal Abuse, Bullying, Youth Protection, and Unsupervised Children. This version of the game offers more difficult scenarios than the 3rd & 4th grade version and is designed to enhance critical thinking skills.

Elementary School Program Samples

7th & 8th Grades

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The seventh- and eighth-grade program begins Learning for Life’s career preparedness emphasis, while reinforcing character, relationship building and citizenship.

The middle school program is the starting point for a student’s college and career readiness and provides good foundational knowledge for students interested in participating in the “hands-on” Career Exploring program. Students learn to ascertain the need for having a job and being employed, to recognize obstacles, how to make mature and ethical decisions, and how to deal responsibly with their decisions.

Each grade has its own guide with 44 age appropriate lesson plans, ranging in topics from “Peer Pressure: Who Can I Trust,” to “Self Assessment of Skills and Abilities,” to “Problem Solving: The Intricacies of Relating to Others.” The lessons are action-oriented and use teaching techniques such as role-playing, small group discussions, and reflective and moral-dilemmas exercises.

Lesson plans in both the 7th and 8th grade books are designed to reinforce social, academic, and career education skills in various areas, such as critical and creative thinking, conflict resolution, decision making, interpersonal relationships, practical life skills, self-esteem, writing and language arts, citizenship, and personal fitness.

The lessons are divided into 4 sections:

  1. Character Development Lessons: focus on 4 traits.
    Respect: with lesson on empathy and peer pressure
    Responsibility: this focuses on concepts like Decision Making and Perseverance Honesty/Trust: works on commitment
    Self Discipline: exposes students to Courage and anger management
  2. Building Relationships Lessons: develop understanding of concepts like Prejudice, problem solving, communications and family dynamics
  3. Citizenship Lessons: discuss freedom, liberty, laws and diversity
  4. Career Education Lessons: show students work related skills like Time Management, Job Traits, and Goal Setting while also helping them investigate careers for which they may possess an aptitude.


Community Role Models

The Learning for Life seventh- and eighth-grade program is designed to facilitate the introduction of community role models to the students. The community leaders and role models meet with a specific class (e.g., English, social studies, and math) and discuss how the content learned in a particular subject relates to the real world. These role models should have backgrounds similar to those of the youth and will share their personal paths to success, including the pitfalls and the high points. The goal is to facilitate access to mentors and role models and give the youth insight into personal decisions, educational goals, and career choices.

Life Choices: A Character Game

A computer interactive game that gives students opportunities to practice ethical decision making skills. A series of situations is presented where the student must make a choice. The computer gives the student immediate feedback by providing a consequence of the choices made while playing the game. Reports are given at the end of the game, summarizing how the student performed in some key elements of character.

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Three Harbors Council, Learning for Life, 330 South 84th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53214, 414-774-1776
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