That Teach Character

Looking for the perfect video to introduce a character trait? Look no more.

Wing Clips contains a treasure trove of movie clips to inspire and illustrate, and guess what? You can use Wing Clips for free. Yep, for free.

Need a clip to illustrate teamwork? Wing Clips has twenty-three. What about this clip from the movie, Coach Carter?

Need a clip to inspire perseverance? Wing Clips has thirty-six. Why not show your class this segment from the movie, The Truman Show?

What about something-something on facing challenges? Wing Clips has forty-two videos to choose from. Try showing this section of Ray.

 Where do you find video clips to accompany your character education lessons?

Amy L. Sullivan teaches Special Education.


Technology Lesson Idea for Students {Make a Movie!}

by Laura Gurley on June 13, 2012

Need an assignment for students that incorporates your educational subject with technology? Consider having students create or help create a movie. Video assignments are fantastic ways to engage students on multiple levels and in varying core standards, while encouraging that “21st Century Learning” in the process.  Another thing I love about making movies in class is that students walk away with a project that probably seems more relevant and is easily shared with others {usually with pride!}.  Video creation makes for good team working opportunities, creative communication skills, and technology skill development, too.

The following are some great examples of ways other teachers have used video production in their classrooms and schools. Watch a few and be inspired to let students create something relevant to their media -saturated worlds. . .

To teach vocabulary words, have students act out short skits demonstrating the definitions:

This elementary filmmaking club wrote and acted a short movie about a character trait– confidence:

In this video, an elementary teacher collected over 10,000 pictures from the entire school year to create this adorable animated cartoon:

In the following music video, a song about Earth Day was written and performed by 4th grade students:

And here is a project for history a student produced about an inspirational boy from India:
Student-Created Video of an Inspirational Indian Boy, found on the ever-popular TeacherTube.

{Subscribers, click through to the site to view the embedded videos.}


Related Posts. Technology Timesavers  | on Service Learning  | 7th Graders Provide Clean Water for Africa  | Teaching Students about Global Poverty


As we approach the end of the school year, it might be a perfect time to give students space for some self evaluation. The following is a simple lesson idea for middle or high school students which asks them to look back over their school year and evaluate changes in themselves. It’s not a bad exercise for us as teachers, either.

Lesson Idea for Self Evaluation

You’ll need 15 minutes to a full class period for this exercise, depending on how much discussion you want to give to the topic.

1. Show the following video. It’s a time lapse a father produced of his daughter. He filmed her every week, from birth to 12 years, and documented her growing up in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. It’s a fascinating look at change . . .

{If you can’t see the video, click HERE.}

Lotte Time Lapse: Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45. from Frans Hofmeester on Vimeo.


2. After watching the video, talk to your students about how change is a slow, but definite occurrence. You may want to point out that the parents of Lotte probably didn’t recognize how much she was changing as it was happening, but when the clips were spliced together, the change is undeniable {obviously}.

3. Ask each student to get out a sheet of paper. Divide the paper up into four categories: Educational, Personal, Friendships/Relationships, Other. Ask students to list ways that they have changed this year in each category. You might have them start by writing some of the major events of the year in their lives, to help them remember some of the past year.

4. Be sure to allow students to keep their lists personal, but if they’d like to share, give some time for that, as well.

5. Talk to students about positive changes and negative changes, and ask them how we can tell which is which. You may also want to ask them to circle the most positive change the year brought about, as well as the most negative one.

Giving students time to reflect and evaluate a school year is an important exercise. It not only gives them the space and life skill of assessing their own lives, but it also helps foster a community of acceptance and honesty in your classroom. It can also provide valuable insights into your students’ personal lives, which is always a critical piece of effective teaching.

How do you intentionally mark the ending of each school year with your students?

Related. Begin with the End {Goal Setting}  |  Stop the Nag  Perseverance and a Rocky Video

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How to Stop Interruptions from Elementary Students

by Laura Gurley on April 24, 2012

Interruptions from young children can become a major distraction in the classroom. Check out the following two ideas from teachers of elementary students, which I saw this week on Teaching Channel. Both are brilliantly simple ways to help young students not interrupt the teacher when he/she is working with a small group on a certain task.

The 3 B’s. The teacher has a particular necklace that stays at a back table where focused reading groups take place. When the teacher wears that necklace, the other students are to work on their assignments without interrupting the teacher and students at the back table unless one of the 3 B’s is happening.  The 3 B’s are: Barfing, Bleeding, or Burning. Watch how this teacher explains this system in her classroom {subscribers will need to click through to the site to view the videos}:


Ask Three, Then Me. This first grade teacher has developed a simple strategy for collaboration in the classroom. Students have to ask three other students their question before they ask the teacher.  When a student interrupts the teacher with a question, the teacher will simply hold up three fingers, nonverbally reminding them to ask their peers, first. The teacher briefly explains how this plays out in her classroom here:

How do you handle interruptions in your classroom? 

Related Posts. Classroom Management that Works  |  Energizers!  |  Top Ten Classroom Management Resources


How to Teach Kids Respect

April 18, 2012

One of the most highly searched character-related education topics is how to teach kids respect, according to google searches. It’s the character trait teachers scour the internet to find ideas on how to teach most often. And it’s not difficult to see why– respect has its fingers in almost all classroom management issues. Respect can [...]

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Teaching kids (and ourselves) about being judgmental

April 5, 2012

Have you seen this video? It’s been making the rounds on the interwebz for awhile and recently gained attention again when a high profile video-curating site shared it. Currently it has over 70 million views. Take a look–it’s only 45 seconds: [youtube] What thoughts floated through your mind as you listened to this child [...]

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In the Face of Failure

March 11, 2012

Sometimes even teachers fail. We try a lesson plan that leaves students more confused instead of more enlightened. We attempt to reach out to a student, only to have our efforts slapped back in our faces. We launch a new idea that crashes and burns. And, if that happens to be you today, perhaps the [...]

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Teaching Students About Global Poverty

February 29, 2012

Sometimes it’s challenging to make the issues of global poverty relevant to students in today’s classrooms. Okay, a lot of times it’s challenging. And maybe the difficulty of teaching kids who read VOGUE and watch The Bachelor to care about their global brothers and sisters who can’t read and watch their children starve feels so [...]

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Using 'Lord of the Rings' to Teach Friendship

January 27, 2012
Using ‘Lord of the Rings’ to Teach Friendship

This inspirational lesson on friendship could take as little as 15 minutes of class time.  It would be appropriate for middle and high school students, though you would need to preview the clips beforehand, since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy is all PG-13.  {The second clip does have a dark creature in it that [...]

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Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson Ideas and Videos

January 12, 2012
Martin Luther King Jr. Lesson Ideas and Videos

Whether we recognize it or not, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s influence reaches into every classroom in America today. This Baptist preacher from Alabama  refused to step down in the face of injustice– despite being imprisoned 20 times, being stabbed in the chest, and being threatened and defamed during his years of public service. His [...]

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