Starting Conversations – Character Education | Social Emotional Learning SEL




Readers With Character is an integrated social skills and character education curriculum for the general education elementary classroom teacher. These lessons work best with students in Kindergarten through third grade.

Digital menu for distance learning included.

Included in THIS resource…

This is ONE WEEK of the Readers With Character curriculum. Weeks can be done in isolation, which is why I am listing them separately in addition to the GROWING BUNDLE which will eventually include all 40 weeks of the school year.

This week’s book: The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig



This story is about a boy named Brian. Nobody ever notices Brian – they don’t include him in groups, invite him to parties, or talk to him.

One day, Justin, a new boy, comes to school. Brian wants to make him feel welcome, so he befriends Justin. Through working on a class project together, Brian finds his voice and confidence!

Through this story, we can teach our students how to start conversations with people and that even quiet people have awesome ideas and things to say.


Focus of the week: We can disagree respectfully.

This resource includes 5 days (15 minutes each) of lessons surrounding the focus and mentor text. Your students will:

★ Listen to the read aloud (you, if you own the book -OR- find a YouTube reading!). Question and discussion prompts included.

★ Engage in conversations and reflections during class meetings. Suggested discussion topics and questions are included.

★ Watch a related video clip and begin to generalize the focus of the week. Question/discussion prompts included.

★ Engage in a hands-on activity (this week– making a class book about what to say when making a new friend!)

★ Complete a student journal that anchors your discussions, includes reflections on new learning, and informs families about your weekly focus in the Home Connection.


★ Things to Say Poster


One-page PDF that includes links to the following:

  • Link to video read-aloud of the book
  • Link to video of the week
  • Google Slides link to weekly journal
  • Google Slides link to Home Connection
  • Google slides link to classroom visuals
  • Google Slides link to student page for class book

Check out the full-year curriculum by clicking here.

Why Do I Need This Resource?

More and more, teachers are experiencing challenges as they try to create a community of well managed, kind and respectful learners within their classroom. Without that community, it is so hard to effectively teach all of the academic skills that we are required to!

Character education is so important – children spend most of their waking hours at school, so it is our job to model good character, to teach them right from wrong and kind from unkind. What may come as “natural” to us does not always come natural to our students. They need to be explicitly taught norms of being a person with character.

“Yeah, right. ‘Aint nobody got time for that!”- You.

What if I told you that you could effectively and meaningfully integrate character education into your routine using mentor texts, and cover 40 different aspects of good character and social skills throughout your school year… all in just 15 minutes per day? It’s true!

So what would a typical week look like?

Monday: Tell students what the focus of the week will be. (ie: respect for each other and the classroom) Read the specified mentor text to your students, or show a video read-aloud of the book from the internet.

Tuesday: Hold a classroom meeting where you will remind students of the focus, and begin to generalize the story so it can apply to your focus. Students will draw and/or write their understanding of the focus of the week in their journals.

Wednesday: Students will view a video clip. Then, another community building classroom meeting will be held to talk about how the video clip relates to the focus of the week.

Thursday: Students will engage in an activity to reinforce the focus of the week. (ie: a skit to model the focus of the week, building an anchor chart together, or making a song etc..)

Friday: Students will draw and/or write about their new learning by completing prompts in their journal. Then, students will take their journals home and share the ‘Home Connection’ with their families.

I encourage you to download the preview to get a better idea of what all is included in not only this individual weekly plan, but also in the growing bundle!


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