Being Your Best: Character Building for Kids 7-10
by Barbara A. Lewis, Marjorie Lisovskis
Gr. 4-6.This title defines 10 positive character traits, and offers children practical ways to develop and
strengthen them. Each trait is first illustrated by a true story featuring a child hero and is then defined in child-friendly terms, followed
by simple activities, mnemonics, open-ended "what if?" questions, and bibliographies of fiction and nonfiction books on the theme. Open,
honest communication is stressed throughout, and youngsters are urged to approach caring adults with problems. The intent is admirable, but
the book's audience is unclear. The younger range of kids, aged 7-10, the readership targeted in the title, would find some of the material
too difficult; most of the books mentioned in the chapter reading lists, which do include some well-considered choices, are for older readers,
with comparatively few second-or third-grade titles cited. Character education is a growing trend in schools today, however, and practical,
kid-centered books like this are needed. With its many activities, discussion springboards, and literature tie-ins, this offering will be
especially useful to teachers or adult moderators.
learning, October 31, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
This book is definitely a plus for educators and requires adult
facilitation, especially for the younger range. We use this book, along with the leader's guide (5 stars!) as a tool in our violence prevention
curriculum in an after-school setting. Perhaps it's too "politically correct" to teach kids to respect each other and include others to
build friendships, and to be reflective on their own behaviors, but some kids need to hear this message.
To" to help kids develop their character, June 24, 2000
Reviewer: Mary Ann Kalis (Illinois)
Character education is a hot topic,
and this book provides activities and resources that educators can easily adapt for use in the classroom. At our school, we began to develop
our own program and were looking for a way to continue our activities.
What I liked best about this book was its emphasis on having the
child evaluate his or her own character, and then selecting those "character muscles" to develop further, such as caring, fairness,
honesty, etc. It also included several self-assessments for the child to complete that help in determining strengths and areas for
improvement. Our school plans to use this book as a resource for teachers and students this coming year, and we look forward to the release of
the Leader's Guide.
I'd rate it 5 stars for educators, but fewer stars for parents. While its activities are certainly
adaptable in either setting, I wonder how effective it would be for a parent to work from a book in teaching a child about character. I prefer
stories to read with your child and then discuss. This seems too academic for home use. Would be interested to see what parents think who've
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