My school is a PBIS school and character education is a huge part of what we do. One of our guiding rules is to Accept Responsibility.
Responsibility is a huge concept. According to Google, there are three definitions of responsibility-
As an adult, I understand these definitions, but they are not quite explicit enough for small children. In our room, we define responsibility as
1. Doing the right thing even if an adult is not watching.
2. Admitting when you have done something wrong.
3. Taking care of or cleaning up your own mess.
I find that admitting when you have done something wrong is the hardest for kids. It makes sense, admitted you have done wrong goes directly against your self-preservation instinct. NO ONE wants to be in trouble and admitting you have done wrong often leads to trouble.
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The Lorax is a great book to use when teaching responsibility. The Once-ler is responsible for chopping down the Truffula Trees. The Brown Bar-ba-loots left because the Truffula Fruits were disappearing. The pollution from the factory caused Swomee-Swans and the Humming-Fish to lose their habitats.
I love how the book ends too. Asking for help can be difficult, especially when it involves admitting you made a mistake to begin with.
I wrap up this lesson by having students write about a time they showed responsibility. I usually model the assignment by writing about how I show responsibility by taking care of them. They really love watching me write about themselves!
You can check out my other Read Across America post here!
There are tons of ways to use The Lorax! What is your favorite?