Best Character Education Activities

Best character education activities, lesson plans

Character education activities and social emotional learning are becoming ever more important in our classrooms and homes. After all, having strong social emotional skills has been shown to increase academic performance, decrease depression, and increase pro-social behaviors. But finding good, free lesson plans about good traits can be a challenge. Fear not. We’ve done the work for you and searched the internet for some of the best free character education activities and lesson plans. These free, printable lessons will help you easily integrate social skills activities, social emotional learning, growth mindset lessons, and character education activities into your curriculum. Whether you want a quick interactive social skills activity or a full character education lesson, you’ll find lots of great ideas in our list.

Have a favorite lesson plan or other resource for teaching character, growth mindset or other social emotional skills? We’d love to know about it. Drop us a note about good character education resources here.

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Character Education Lesson Plans and Activties

Free character education lesson plans

Free Character Education Lesson Plans from Talking with Trees

Traits: honesty, respect, responsibility, caring, forgiveness
Grade level: Elementary

These character education lesson plans make it easy to teach complicated ideas about good traits in terms kids can understand. Free lesson plans feature stories, worksheets, and activities that reinforce social skills.

Playworks Social Skills Activities

Traits: kindness, respect, empathy
Grade level: Pre-k, Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

These are some great activities to help kids connect with others and learn how to treat others with respect and caring. These social skills building activities, such as “Ants on a log” and “If you really knew me”, are easy to implement with the detailed instructions provided.

Free character education lesson plans and activities from Teaching Tolerance

Teaching activities and lessons

Traits: respect, social justice, fairness, self control
Grade level: all grades

Teaching offers a variety of activities and lesson plans that teach kids to appreciate diversity, respect others, and to develop empathy and a sense of fairness. They have lessons about immigration, putting historical events into context, bullying, and more.

Activities that teach young children good character traits

100+ Activities that Teach Kids About Character

Traits: gratitude, telling the truth, self control and many more
Grade level: Pre-k, Kindergarten

Chelsea Lee Smith, author of 100+ Hands on Activities to Learn Positive Character traits, offers for free quite a few of her social skills building activities for pre-k and toddlers. Ideas like “5 Activities to Help Children Develop Emotional Control” help you start building social skills in young children. free lesson plans in good traits Lesson Plans by Teachers

Traits: Respect, honesty and many more
Grade level: all elementary, middle school

Teacher-submitted character education lesson plans and social emotional learning strategies that have worked well in their own classrooms. Includes social skills activities, character trait lessons.

Lesson plans on building character from Learning to Give

Learning to Give Character Building Lesson Plans

Traits: respect, responsibility, generosity
Grade level: elementary and middle school, high school

Lesson plans that integrate good character traits into teaching other topics including history, language arts and science.

Social skills activities and lesson plans from Peace First

Peace First Social Skills Activities Database

Traits: compassion, self-control, empathy
Grade level: elementary, middle, high school

This searchable database offers many social skills activities that teach kids how to act with compassion, self-control, and empathy.

A Year of Character Education

Traits: respect, responsibility, honesty, caring, fairness, citizenship, courage, perseverance, hope
Grade level: elementary

Charlotte Mecklenburg school district offers a year’s worth of character education lessons, celebrating a different character trait each month. Additional social skills activities too.

Free lesson plans on caring from Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Lesson Plans

Traits: Kindness, caring
Grade level: Elementary (Middle school and high school also available)

Printable lesson plans by grade level are easy to implement. Random Acts of Kindness Week is in February-- these lesson plans are a great way to celebrate with a kindness activity.

Teachable Moment Classroom Lessons

Traits: respect, variety of social emotional learning lessons
Grade level: elementary (middle school and high school also available)

Morningside Center site helps teachers integrate current events with social emotional learning and social responsibility. Lesson plans and activities touch on a variety of character traits and social issues, including this one on respect and Win-Win conflict resolution.

Free lesson plans for teaching kids a growth mindset

Mindset Kit- Lesson plans for Growth Mindset

Traits: perseverance, grit, resilience
Grade level: elementary (middle school and high school also available) offers lesson plans for teachers and activity ideas for parents that help children build a growth mindset. Lessons focus on what a growth mindset is and ideas on how to teach kids that it’s ok to fail and that perseverance pays off. For younger audiences, try the Kindergarten Growth Mindset PowerPoint.

Lesson plans for character education and social emotional learning from Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers Character Education Lesson Plans / Activities

Traits: kindness, respect, honesty, growth mindset
Grade level: elementary (middle school and high school also available)

While most items require paying a small fee, we have to include Teachers Pay Teachers character ed lesson plans and worksheets because they are developed by teachers and are tested in the classroom

Printable lesson plans for social skills and character lessons

School Date Books Character Trait Lessons

Traits: self respect, perseverance, gratitude, integrity, and many more good traits
Grade level: elementary

These free printable lesson plans teach kids about a variety of social emotional learning topics. They are simple and ready to go, and they integrate with the School Date Books calendars if you are already using them.

Free printable character education lessons from Scholastic Books

Scholastic Books Free Lesson Plans

Traits: truthfulness, caring, respect
Grade level: Pre-k, Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Scholastic offers free lesson plans to teach social skills using picture and chapter books. Try their character ed lesson plans for A Bad Case of the Stripes, Ant Bully, Top Cat, and more.

Games that teach kids about good character traits

DARE Lucky Kat World Character Education Games

Traits: perseverance, justice, conscientiousness, generosity, citizenship, compassion
Grade level: elementary

The website features online games that teach good character traits. Some of the character education games are free and some require a subscription.


Fre character education worksheets teach social skills


Lesson on treating friends with respect and caring



Creative writing and storytelling site for kids



Positive quotes for kids about good character


Character education picture book teaches kids good character traits like responsibility


Free story idea generator makes it easy to create story ideas with kids

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