Lesson Plan: Does That Character Reflect My Character?

Written By: Julie Costello, Fargo Public Schools
Grade Level: 4th - 6th Grade

Time Allotment

45 minute segments


The best way to tame a bully is with character education and lots of discussion and support. This unit uses the book One by Kathryn Otashi to introduce bullying, then utilizes movie clips to introduce and examine character traits. As a culminating activity, students make positive statements and photograph their words and put them into Photostory or MovieMaker for video.

Subject Matter

Bullying, character education, introduction to video using Photostory

Learning Objectives

Students learn to look objectively at clips from major motion pictures and make application to their lives. Students learn how to use Photostory and/or Moviemaker.

Media Components - Video/Web

  • Video clips from major motion pictures available for purchase at http://www.filmclipsonline.com or available on Learn360.com
  • Photostory or MovieMaker
  • May incorporate websites for quotes


  1. One by Kathryn Otashi; ISBN 978-09723946-4-2
  2. Avervision or projection plan for sharing book
  3. Short clips from selected videos; study guide available online at http://www.flimclipsonline.com; Today’s lessons are from http://www.filmclipsonline.com/downloads/EP4_STUDYGUIDE.pdf
  4. Paper for reflection (journal)
  5. Unlined paper
  6. Markers
  7. One camera for each group (share if necessary)

Teacher Preparation

  1. Preread the book One and have it ready for presenting
  2. Bookmark or make playlist of clips you plan to use
  3. Logon and have clips ready on individual pages
  4. Paper and markers for students; digital camera
  5. Know how to use Photostory or MovieMaker

Introductory Activities

  1. Discussion of bullying; reading the book One
    • What is a metaphor?
      • Something used to represent something else
      • This book is filled with metaphors; listening target: what metaphors are contained in the story
  2. Students have paper/journals for reflection

Learning Activities

  1. Theme: Knowing Yourself
    • Independent thinking
      1. A teacher has a unique way of challenging students to think for themselves
      2. Explain “carpe diem” which means to “seize the day”
      3. What does conform mean?
        1. to comply or be like everyone else
        2. good/bad?
  2. Video: Dead Poets Society
  3. Reflection/Discussion
    1. Why do you think we find ourselves conforming to others?
      1. In the book, why didn’t the other colors stand up to red?
      2. Can you think of people who have had an effect historically because they didn’t conform?
        a. Rosa Parks, Sally Ride
    2. How important is it to fit in with the crowd?
  4. Theme: Facing Peer Pressure
    • Responsibility for Others
      1. The tough band director expects each band member to look out for the other to build a strong team
    • Video: Drumline
    • Reflection/Discussion
      1. What does the saying, “There is no I in team” mean? How is it reflected in this clip?
      2. What is the difference between helpful and harmful team pressure?
      3. Are we responsible for other’s actions?
  5. Theme: Facing Peer Pressure
    • Cliques as Bullies
      1. A home-schooled girl enters public high school and finds it can be pretty hard to fit in
      2. Define clique: A small group of people with shared interests, who spend time together and exclude others
    • Video: Mean Girls
    • Reflection/Discussion
      1. How can a clique be harmful?
      2. How can cliques control you?
      3. What are the rules your friends expect you to follow?

Culminating Activity

  1. Divide into three groups – each group will be choosing a message to convey about their group. It is a good idea to give sites or have quotes for students to choose from unless you feel some are ready to make their own quotes, add pictures, etc.
    1. Group 1: Independent thinking
      1. Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. –Robert Frost
      2. Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. -J.K. Rowlingt
    2. Group 2: Responsibility for others
      1. Provision for others is a fundamental responsibility of human life. –Woodrow Wilson
      2. People don’t understand that not only can they make a difference, but it’s their responsibility to do so. –Florence Robinson
    3. Group 3: Standing up for yourself
      1. Do you want to be a power in the world? Be yourself. –Ralph Waldo Trine
      2. What is genius but the power of expressing a new individuality? –Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    4. Each group rewrites the quote grouping words as decided by the group.
    5. Photograph each page
    6. Import into Photostory or Movie Maker
    7. TaDa! You’ve made your own movie with a positive message

    Cross-Curricular Activity

    • This fits easily into Language Arts with writing activities
    • Have students read biographies/newspaper or magazine articles identifying how people have overcome struggles

    Community Connections

    • Invite community leaders to share struggles they have overcome
    • Students ask television to run positive messages which they have created
    • Students give awards to people in the community who serve as positive role models; students design an award and vote each month as to who in the community receives the award