I just received a new book from Scholastic and it has quickly become a class favorite. It is a biography about Gabby Douglas. My short read aloud has turned into much more. Gabby has so many wonderful traits, she makes a wonderful focus for a character traits activity. I have included the link to the book I have along with a few others at the bottom of this post.
As I was reading, my kids were amazed by the pictures of Gabby performing gymnastics. They kept asking if a person could really do what the pictures showed. Before we moved onto a focus on her traits, we looked at her athletic ability. You can find videos of Gabby at the Olympics on YouTube but I also discovered her web site: http://gabrielledouglas.com/. Her site has a biography, many photos and a video sharing her story. One of the best aspects of her site is that it is designed well and would be good for children to navigate. She even includes a tab where you can send her a message.
After watching some videos and browsing her site, we moved onto a focus on character traits. We made a chart where we said what traits fit her best. Once the kids shared a trait, they had to give a reason why this would fit her. Our chart included hard-working, perseverant, positive among many others. I loved having a real life person that is a good role model to use for this acitivity!
I Could Be… When we finished making our character traits list, I asked each child to think about one of her traits they could work on and how they could reach this goal. For example, one student said they could be perseverant by reading the whole time during independent reading. Another said they could be hard-working by not giving up when they were trying to do math. Not all of the goals students made involved academics. When the students completed their work, we made a display in the hallway.
Hopefully Gabby will be as inspire to your students as she was mine!