making memes building character

Making Memes and Building Character

Building good character in the next generation is a must.  Teenagers (and younger kids) need opportunities to transfer skills learned in their formal character building lessons with things from their everyday world; something relatable. Recently, in one of our Middle School Character Education and Development courses at the School of Science and Technology (SST), students have been making connections by creating memes that illustrate ideas from the lesson. Memes, as a form of expression, marry visual cues with wit to evoke emotions and strengthen the message of the lesson. Students were eager to create their memes based on the lesson and their experience with getting plenty of sleep, or not.

For more ideas about experiences that you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit our page Charter a Voyage of Learning.

memes teach good character school of science and technology northwest

Good Character Memes

In this post, you’ll see some examples of memes that our students created for a character lesson on taking personal responsibility for one’s self. One of the things we discussed is how getting enough sleep each day is the responsibility of each student because it allows them to be at their best.  Adequate sleep has been shown to improve mental function, mood, dexterity, focus, and attention. If we are deprived of sleep then, it means that we are depriving those around us of our full attention, our grace, and our best selves.

When an airplane is going down instructions are given to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others because if you do not take care of yourself first you may be rendered unable to help others.  This same logic applies to getting enough sleep and many other things like eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting enough exercise.

memes teach good character school of science and technology northwest

Living the Meme

When we are at our best, we are able to give our best to those around us. If everyone could give their best, then our world would be a better place for us all. By sleeping enough, we can better contribute to the world of our dreams—and with this lesson, the world of our memes. Creating memes in this way can be used for any topic, and can be more enjoyable for kids than a more formal project.  Students will learn computer skills as well as engage the creative parts of their brain while thinking about character.

meme generator teach good character school of science and technology northwest

Our memes were made by using a meme template Google Drawings, a free, web-based application by Google. You can also try this activity at home by using any slideshow or publishing software and an online image search.

Start a conversation about a desired character trait (accountability, dedication, responsibility, citizenship, caring, respectfulness, honesty, integrity, kindness, or leadership). Consider watching a YouTube video or reading a book on the topic. Encourage your child to include a main idea of the theme of the lesson in their meme.  Then you and your child can discuss how the meme applies to the character message. Through this process you and your child will both be sharing what good character “memes” in your family.

memes teach good character school of science and technology northwest

Character Education at the School of Science and Technology

At the School of Science and Technology, we look for innovative ways to build character in our students. Our school promotes character development through participation in the national Schools of Character program of Character.org.  Two SST campuses, including SST Alamo here in San Antonio, have earned the National School of Character designation. In addition to having its own dedicated course, character education is integrated into all classes to support socio-emotional development.

The School of Science and Technology, along with education and nonprofit partners, advocated for Governor Greg Abbott to proclaim November 15–21, 2020, to be Character Education Week.

Texas Character Week November 15 to 21, 2020 proclamation governor greg abbott

We also initiated Color the World with Character, a poster drive for students in grades pre-K through 12. Students can enter online through February 7, 2021.

Color the World With Character Poster Drive 2020

More Resources for Good Character

Here are some additional, helpful resources for more ideas and activities for building good character that you can use at home with your children:

You can take action to promote character education in our community:

For more ideas about experiences that you can do while learning at home with your kids, visit our page Charter a Voyage of Learning.

About the Author

Amanda Maloney teacher SST School of Science and Technology NorthwestAmanda Maloney teaches Social Studies, Music, and Character Education to middle school students at the School of Science and Technology Northwest. In addition to her teaching experience, she has worked as an educator with cultural institutions such as the Alamo, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Witte Museum. She enjoys music, history, gardening, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three children. She believes in lifelong learning.  Currently, she is learning farm animal husbandry through the ownership of heritage-breed animals.

Charter Moms Chats

Watch Tamra Nast, Director of Training and Coaching at Character.org, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats about character education at home on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 4 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.

Tamra Nast is the Director of Training and Coaching at Character.org. While she was a school counselor, it was her dream to support individuals and schools who are interested in learning more about Character.org’s 11 Principles. Her school became a National School of Character in 2007, but only after they discovered the 11 Principles Framework. Once they did, their school became more intentional and the process was life-changing for all. Then, she had the privilege to lead her school district’s character initiative, and she began to see how the 11 Principles were applied in other schools. She attended her first Character.org conference in 2005 and facilitated her first breakout session in 2007. She has been an 11 Principles evaluator and trainer since 2010. When she retired from her school district in 2016, Character.org asked her to take on her current position—her dream became a reality.

Date

Nov 20 2020
Expired!

Time

All Day

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