In designing this unit on teaching responsibility to children I pursue two separate major goals: I want this unit to teach some important moral principles such as to be responsible for one's deeds and relationships with others, and I want the unit to be academically rich in developing pertinent content knowledge and skills applicable to understanding a story. I find that along with the lack of moral training, students need academic understanding of the tools necessary for their success: language, rhetoric, imaginative storytelling. Before they can portray their own situations as stories, they need to understand the elements involved: characters, themes, motives, settings, conflicts, solutions, etc.
Although this unit may be taught with some modifications in any classroom, I developed it for the fourth grade bilingual students. It offers two written stories as well as two films, which can be presented and taught as traditional stories: when we look at a film with students we will identify all characteristic elements of a story, describe main characters, and analyze the central theme or important message the film carries.
(Developed for English as a Second Language, grade 4; recommended for Elementary School
ESL, grade 4)