Teaching Courage: The Dandelion Seed

by Joseph Antoine

Ratings: K-3

CASEL Standard: Self-awareness – The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts and values ​​and how they influence behavior in all contexts.

Objective of character education lesson: Understand what courage is and identify ways to be courageous


Part 1:

  • Have you ever tried something that scared you? What made you decide to try it? What happened?
  • When you do something even if you are afraid, it is called having courage.
  • There are many times, big and small, where you do something that shows courage.
  • Learning to ride a bike can be scary for most people. Learning to ride a bike, even if you are afraid, is having courage.
  • Going somewhere new, trying a new sport, or talking to someone you don’t know can all be scary things. When you do these things even though you are afraid, you show courage.
  • Admitting that you made a mistake and apologizing is another way to show you have courage. Admitting that you were wrong and apologizing can be very difficult and scary. When you do this, you are brave.
  • Standing up to someone or doing the right thing even when others around you are not is also being brave. Doing the right thing or standing up for someone who is being bullied is really difficult and scary. You are brave when you do this.
  • I’m going to give you a worksheet that contains scenarios. I want you to circle the ones that show someone has courage.
  • When you’re done, we’ll talk about situations that you think showed someone had courage.
  • Go through the scenarios with the students and highlight the ones that show someone is brave.

Part 2:

  • We are going to read a book called The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony.
  • Read the book.
  • The dandelion seed was afraid to let go. Have you ever been afraid to do anything?
  • What did the dandelion seed notice when the wind blew it away?
  • The dandelion seed wondered where it belonged. Have you ever wondered where you belong and where you stand?
  • Once the dandelion started growing, it shared with animals and insects. Do you think he was still scared like before? Why or why not?
  • There was a seed that was afraid to let go. The dandelion said to him: “Don’t be afraid, the wind, the sun and the rain will take care of you. Drop it and you’ll see. »
  • The little seed needed to have the courage to let go and find out what had happened to her. Sometimes it’s easier to know that someone or something will be there to help and take care of you.
  • What helps you have courage?

Part 3:

  • Dandelion Seed showed courage when she let loose and let the wind take her away.
  • Now you are going to write a short story about a little bird. Imagine that a small bird is afraid to leave its nest and tries to fly.
  • You are going to write about what the little bird does and about its courage. You can also draw a picture to accompany your story.
  • When you’re done writing, you can share your story.
  • After the students have finished, ask those who would like to share their stories. Explain how the students chose to make the little bird brave.

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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Contributing Writer at Education World®

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience writing curriculum and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom’s Taxonomy.

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