character education resilience lesson

Students need to embrace resilience as they care for one another during conflict. This lesson focuses on the caring Pillar while supplying a resource to problem-solve and build resilience.

Character education objectives:

  • Students will discuss problems and solutions 
  • Students will brainstorm solutions to a problem
  • Students will use the Problem Solving Essentials tool and compose a caring response /solution for a problem


Duration: 2 days

Lesson Plan Day 1 

Journal: (5 mins)

  • What is a problem you have had to solve at home or school?
  • What was challenging about solving it?

Whole Group Instruction: (10 mins)

  • You are going to compose an advice column to help people solve problems in their lives. 
  • You will work in groups of 4-5 to problem solve solutions to real-life issues.
  • You will compose a caring response to help the sender tackle their problem.
  • I want you to utilize the Problem Solving Essentials  tool.
  • For each problem scenario you will…
    • Define the problem and solution goals  
    • Brainstorm all possible solutions
      • Write down everyone’s suggestions 
      • Encourage everyone to participate and give ideas 
      • No idea is a bad idea they can all lead to great ideas 
    • Adapt, expand, innovate, and eliminate possibilities
      • Determine the best route with the list of ideas you came up with during the brainstorming
    • Test solution and revise as needed 
      • Compose a response and edit / wordsmith until you feel it is ready to submit 
      • Share with the classroom

Whole Group Model with the classroom the following scenario: (15 mins)
DEAR ABBY: I’m a freshman in high school, and it’s great. I’ve made a lot of new friends, but most of them are guys. For some reason, they think I’m this girly-girl type who doesn’t like to get my hands dirty. When it’s time to do something that involves lifting, they think they have to take over. If they ever saw me at home, they’d think I was a whole different person. How can I show them I’m not a girly-girl while still being friends with them? — NO GIRLY-GIRL-14

Small Group Discussion: (10 mins)

  • How does our response show we care? 
  • Review what resilience means
  • How do you build resilience?
  • Why is it important to seek advice from people who care about you?
  • How does seeking advice from someone you care about help build resilience?

Lesson Plan Day 2: 

Journal: (5 minutes)

  • Write a Dear Abby Response to the problem you listed in your journal (see lesson plan day one)

Small Group Productive Group work: (25 mins)

  • Students can use the Problem-Solving Handout to gather their thoughts 
  • Students will go through the scenarios listed on the Scenario Handout (Allow them to choose one they would like to work on together)
  • Students will use the Problem Solving Essentials tool and compose a solution for the problem 

Whole Group: (10 mins) 

  • Share aloud the advice your group offered for the teen 

Exit Ticket: (5 mins) 

  • How does advice from someone who cares about you help build resilience?


If students are unfamiliar with advice columns you can send them to the sites below to review and read some of the responses from Abby.

Dear Abby. 2020. Uexpress. [online] Available at: <https://www.uexpress.com/dearabby/2020/2/9/2/teen-resents-being-treated-like-a> [Accessed 30 March 2020].

Dr. M., 2020. Ask Dr. M — Advice For Teens Advice Column. Advice For Teens, Advice For Kids, Advice For Children, Advice For Young Adults, Advice For Parents, Advice For Parents Of Kids, Advice For Parents Of Teens, Advice For Parents Of Young Adults. [online] Askdrm.org. Available at: <http://www.askdrm.org/col_teens.html> [Accessed 30 March 2020].

Resilience and Overcoming Obstacles (Grades 6-12)