Week 1: Responsibility
This unit tells the story of Anne Sullivan, who took upon herself the great responsibility of teaching and caring for Helen Keller. Other topics associated with the topic of responsibility include dependability, accountability, punctuality, self control and self discipline; the topic emphasizes the importance of accepting the consequences of one’s actions. Three biography mini-lessons are included in this week: Zora Neale Hurston, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein.
Week 2: Respect
This unit tells the story of Mohandas Gandhi, who, without ever holding public office, achieved independence for India. Gandhi fought for all cultural groups and religions in his country to respect each other, including the “untouchable” classes that exist even today. Related topics include tolerance, diversity, understanding, and unity. This unit also emphasizes the importance of appreciating differences and the necessity for respecting and obeying those in authority. Three biography mini-lessons are included in this week: Mohandas Gandhi, Pocahontas and Cesar Chavez.
Week 3: Caring
This unit tells the story of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who from humble beginnings gained worldwide renown for her humanitarian efforts in caring for the poor in India and, through efforts under her direction, around the world. Related topics include compassion, kindness, friendship, gratitude and consideration. This unit also emphasizes the importance of listening to, sharing with and encouraging others. Three biography mini- lessons are included in this week: Harriet Tubman, Maya Lin and Larry Itliong.
Week 4: Integrity
This unit tells the story of Abraham Lincoln, the American president who, in spite of great odds and differences of opinion, guided the United States through the Civil War. Known as Honest Abe, the first president to be assassinated was mourned by the entire nation and is today considered among America’s greatest presidents. Related topics include honesty, trustworthiness, and loyalty. This unit emphasizes the importance of keeping one’s word and exercising good judgment. It also encourages students to have the courage to stand up for what they believe is right. Four biography mini-lessons are included in this week: Abraham Lincoln, Ruby Bridges, Galileo and Sacagawea.
Week 5: Fairness
This unit looks at the lives and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Wright Brothers to discuss equality, humility and sportsmanship. It explores the concept of justice in terms of law, civil rights, and basic human rights; it also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and following the Golden Rule. Two biography mini-lessons are included in this week: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Susan B. Anthony.
Week 6: Perseverance
This unit tells the story of George Washington who, together with his army, spent a terrible winter at Valley Forge during the American Revolution. It emphasizes the importance of putting forth one’s best effort, striving for excellence and adapting to new situations; and encourages optimism, confidence and pride in students. Related topics include diligence, patience, commitment, determination and resourcefulness. Two biography mini-lessons are included in this week: George Washington and Kalpana Chawla.