Truthfulness - Character Council of Cincinnati


Truthfulness - Character Council of Cincinnati
tell the truth
not cheat or steal
admit when I am
not exaggerate
to make things
different from
what they are
Reading List
Reading List
in the
in the
2 0 1 2
Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
others to be
Vs. Deception
Character… It starts with me!
Picture water as it ripples
ripples. When we are
truthful today we set
ourselves up for being
believed in the future.
Each truthful act builds
ripple by ripple.
ourselves. We become
predictable, just like the
ripples in the water. The
more consistent we are
with our core, the more
we reveal that core to
others. The more we act
with integrity the more
we reinforce that core.
ripples build out from the
center. Deception, on
the other hand creates
distance and can sever
When we operate in a
manner that is consistent
with our core integrity,
relationships and links us
to each other just as the
This month, practice
truthfulness and watch it
Go to the Root
Veracidad vs. Engaño
Ganarse la confianza futura,
informando con precisión sobre
hechos del pasado
Go to the Root
The word truthfulness is from the
Old English word treowth, which
means “to be firm, solid, or
steadfast”. Can you see how
being truthful can help build a
solid future?
Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button
Tower of Flour
“ People will accept your idea
much more readily if you tell
them Benjamin Franklin said
it first.” -David H. Comins
“Honesty is always the best
George Washington
“Whoever is careless with
the truth in small matters
cannot be trusted with
important matters.”
Albert Einstein
“Three things cannot be
long hidden: the sun, the
moon, and the truth.”
“The truth is incontrovertible.
may attack it,
ignorance may deride it, but
in the end, there it is.”
Winston Churchill
“If you tell the truth, you
don't have to remember
Mark Twain
“Truth is the property of no
individual but is the treasure
of all men.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The goal of education is the
advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of
John F. Kennedy
Character Quotables
“I never did give
anybody hell. I just
told the truth and they
thought it was hell.”
Harry S. Truman
“By and large, language is a
tool for concealing the truth.”
George Carlin
“Rather than love, than
money, than fame, give me
Henry David Thoreau
“Half a truth is often a great
Benjamin Franklin
“The object of the superior
man is truth.”
“Peace if possible, truth at
all costs.”
Martin Luther
“Truth is like the sun. You
can shut it out for a time, but
it ain't goin' away.”
Elvis Presley
“I believe there's an inner
power that makes winners
or losers. And the winners
are the ones who really
listen to the truth of their
Sylvester Stallone
“There are only two people
who can tell you the truth
about yourself - an enemy
who has lost his temper and
a friend who loves you
Curriculum Connection
Lions speak the truth with their body language. Unlike tigers
and other large cats, lions don’t hide their feelings. They
use their tail, mouth and posture to let others know exactly
what they intend to do. If a lion’s tail is hanging down in a
long flowing curve and the tip points upward, they are giving
you a friendly greeting. If the
tail sticks straight out and the
tip switches back and forth,
he could be looking at you as
his dinner! What other
animals tell you what they are
Katie Davis, Model of Truthfulness
In December of 2006, 18-year
-old Katie Davis from Brentwood,
Tennessee, traveled to Uganda
for the first time. She was
immediately captivated with the
In the summer of 2007, Katie
returned to Uganda to teach
Kindergarten at an orphanage.
She was shocked to see the
number of school-aged children
not is school. Most schools in
Uganda are privately operated
and therefore require school fees
for attendance, making poor
children unable to afford an
Katie decided to start a child
sponsorship program, matching
orphaned and vulnerable children
who are unable to afford
schooling with sponsors all over
the world. A gift of $300 will
provide allowance for one child to
go to school, providing school
supplies, 3 hot meals each day,
spiritual discipleship, and medical
care. Originally planning to have
40 children in the program, the
program sponsors over 600
children today.
established a 501(c)(3) non-profit
organization called Amazima
organization seeks to meet the
physical, emotional, and spiritual
needs of the people of Uganda
who need it most. In the
Lugandan language, Amazima
means "truth." Also, Katie
became a mother for the first
time in January of 2008 to three
orphaned girls. She has since
adopted more girls bringing the
total to 13 adopted daughters.
One of the many other
programs she developed was
designed to help the women in
the Karimojong village provide for
their families. She initiated a
vocational program to teach
these women to make unique
necklaces. They
are also taught
necklaces made
by the women are purchased
and sold in the United States.
The programs that Katie has
created are her way of being true
to her core. She firmly believes
in helping those who are in need.
To learn more about Katie and
Amazima visit:
Team-Building Activity
Building a culture of good character requires building the class
into a community. Here is this month’s teambuilding activity:
Give each one an outline of a human body or have each one draw
one themselves. Inside the head area, have them write/draw one
thing they would like to do when they grow up/get older. On the
hands have them write/draw something they like to play. On the
stomach they should write or draw something they like to eat. On a
foot they should write/draw someplace they want to visit. Once they
are all finished, have them share with everyone or you can break
them into small groups and have them share in the groups. When
they have finished sharing, point out that there were similarities and
differences in what we like. It is nice to find someone who likes
something that you do but having a variety of preferences in the
group makes the group more interesting.
Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?
Seat the group in a circle. Choose one person to be “it” first. This person stands in the
middle of the circle. Provide a button to one person in the circle. Instruct the person
who is “it” to close their eyes while those who are seated pass the button around the
circle. You can play music or set a timer. When the timer goes off, have all those
seated to pretend to be hiding the button in their hands. The person who is “it” can
open their eyes. The group then chants to the person who is “it” the game title “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?”. The person who is “it” gets three guesses as
to who they think has the button. If they are right, that person is now “it” and they get to
take the vacated place in the circle. If they are wrong, you get to pick a new person to
be “it”. Once you have played the game several times, discuss how it felt to pretend
you had the button or how to pretend you didn’t when you really did. Whenever we are
not being true, it feels uncomfortable. Learn to recognize these signs. Whenever we
are uncomfortable with a situation, it is a good sign that it is somewhere we shouldn’t
be or something that we shouldn’t be doing.
To prepare for this game make some cards with
phrases that depict a scene where a child has to
decide to tell the truth such as spilled milk, broken
crayon, not emptying the trash can, forgetting to make
your bed, not doing homework, etc. The game is
played like Pictionary, using the cards as the drawing
suggestions. Divide the group into two smaller groups
and have them compete against each other. Provide a space on a chalk board or a white
board for them to use for their drawings. Pick one team to go first. One person from that
team comes forward, selects a card from a face-down stack. They have 3 minutes to
draw something so that their team can guess what scenario is on the card. Be sure that
both teams know what kinds of phrases they are trying to guess. The person who is
drawing is not allowed to say anything until someone guesses the correct answer. Once
the answer is given or time is up and the answer revealed, have a short discussion on
the example that was drawn. Why is telling the truth the right thing to do in each
instance? Be sure to include that the more you tell the truth, the more trust you build.
For this activity you will need a container about 4 -6 inches in diameter and no taller
than 8 - 10 inches. Fill it with about 6 inches of water. If you have a large group you
may want to divide into smaller groups and provide each group with the same set-up.
Place the container in the center of the group. Have someone drop a nickel into the
container, aiming to get it as close to the center as possible. Explain that the nickel is
like a lie that you tell. Now give pennies to the others in the group. Each person has to
try to cover up the lie (the nickel) by telling other smaller lies (pennies). How many
pennies does it take to cover the nickel completely? How difficult is it to cover the lie
when you don’t have a lot of control over where the pennies land? How is that like lies
that you tell to cover your tracks?
Tower of Flour
You will first need to spread newspaper over the area for this demonstration. Place the dime in
the center of the bottom of a plastic cup. Pour flour into the glass being sure to pack it in
firmly. Place the paper plate on top of the glass and turn them over together on the
newspaper. Tap the glass gently, and carefully lift it off. The flour should remain standing in
the shape of the glass with the dime on top. Explain that the dime represents the character
quality of truthfulness. Let the group take turns slicing some of the tower away with a plastic
knife but keeping the tower intact. This represents what happens when we tell lies. Our
reputation is weakened. Others will not trust or respect us, and eventually the tower of trust
falls. Notice how each time more flour is removed the dime’s position becomes more
precarious. Continue until the dime drops in. Ask the group what does the tower falling
signify? (losing all trust).
Pass out a Whopper candy to each child in the class and encourage them to eat it. Once
they’ve eaten the candy, ask for it back. This demonstrates how hard it is to take back a lie
once it is told. (Remember when: Back in the day, when someone told a big lie, they told a
‘whopper’…) Ask the students to come up with their own slang for the word ‘lie’. Why is it
important to tell the truth? What does it feel like when someone spreads gossip about you?
If the story is true, but not complimentary, is it still gossip? What will you do the next time
someone spreads gossip to you? What will you do the next time you want to lie? How will
you encourage others to tell the truth?
This is a common card game, also known as Cheat, I Doubt It or B.S. Have the group break up into smaller
groups containing an odd number of students and give each group a deck of cards. The object of the game
is to get rid of all your cards. The entire deck is dealt to the group and whoever has the Ace of Spades
begins play. The first student can lay down any number of Aces. They announce how many ‘Aces’ they are
laying face down into the discard pile in the middle. The player to their left goes next with twos and the next
person has threes and so on continuing around the circle until you get back to the Aces. Since you won’t
always have the cards that are assigned to you, you are allowed to lie about all or some of the cards you are
discarding. You are not allowed to pass if you don’t have the correct cards.
Once the cards are down, any player can challenge the claim by calling
“Baloney”. The cards are turned over and, if they are caught lying, they
have to pick up the entire discard pile into their hand. If they are telling the
truth, the challenger gets the cards in their hand. A time limit can be set, or
the game can be played until a student wins by running out of cards in their
hand. Who had the best ‘poker face’? Who was really bad at lying? How
easy was it to lie the first time? The last time? How did it feel to get
caught? What will you do the next time you are tempted to lie?
For the Family
We are studying the character quality of Truthfulness: Earning future trust by accurately reporting past
To practice Truthfulness I will:
tell the truth
encourage others to be truthful
not cheat or steal
admit when I am wrong
not exaggerate to make things seem different from
what they are
Family Activity:
Tall Tales
For this activity, gather the family together and tell a story
about something that really happened to you. Pepper the
story with 5 lies or exaggerations. You can decide how
obvious you want to make them. They can be anything
from encountering a bear, to changing the color of a wellknown object. Ask the family to hold any comments or
questions until you are finished with your story. Once you
have finished ask if they have any questions. If they didn’t
notice the lies, then tell them that you included a number of
lies and can they figure out what they were. When they
have discovered all of the untruths in your story ask them
how it felt to be lied to. Was the story believable? Do they feel gullible? How do they think it
would feel to be caught in a lie? How would they feel about a friend if that friend lied to them? The
next time they are tempted to lie or stretch the truth, ask them to remember this story.
Other ways to teach character in the home:
 Display the character quality and definition in a prominent place such as on the refrigerator or let each
child decorate it for their bedroom door.
 At the dinner table ask if anyone noticed anyone (not just family members) demonstrating the character
quality (or not demonstrating it).
 Point out news stories where character was or was not involved.
 Review the “I wills” and see if there are specific actions you can add to this list.
 During car trips, challenge the kids by describing scenarios and having them identify if it describes being
the quality or being the opposite.
 Praise with character by recognizing the character quality involved rather than the achievement.
 For more ideas visit
In September
September 15: International Dot Day
Every year on September 15, innovative educators around the world celebrate International
Dot Day by making time to encourage their students’ creativity. The project involves
encouraging students to be creative with a dot. You can come up with a project idea and have
everyone do the same thing in their own creative way or you can encourage them to be
completely creative with idea.
For more information, visit
Other Days You Can Use To Teach Character This Month
3 Labor Day
8 International Literacy Day
9 National Grandparent's Day
11 Patriot Day (9-11)
15 Big Whopper Liar Day
16 Trail of Tears Commemoration Day
18 National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day
18 National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
18 National Respect Day
19 Talk Like A Pirate Day
22 R.E.A.D. in America Day
24 Punctuation Day
27 Ancestor Appreciation Day
28 National Good Neighbor Day
29 World Heart Day
Week 1 International Enthusiasm Week:
Week 2 Suicide Prevention Week
Week 3 Pollution Prevention Week, National Clean Hands Week, Substitute Teacher
Appreciation Week
Week 4 National Keep Kids Creative Week
The Month of September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month, Children's Good
Manners Month, International People Skills Month, International Self-Awareness Month,
International Strategic Thinking Month, National Prosper Where You Are Planted Month
For more information on these and other holidays visit:
OK, School is back in session! Time for a True/False
quiz to recognize Truthfulness.
True/False: If you are swimming, you have to wait an hour after
eating or you'll get cramps and drown.
True/False: Keep unused batteries in the refrigerator to prolong their lives.
True/False: Sugar causes hyperactivity in children.
The answers are all “False” or at least highly debated. These beliefs are old “wives” tales,
or what would now be called Urban Legends. For further information on these, check out http://
You may or may not agree with the above statements. (If you want to get teachers - or parents- riled up,
ask them on the day after Halloween or Easter whether candy causes increased hyperactivity!) Not unlike
UFO sightings or miracle cures, legends entice us to be believers, and to pass them on as true. Also,
legends may be attractive because they are really just well-constructed stories. I'll bet you know a story
teller; a charismatic person who enjoys the conversation spotlight. A story teller hooks the listeners, leads
them along, and delights or surprises them with the ending. The joy of a story well-told comes from the
pictures created, the pretending they afford, and the possibilities which are conjured by the telling. With
story telling, taking the trip is often as much fun as reaching the destination.
When I was a kid, one expression that our parents used to describe us NOT telling the truth was to say we
were “telling stories.” The message from this turn of a phrase was that a “story” was an untruth. OK, I
admit a story may be true, or false, or a mixture. But you might readily agree that one can convince a lot
more listeners with a story than one can by showering an audience with facts. Stories may be more
powerful than data, yet those stories that are false can lead others to act based on lies. That brings us to
the Character Quality for September, Truthfulness, and its opposite, Dishonesty.
Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist whom I have written about in the past, tells the story of a locksmith, a
philosopher-tradesman, really. The locksmith believes that one percent of people will always be honest
and never steal. Another 1% will always be dishonest and always try to pick your lock and steal your
television; locks won’t do much to protect you from the hardened thieves, who can get into your house if
they really want to. The purpose of locks, the locksmith said, is to protect you from the 98% of mostly
honest people who might be tempted to try your door if it had no lock. Ariely has research to suggest that
our approach to the Truth is proportionately about the same. Most people are a little dishonest, he says, in
his latest book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially
Ourselves. He conducted a research study in which subjects had to take a test, then report on how many
answers they got right, with the knowledge that they would be paid a dollar for every correct answer.
When the subjects believed that they would be the only ones who knew their exact score, they tended to
cheat and report higher scores than they actually achieved. When the subjects earned tokens which could
immediately be turned into dollars, even more people cheated. So, the indication is that many, if not most
of us, are at least somewhat Untruthful.
You are thinking, “OK, Bill, what you are saying is, people tell little lies and sometimes big lies. What
else is new?” My guess is that the idea that humans tend to stretch the Truth, combined
Bill Croskey is a school
psychologist from the with the idea that we love to hear stories, suggests that people are likely to tell
Loveland City Schools
exaggerated or even made up stories to make a point. Then add
this to the mix: Research tells us that we remember a concept
better when we have an emotional reaction to it. Doesn't a story
help you generate feeling for the topic? When I was a young driver, seat belts were just
starting to be standard equipment on cars. I was a casual belt “clicker.” But one day, I
watched as a car in front of me got “T-boned” by a car from a side street. It was a chilly
December, but as I drove by the scene, I saw the driver who'd been hit stretched out, halfnaked, on the pavement, his clothes ripped off as he was thrown through the windshield.
Clearly he had not been wearing his seat belt. All the data about seat belts saving lives had
registered with me. But the story I saw unfold made me a life-long seat belt user. I tell that story to others,
hoping to convince them to use their belts. Thus, love of stories + tendency to exaggerate + emotional
teaching power of stories = stories being a strong force for good - or not. This applies to school.
Here is a current example. Many of us know a situation where a student was retained, and found more
school success after repeating a grade in school. Yet the research on retention is overwhelming! Retained
students are more likely to be from a minority group, be male, more likely to drop out of school, have a
late birthday, be delayed in development, have attention problems, live in poverty or in a single-parent
household, have parents with low educational attainment, have parents that are less involved in their
education, or have changed schools frequently. Yet because of the power of anecdotes shared by
educators or family friends, we tell a convincing story about a person who was seemingly helped by a
retention, and talk parents into holding their child back. This may be story power misused.
Teachers are faced with this dilemma of the power of stories in another way. You are in a battle for the
brain power of your students. Brain power for students is like purchasing power for consumers. The
student and the consumer have only so much time, and space, and credit (or thinking effort) to “spend” on
a purchase. These two types of purchases come together with TV ads. A company that places ads wants
TV viewers to spend money on its product. The advertising company promoting the product usually
wants the consumer to spend little or no brain power on the message. If the consumer spent more brain
power, he or she would probably spend less money because the arguments made for buying are so flimsy.
The less thinking the better. Same with video games or entertainment TV: not much thinking need be
spent here, but a lot of money, or time. But school requires a lot of thinking to be expended. In this way,
teachers are competing for the attention and interest of their students. And dry facts, data, logic, and
complicated arguments may lose the audience. So, teachers are tempted to resort to the TV ad approach
and tell a story which intrigues the student, but may not help them advance their understanding of the
skill or concept.
Stories are more fun to listen to than a string of facts. We like stories and want to believe them. Yet they
may be less than truthful, exaggerated, appeal to emotions but not intellect, and may discourage critical
thinking. Facts and data can be crucial in helping student to make judgments, to analyze, and to draw
conclusions. Therefore, maybe we are OK in doing both in school. Searching critically for the truth and
story telling may each have a role in helping us reach students. When we want to encourage imagination
and growth, we may choose story-telling. When we want to help a student acquire or advance in a skill,
we may need to provide the facts and the skills for the student to grow. Is it oversimplifying to say that
life divides into “What to think?” and “How to think?” situations? In that case, facts and stories have the
potential to lead to the path of wisdom and more truth - just from different from different starting places.
Robin’s Reading List
Grades Pre. - 3
Berenstain Bears and the
Truth by Jan and Stan
This book has so may
inspirational stories in it! They
are about growing up as
teens and different challenges
they may face. They also
have short quotes at the top
of each story for you to
analyze and they really get
you thinking.
children and educates parents
in how to calmly and
compassionately respond to a
youngster who has told a lie.
There is nice detail and
consistency in the pen-and-ink
and watercolor illustrations,
largely done in soothing blues
and greens. The stuffed
animals are animated with
human expressions from the
start so that the fantasy ending
is not totally unexpected.
Pinky Promise: A Book
About Telling the Truth by
Vanita Braver
When Madison accidentally
breaks her mom's expensive
camera, she lies to protect
herself from punishment.
After a difficult evening, she
consults with her teddy bear,
named Honesty. She then
mother and apologizes, with a
pinky promise never to lie
immediately, she is able to do
her homework and eat. That
night, in a break from the
Madison's bear scampers
down from the shelf to cuddle
with her in bed. His whispered
book's message. While a bear
named Honesty is a glaring
literary tool, at least the toy is
not prone to lectures. Even
though the girl asks him for
advice, he doesn't verbally
respond, so that the answer is
seen to come from within.
This reassuring book provides
Robin Castetter is a
Retired Elementary Teacher to
Loveland City Schools
Tattletale Tilly by Joanna
Tattletale Tilly, the youngest
made sure those around her
From her big sister Milly to her
Tilly kept them in line with her
threats to tell Mom.
Little Tilly is such a squealer,
both at home and at school.
After a while her family has
had enough of her selfrighteous tattling. When her
dad tells her the tattling must
stop, Tilly realizes she needs
help being more kind and
merciful to others.
Honest-to-GoodnessTruth by Pat McKissack
When Libby lies to her mama
and is caught, she vows never
to lie again. So she tells the
truth. Ruthie Mae has a hole in
her sock. Willie hasn't done his
Tusselbury's yard looks like a
jungle. So if she is honest, why
is the whole world mad at her?
When Libby gets a taste of her
own medicine, will she finally
learn the difference between a
lie and the honest-to-goodness
Ruthie and the (not so)
Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura
Ruthie loves tiny things and
when she finds a tiny
camera on the playground she
is very happy, but after she lies
and says the camera belongs
to her, nothing seems to go
Ruthie and the (not so) teeny
tiny lie / Laura Rankin.
Rankin, Laura.
Ruthie loves tiny things and
when she finds a tiny
camera on the playground she
is very happy, but after she lies
and says the camera belongs
to her, nothing seems to go
Grades 4 -8:
Heat by Mike Lupica
With a pitching arm that is truly
exceptional, Michael Arroyo
hopes to take his team to the
Little League World Series.
Since the death of their father,
Michael and his brother,
Carlos, are trying to fly under
the radar of Social Services so
they can stay together, out of
foster care and in the country.
When Michael’s fantastic pitch
raises eyebrows and he needs
his birth certificate to prove his
age, he and his brother need
all the help they can get. Both
truth and a few hidden secrets
keep the reader actively
involved in the story.
If A Tree Falls at Lunch
Period by Gennifer Choldenko
Kirsten McKenna and Walker
Jones are both starting
seventh grade at the same
Robin’s Reading List
school, but have never met.
Kirsten is thrilled that summer
is over so she can get back to
her best friend and away from
communicate through an
explain why she's gained so
much weight in the past few
months. Walk just wants to
keep his head down at the
predominantly white private
school his mom transferred
him to so that he can stay out
of trouble. When Kirsten and
Walk meet, they instantly take
a liking to one another, but
unprepared for the shocking
truth that links them together
The Birthday Room by Kevin
Two gifts on a boy's 12th
birthday fortuitously bring an
entire family closer together.
Young Benjamin likes to draw
and paint, but when his
parents give him a present of
a room to use as a studio, he
feels pressured into becoming
an artist. He is enthralled by
his second gift: a letter from
his Uncle Ian in Oregon,
inviting Ben to come for a
visit. Ben's mother, however,
is not so enthralled; she still
blames her younger brother
for a wood-shop accident that
caused Ben to lose a finger at
age two. Not until Ben tells
her, "If I had to choose, I'd take
the trip over the room," does
she consent to the visit. As
Ben spends time in Oregon
with his mother, Uncle Ian,
Ian's expectant wife, Nina, and
the Deeter children who live
nearby, he discovers some
important truths about his
family and himself, and
eventually finds a special
purpose for his "birthday
Four Truths and a Lie by
Lauren Barnholdt
Scarlett has left her old school
and her old friends for a new
start at Brookline Academy for
Girls. A scandal involving her
father tainted her old life and
she wants to be where no one
knows anything about it.
Brookline is a rigorously
academic boarding school,
and Scarlett has a new
roommate to adjust to, as well
as a heavy load of homework.
She somehow gets roped into
joining the basketball team,
which ought to be interesting
as she doesn't really play
sports, and a pen pal project
her English teacher initiates
makes Scarlett's life very
interesting indeed.
Funerals and Fly Fishing by
Mary Bartek
Stanislawski can't wait for
school to be out, if for no other
reason than to get away from
the kids who tease him about
being tall and call him "Stan-islousy" all day. He's feeling
rather unappreciated! But to
add to his troubles, his mom
has to go on a business trip
arrangement she made for him
has fallen through. Now the
only option left is for him to
spend two weeks with his
estranged grandfather, whom
he has never met, in a small
town in Pennsylvania. And this
guy not only runs a funeral
home, he lives right above it!
Brad will learn that first
mean everything, as he
spends his vacation figuring
out who he is, learning the
truth behind his mother’s
silence towards her own father
while helping the adults in his
life see the truth.
Grades 9 -12:
A Little Honesty by Jonathan
Taylor Burnross acts far more
upperclassman should be. But
Zachary is surrounded and
pressured by very adult
problems, such as his mother's
possible adultery and his
elderly father's gradual mental
degeneration. Surrounded by
people who talk to him of sex,
marriage, and threats to blow
up his school, his own desire
for a motorcycle and a date
with a TV star could be lost
amidst the tumult of conflicting
troubles. A Little Honesty is a
entertaining novel which does
not talk down to adolescent
Robin’s Reading List
In Too Deep by Amanda
Carter didn’t rape me. People
at school think he did.
Suddenly, new friends are
rushing to my side, telling me
that Carter hurt them, too.
They say he’s getting what he
Sam is in love with her best
friend Nick, but she can’t
seem to tell him. So she
decides to flirt with goldenboy Carter Wellesley, hoping
Nick will see it and finally
realize his true feelings for
On Monday, everyone at
school is saying that Carter
raped Sam. He didn’t, but
Sam can’t find the words to
tell the truth. Worst of all,
she’s afraid she’ll lose Nick if
he finds out what really
As graduation approaches,
Sam discovers that living the
lie isn’t as easy as her new
friends make it sound—and
telling the truth might be even
Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt
school senior Shannon Card
needs a lot of money. She's
been admitted to Wellesley,
but her dad just lost his job,
and somehow she has to
come up with a year of tuition
herself. But Shannon's dream
waitressing at the local
disappears faster than a
gambler's lucky streak. Her
boss is a tyrant, her coworker
is nuts, and her chances of
balancing a tray full of drinks
while wearing high-heeled
shoes are slim to none. Worse,
time is running out, and
Shannon hasn't made even
half the money she'd hoped.
When Shannon receives a
mysterious invitation to join
Aces Up, a secret network of
highly talented college poker
thinks” NoWay”. She has
enough to worry about:
keeping her job, winning the
coveted math scholarship at
school, and tutoring her secret
Shannon musters up the nerve
to kiss Max and he doesn't
react at all, the allure of Aces
Up and its sexy eighteen-yearold leader, Cole, is suddenly
too powerful to ignore.
Soon Shannon's caught up in
a web of lies and deceit that
makes worrying about tuition
money or a high school crush
seem like kid stuff. Still, when
the money's this good, is the
fear of getting caught reason
enough to fold?
Chicken Soup for the Soul:
Teens Talk High School: 101
Stories of Life, Love, and
Learning for Older Teens by
Jack Canfield
Stories in this book cover
topics important to the 14 to 18
regrets and lessons learned,
college, and preparing for life
after high school.
This book has so many
inspirational stories in it! They
are about growing up as teens
and different challenges they
may face. They also have
short quotes at the top of each
story for you to analyze and
they really get you thinking.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Fans of The Hunger Games
will enjoy this new dystopian
novel. Beatrice Prior’s society
is divided into five factions
based on virtues: Erudite
(selflessness), Amity (peace),
and Candor (honesty). Now
that Beatrice is turning sixteen
she must declare a faction.
Will she choose Abnegation,
where she’s been raised to be
selfless and defer to others, or
will she choose another
faction? Torn between staying
with her family and being true
to her yearning to be more
daring, Beatrice must make a
choice and she must keep a
understand. What is her
secret? She is Divergent.
Once Beatrice chooses her
faction there is no going
back, so with a new sense of
bravery she changes her name
to Tris and begins a painful
initiation that will test her
emotionally. Along the way she
meets a boy who has secrets
of his own, and together they
discover a plot that will destroy
the delicate balance between
factions and
society into
Written by Jill Tomey
© 2012 Character Council of Greater Cincinnati &
The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and
Northern Kentucky
P.O. Box 33144
Northern Kentucky
The 49 Character Qualities are adapted from Character First!
materials and are used with permission.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45233
Mary Andres Russell, Executive Director
Phone: 513.467.0170
Use of external website links in our articles does not imply
endorsement of the site, its content or the views and
opinions of the external Web site's sponsoring organization.
Please use your own discretion when using material from
these links.
Fax 513.941.2755
E-mail: [email protected]
Character...It Starts With Me!
Character in the Classroom Continuously
There are many ways that you can teach the Character
Quality of Month. Here are just a few suggestions:
 Ask students to make posters to hang in the
classroom or around the school.
 Challenge students to find quotes, news stories,
current (or classic) songs or movies that portray the
character quality of the month. Be sure to share
these with the class and “archive” these to use in
future years.
 Add the character trait of the month to the spelling
word list. (Even if it is posted in the classroom to
 Offer for students to make a video or write a rap
that demonstrates the Character Quality of the
 If you teach younger students, see if you can
“borrow” some older students to lead your
students in an activity or switch the roles and have
the younger students “teach” a rhyme to the older
 If you teach older students, you can be the
initiator in the previous activities.
 Invite local business leaders or small business
owners to talk about the importance of a
character trait. If you teach older students, aim to
get a representative from a business that typically
hires teens so that they can relate the importance
of good character when applying for and keeping a
 Men and women in uniform usually make
impressive guest speakers. Police departments,
fire departments and military recruiting offices are
usually willing to come into a classroom. Do not
be afraid to give them specific requests or
guidelines for speaking so that it is pertinent to
the lessons of the month.
 Always have a generic character activity planned
and ready to go that you can use as filler when
you have time to kill or that a substitute teacher
can use in your absence.