In Montessori schools, preschool aged children are taught to be creative and independent. There is also a focus on things like understanding sharing, feelings, and building character. This type of education is unique because it allows students to focus on their individual thoughts while in a group setting. Here are some lesson plans designed around the concept of understanding character and feelings.
Fishing Game Group Activity
Print several different colored fish out and laminate the paper. On each fish, write a different word that describes someone's character. These words can be things like kindness, honesty, politeness, and friendliness. Come up with more words of your own until you have a decent sized "school" of fish. Attach a small wooden dowel to the end of a pole with a magnet at the end. Then, let the students fish for one of your creations. Let them take turns explaining to the class about what each word means to them, and talk about how they can apply those words to people they know.
The Gift of Compliments Game
For this game, create a small gift using an empty box and wrap it, adorning it with a shiny bow. Tell your class about a present that you can give to others that does not involve buying something or material things. Then, explain how complimenting each other in a positive way is a gift we can all share. Have the students pass the gift around the room, paying a compliment to the person next to them. Be sure to talk about how these compliments make them feel.
Helping Hands Tasks
It is important for young children to understand how helping others can be good for everyone. Make a small chart with several hands along one side, and put each student's name on one hand. If you prefer, have the students trace their own hands and cut them out. After you place the hands on the poster, tell them that each one of them will be giving a helping hand each week. Assign small tasks to each child like cleaning up arts and crafts, or having them help their parents make their lunch at home. As they complete a helping task, write the task next to their hands so they can keep track of just how easy it is to do something for others.
All of these simple games are fun and effective ways to mold children into becoming better students and more understanding people.