We all know amazing people, but what is it about their character that makes them amazing? The Amazing People Schools website explores the key character strengths of iconic people throughout history to see how we can use their stories to support young people. By using real-life examples of resilience, optimism, kindness and gratitude, we can support the character education of our own children.
The development of character strengths is an effective way to help promote and protect student wellbeing, so students are better equipped to deal with the adversity and challenges that life can bring. Many stories of amazing people frequently emerge around the globe, inspiring us through challenging times.
Pobble and Amazing People Schools, have created 20 activities all inspired by amazing people. They will spark your children’s imagination, help them build and develop essential character strengths and best of all, they don’t require a screen!
1. Use good sense. William Shakespeare is one of the world’s most respected writers of all time. We still refer to the advice he left in his writing. He once said: “Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.”
What does this mean? Can you make a poster on this theme?
2. Collaborate! Michelangelo was one of the most famous sculptors of all time. Can you work with others to make a sculpture of a person using boxes, play-dough or anything else you can find?
3. Get creative! Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist best known for her self-portraits inspired by the nature and artefacts of Mexico. Draw or paint a self-portrait using lots of bright colours as Frida did.
4. Build courage! Walt Disney was a world-famous cartoonist and animator. Can you design your own cartoon character and idea for a film and present it to friends and family? Maybe take inspiration from your favourite Disney film if you have one!
5. Can you be more tolerant? Martin Luther King Jr. changed history for millions of African-American people. He championed fair and equal rights and dreamed of a world where everyone got along and respected each other despite differences. Can you work on being more tolerant, even when friends or family members get on your nerves?
6. Be kind! Florence Nightingale was a truly remarkable nurse and put the needs of others before her own. Can you do this today for someone that you know? You can also find an amazing free writing lesson about Florence Nightingale on Pobble.
7. Explore empathy! Amy Johnson was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia. It takes a lot of nerve to fly solo! Can you write a diary extract as Amy on the morning of the flight? Include details of how she might have been feeling that day.
8. Resilience-building! Madame CJ Walker was an African American entrepreneur and philanthropist. Her life wasn’t easy, however despite challenges she kept bouncing back and became the first self-made female millionaire in America. Can you write a story about when you have been resilient and what happened?
9. Spark your curiosity! Charles Darwin was a famous scientist who discovered many new species. Imagine you have discovered a new species, what is it? What does it look like? Draw a picture and label it.
10. Be enthusiastic! Coco Chanel was a designer, responsible for one of the most famous fashion brands in the world. You need enthusiasm to grow your own business. Can you come up with a pitch for a business you’d like to support and gain the support of family or friends? Can you come up with a name for it?
11. Practice self-discipline. Charlotte Bronte was an author, famous for writing many books such as Jane Eyre. Writers have to be very self-disciplined to finish their books. Can you start to write your own mini-novel about someone who inspires you over a week and add to it each day?
12. Spark your curiosity! Can you do some research to discover the story of a different amazing person from history or a person from your family? Ask lots of questions! What did they do? Why were they famous?
13. Optimism building! Louis Armstrong was one of the world’s most celebrated musicians. His most famous song “What a Wonderful World” celebrates what he loved in life. Just because you’re not a musician doesn’t mean you can’t write a song! Can you write your own song or poem about staying positive? Perhaps you can even perform it?
14. Practice integrity. Emmeline Pankhurst was a leader of the British suffragettes. She fought strongly for the cause she believed in and knew was fair, despite much opposition. Can you see an opportunity to do the right thing this week? Perhaps it is helping out rather than choosing to watch TV?
15. Show humility! Mahatma Gandhi was an Independence Leader.
He championed fair and equal rights and said: “The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Can you recognise something positive someone you know is trying to achieve and offer to help? It might be something you find difficult but that’s OK.
16. Keep persevering. Marie Curie was a scientist and the first woman to win the Nobel Prize. She too had to persevere to do her important work, even when people tried to stop her or difficult things happened in her life. Is there something you are struggling to do or achieve at the moment? Can you make a point of keeping going even if you don’t feel like it?
17. Practice fairness. Athlete Jess Owens didn’t let the fact he wasn’t treated fairly stop him from winning four gold medals. What do you think is unfair in today’s world? Write a letter to the person who you think might be able to help change it. Next time you don’t agree with someone, can you talk the issue through and find a fair solution?
18. Use your initiative. Thomas Edison created over 1000 inventions in his time. The more he learnt in life, the most he saw opportunities for things that didn’t exist. Can you invent something new? Draw a picture or write a description.
19. Get motivated! Albert Einstein was one of the most famous physicists. He said: “The important thing is not to stop questioning”. He was still working up until his death. What motivates you? How can you do more of it? Write a plan.
20. Practice gratitude! Can you think about an amazing person you know in your own life that you would like to thank? Can you make a card to thank them for what they do?
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