Curriculum Alignment

The Wild Robot's Character Strengths

By Jennifer Bond

This is the first year our school, Glengary Elementary, has participated in The Positivity Project. So far it has been a wonderful addition to the school day. We have enjoyed the impactful videos, classroom discussions, and reflections on character strengths.  When asked why The Positivity Project is important, one of my students said, “If kids get to know the strengths, they are more able to recognize them in their own lives and in others.” Another student reflected, “I like learning new stuff and new words. I never knew what perspective meant and now I know to think of others’ feelings.”

We recently finished the book, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, which we were reading as part of The Global Read Aloud. The main character in the book, Roz, is a robot who learns to live in the wild by observing animal behaviors and adapting. As we reflected on the book, a student mentioned Roz’s perspective. Then a student looked up at our character strength word wall and realized Roz demonstrated all of the character strengths we have studied thus far in the school year.  We had a quick discussion on the strengths, but my intern teacher and I knew that we could take it a bit further with a reading activity.

The next day, we created posters with the character strengths. Then we instructed children to think of Roz and how she demonstrated each character strength.  The students filled the posters up with post-it-notes; giving examples from the text.  The activity was so impactful that the parent volunteer working with the kids decided she wanted to get a copy of The Wild Robot and read it herself!

As we move forward with The Positivity Project, I am going to make this a regular routine. We’re going to connect our read alouds, along with our independent reading, with the character strengths. In fact, I already created a response form that we can use while reading when we make a connection between a character in a book and a character strength. 

The Positivity Project has already made an impact in my third-grade classroom in the three short months it has been part of our lives. Although lessons are designed for quick and easy implementation, I love that it is not something that we just do for just 15 minutes a day. Instead, The Positivity Project is something that has found its way into many parts of our day and our learning experiences. It is my hope that my students will continue to realize other connections to our learning and fully see the power of these strengths in all aspects of their lives!

Jennifer Bond
Third Grade Teacher, Glengary Elementary

Jennifer Bond is a third grade teacher at Glengary Elementary in Walled Lake, Michigan. She enjoys leveraging her creativity with the various digital tools that technology and the web provides. She has embraced BYOD Days, Genius Hour, and the Maker Movement into her educational routine.  Jennifer presents at state and national technology conferences on Edmodo, BYOD, Minecraft, Google for EDU, Computational Thinking, STEAM, Maker Ed and much more. Her most recent project has been being part of the team helping to provide PD with real classroom examples.