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Teaching Courage: The Dandelion Seed

dandelion seed teaching courage

by Joseph Anthony

Grades: K-3

CASEL Standard: Self-Awareness- The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.

Character Education Lesson Objective: To understand what courage is and identify ways to be courageous


Part 1: 

  • Have you ever tried something that scared you?  What made you decide to try it?  What happened?
  • When you do something even though you are scared, it is called having courage.
  • There are many times, both big and small, when you do something that shows courage. 
  • Learning to ride a bike can be scary for most people.  Learning to ride a bike, even though you are scared, is having courage.
  • Going someplace new, trying a new sport or talking to someone you don’t know can all be scary things.  When you do those things even though you are scared, you are being courageous.
  • Admitting that you made a mistake and apologizing is another way that you are showing that you have courage.  Admitting that you were wrong and apologizing can be really hard and scary.  When you do that, you are courageous.
  • Standing up to someone or doing the right thing even when others around you are not is also being courageous.  Doing the right thing or standing up for someone who is being bullied is really hard and scary.  You are courageous when you do that.
  • I am going to give you a worksheet that has some scenarios on it.  I want you to circle the ones that show someone having courage.
  • When you are done, we will talk about which situations you think showed someone having courage.
  • Go over the scenarios with the students and emphasize the ones that show someone being courageous.

Part 2: 

  • We are going to be reading a book called, The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony.
  • Read the book.
  • The dandelion seed was afraid to let go.  Have you ever been afraid to do anything?
  • What did the dandelion seed notice when the wind blew it away? 
  • The dandelion seed wondered where it belonged.  Have you ever wondered where you belong and fit in?
  • Once the dandelion started to grow, it shared itself with animals and insects.  Do you think it was still afraid like it had been before?  Why or why not?
  • There was one seed afraid to let go.  The dandelion told it, “Don’t be afraid, the wind and the sun and the rain will take care of you.  Let go and you will see.”
  • The little seed needed to have courage to let go and find out what happened to it.  Sometimes, it is easier to know that someone or something will be there to help and take care of you.
  • What helps you to have courage?

Part 3: 

  • The dandelion seed showed courage when it let go and let the wind carry it away. 
  • You are now going to be writing a short story about a little bird.  Imagine that a little bird is afraid to leave its nest and try to fly. 
  • You are going to write about what the little bird does and how it is courageous.  You can also draw a picture to go along with your story.
  • When you are done writing, you will be able to share your story.
  • After the students have finished, ask those who would like to share their stories.  Point out how the students chose to have the little bird be courageous.

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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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