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Character Education Lesson Plan

The Hungry Coat

by Demi

the hungry coat

Grades: K-4

CASEL Standard: Relationship Skills- The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups.

Character Education Lesson Objective: To understand that you cannot tell what type of person someone is just by looking at what they are wearing


Part 1: 

  • Do you think that you can tell what kind of person someone is by looking at what they are wearing?  Why or why not?
  • You cannot tell what kind of person someone is just by looking at them.  You cannot tell if someone is kind, thoughtful, funny, caring, respectful, silly, or any of the other things that people could be just by looking at them.
  • What do you think when you see someone wearing ripped or dirty clothes?
  • Some people may think that the person wearing ripped or dirty clothes does not take care of themselves, does not care about how they look or needs help.
  • If you closed your eyes when you were meeting someone new, would you think about how they looked or would you think about the words that they said and how they spoke to you?
  • You would pay attention to how they treated you and what they said to you.
  • You are going to pretend that you have your eyes closed when doing a worksheet.  You are going to read about how someone behaves when you meet them.  You are going to think about whether you think the person you are meeting is friendly or unfriendly based on their words and not what they are wearing.
  • We will talk about your answers after you complete the worksheet.
  • As you are going over the worksheet with the students, discuss how they decided if the person was friendly or unfriendly.

Part 2: 

  • We are going to be reading a book called, The Hungry Coat by Demi.
  • Read the book.
  • What type of person did it seem like Nasrettin was at the beginning of the book?  How do you know?
  • Why did Nasrettin go to his friend’s house in a worn-out, patched up coat?
  • Why do you think Nasrettin did not expect to be treated differently just because of what he was wearing?
  • Nasrettin did not like being ignored at his rich friend’s banquet, so he decided to leave.  He went home, took a bath and changed his clothes before going back.  Why do you think he did that?
  • What did you think when Nasrettin was feeding his coat all of the food that was given to him? 
  • Why did Nasrettin’s host say, “The wisdom of Nasretttin Hoca calls for celebration?”
  • What lesson can be learned from this book?

Part 3: 

  • Nasrettin says to everyone at his rich friend’s banquet, “If you want to look deeply, look at the man and not at his coat.  You can change the coat, but you cannot change the man.  A coat may be fine, but a coat does not make a man.  Outside a man may wear a sheepskin, but inside he may wear the heart of a wolf!  Many a good man may be found under a shabby coat.”
  • This means that you cannot tell what type of person someone is by what they are wearing.
  • Wouldn’t it be interesting if a person’s coat or the clothes that they wore showed you what type of person they are?
  • You are now going to be decorating a coat to show what type of person you are.  Think about what type of person you are and how you can show that.
  • You will be able to share your coats when we are done and we will all be able to guess what type of person you are by what you put on your coat.
  • When the students are done decorating their coats, allow them to share.  Have the other students guess what type of person they are based on what they put on their coat.

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View more: Character Education Lesson Plans

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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