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Building Character with True Stories from Nature


This flexible resource combines character education with analogies to powerful stories from nature. The heart of each of the book’s twenty-five lessons is an engaging story, written to kids, describing a particular animal or plant and its distinctive qualities. Busy classroom teachers will like this book’s accessibility and flexibility. Kids can read a story individually or in groups, or follow along as the teacher reads it aloud.

Accompanying each story, teachers will find several activities—most of them quick, easy, and requiring few supplies—that further investigate animals or plants and the connections between their qualities and human behaviors. Every lesson examines several main character traits, providing starting points and sample questions for discussing and exploring analogies between events in nature and human acts of character. Features include a chart cross-referencing lessons to specific character traits and a list of further resources.

Digital content contains all of the book’s reproducible forms, including a color photo of each plant and animal, plus a complete bonus lesson.

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Paperback $34.99 24187W Paperback 24187W $34.99

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ISBN: 978-1-57542-418-7
Audience: Teachers, grades 2–5
Illustrated: illust.
Trim Size: 8.5" x 11"
Page Count: 176
Digital Content: Includes more than 80 reproducible forms, including a complete bonus lesson and a color photograph of each animal and plant
Praise for Building Character with True Stories from Nature
“Engaging stories, character connections, and high-level thinking make a powerful combination in this resource, which will be enjoyed by teachers as well as children.”—Julia Roberts, Ed.D., executive director, The Center for Gifted Studies, Western Kentucky University

“Creatively weds character education with analogies from nature to help teachers promote both deep learning and positive character development in students . . . this synergy is just what education should be.”—Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D., director, Sanford N. McDonnell Leadership Academy for Character Education for School Principals

“Barbara Lewis weaves factual information with down-to-earth, applicable activities and discussions to encourage students’ appreciation for nature, while building their power to observe and to understand people and their world as multidimensional. Throughout, Lewis is respectful of children’s capacity to discuss important issues and form their own opinions.”—Silvia Blitzer Golombek, Ph.D., senior vice president, Youth Service America
  • 2014 Teachers' Choice Award Winner from Learning Magazine

  • Common Core State Standards

    This book demonstrates the Common Core State Standards requirements of understanding figurative language and nuances in meaning, point of view, themes of good and evil, and other reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Its use of analogies strengthens literacy in language, science, math, and social studies.

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User Reviews

Sort By:
November 7, 2018 / Sarah - Va
A CD what?

I love the lessons from Building Character with True Stories from Nature... It only occured to me that I don't have a device that actually takes a CD-ROM. In fact, I haven't had a single use for a disk drive in years! If the content was made downloadable from the internet it would be much more convenient and useful (not to mention probably less expensive). Really disappointing.

Free Spirit Response:
Suzy Winther / Senior Marketing Specialist / November 7, 2018

Hello Sarah,

I'm so sorry you've been unable to access the digital content for Building Character with True Stories from Nature. The book was originally published in 2012 with a CD-ROM and has not been updated since. Please email and our customer service department can send you a link to the PDF with all the files.

Best regards,
Suzy Winther


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