Character Minutes. . .Sharpening Lives


(Sample Components from Character Minutes

 High School-Career Tech Curriculum)


  • Identify the benefits of positivity to employees, employers and society.
  • Complete activities that relate to positivity.
  • Define positivity.
  • Analyze critical thinking scenarios that relate to positivity.
  • Compose responses to journal questions on positivity.

Introduction to Positivity

  • Divide students into small groups of 2-3 students 
  • Ask groups to brainstorm the "most positive" individuals they know
  • Ask the students to share what the person “does and says” that displays the trait of positivity
  • Each groups shares back with the larger group

Definition of Positivity

The ability to focus on the positive side of a situation despite the challenges that may be involved.

Benefits of Positivity to Employees, Employers and Society 

Employee and Employer Benefits

  • Creates a customer-friendly environment
  • Provides a positive focus that allows individuals to cope with life challenges
  • Creates a work environment where individuals enjoy coming to and being at work
  • Increases job satisfaction
  • Increases worker productivity

Society Benefits

  • Provides a sense of hope
  • Creates a feeling that the world is a “good” place and “good” will prevail
  • Provides an inner personal support that helps individuals do more

Activity that Relates to Positivity (1 of 4 activities)

Divide students in small groups (3-4 students). Give each group a newspaper. 

  • Have students write “P” if it is a positive article and “N” beside each negative article.
  • Ask students to tally the number of each category.
  • Ask each group to share a negative item from the newspaper. Then, as a class, ask students to find a “positive” side to the story.

Discussion question:

Why is it important to see the “positive” side even when things go bad?

Critical Thinking Scenarios that Relate to Positivity (1 of 3 scenarios)

Directions: Have students read, analyze, evaluate and respond to the scenarios below.


The company you work for is going to have to lay off five employees. Everyone feels bad about the downsizing of the company. The downsizing will occur in two months. The “Employee Care” committee decided to come up with ways to keep attitudes positive.

The following suggestions were made:

Help the employees with resumes

Commit to helping the employees being laid off in finding work

Starting a food and clothing pantry for employees and laid off employees

Provide a $25.00 gift card to laid off employees

Discussion Questions:

  • What was positive in the scenario?
  • Rank choices for the committee to implement from “most” helpful to “least” helpful to the employees
  • How will the decision of the “Employee Care” committee impact the following groups:
    • The employees that are being downsized?
    • The employees that remain at the company?
    • The company?

Journal Questions (1 of 5)

  • During a job interview you are asked to explain "what you would do to make the workplace a positive environment. Journal as if you are answering the job interview question.

Positivity Closure

Ask students the following question:  

  • How can a positive outlook impact a person's future?

  ©Character Minutes 2014


Additional Ideas for Teaching Specific Traits In Character Minutes(this section is updated periodically as new ideas are gained on ways to implement character traits that have already been published)

Orderliness: Use to have students create & share a process or procedure. 

Organized: Show a short clip from the original "Cheaper By the Dozen" movie, then have students study the life of Frank Gilbreth. Original clips from some of his studies are also on YouTube and would be interesting for students to watch a short portion of the films. Have students then write about how the management of motion and time can impact one's daily life. 

Use "Post-it Plus" app to teach students to be organized. They can organize their thoughts and ideas using this app.

Ideas that could be applied to ANY Character Trait:  
  • Download the free app I-Prompt Pro for iPad and have students create a news story on a character trait. Students use iPad as a teleprompter to report the story to the class.
  • Provide students with a picture (could be a picture from the past or one from a magazine. Students are to create caption(s) of what the individual/characters in the picture are saying that relates to the specific character trait that is the focus for the month.
  • Use the free app MindMash for brainstorming using and iPad. Found at
  • Create a bulletin board with the various character traits that will be emphasized during the school year!
  • Film "The Science of Character" can be viewed at There are discussion guides that go with the 8 minute film that are available for various age levels.
  • Frequently quotes are used when teaching character education. A website that can help you verify the author of the quote is

  • Character Education Partnership Website: