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Character Education: Exciting the Moral Imagination

Young people can often be introduced imaginatively or vicariously to the importance of good character. Use these prompts to teach your students about morals.
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Center for Advencement of Ethics and Character More Character Education from BU CAEC

Exciting the Moral Imagination Through Literature or Drama

Young people can often be introduced imaginatively or vicariously to the importance of good character. The stories they hear and the art they explore have the power to transform them. Tapping the moral imagination also provides a setting, safely, detached from students' own lives, where they can comfortably ask, "What is the right thing to do?"

The following questions may be used as prompts for reader-response exercises, journal writing, or in-class discussion:

  • Which character in the book [or novel, play, biography, or other work] you are reading would you most like to be like? Did this character face a difficult challenge? How did he or she overcome it?
  • Which of his or her character traits would you most like to have in a friend? Why?
  • What have you learned most from your encounter with this character?
  • Which character would you least like to be like? Why? What have you learned from this character?
  • Identify and briefly describe your favorite or least favorite character in the book, and write either an original poem that captures the personality and qualities of this character, or a journal entry from this character's point of view that chronicles his or her thoughts and reflections about a significant event or experience in the book.
  • Write a letter to a friend that describes a memorable scene from the story. Be sure to explain why it was so memorable to you.
  • Discuss something meaningful you have learned from this particular book. Be as specific as you can.


More Character Education from BU CAEC

Boston University's Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character offers lessons and methodologies to help teach virtue to students.