GoodCharacter.com Monthly Newsletter
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Volume 4, Issue 1: July 2010

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The Tour de France is in the news, and football season will soon be upon us. Adults and kids alike will be talking non stop about their favorite sports. Students will also be preparing themselves to join their favorite sport in school once classes begin again in the Fall. With sports fever around, now can be a good a time as ever to reinforce the concept of Sportsmanship. Sportsmanship can affect children both on and off the field and encourge them to explore the concepts of trust, self-esteem and respect, among many other important traits.

"A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather that what they are."
-Ara Parashegian

Daily Dilemma

Kevin feels that his baseball coach has given him an unfair advantage over other members of the team. Should he do something about it, or just accept his good luck?

What should Kevin do? Here's a hypothetical dilemma to discuss with your class.

"I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
-Michael Jordan

Lesson Plans and Activities

Elementary School

If you need a quick lesson plan, Time for Kids has a mini lesson plan that explores students' ideas of what consists of good sportsmanship.

In "Packy Play Fair" a cartoon elephant helps smaller children learn about fair play and good sportsmanship through games and songs, while a section is offered for teachers and parents on how to plan lessons and activities.

In "Dealing with Disappointment", Missie Mouse must learn to handle dissapointment when her baseball team falls into last place.

Middle School

Using the article "Is Good Sportsmanship Dead?", Education World uses current sports events to challenge students to think about what consitutes good sportsmanship.

The National First Ladies Library explores sports from the past to the present with this lesson plan.

Dr. Mike explains how good sportsmanship affects students in all areas of life, both on and off the field.

High School

The Institute for National Sport has several discussion topics on the meaning of good sportsmanship.

A different Ehow article has an example lesson plan that is simple to use for teaching students about the different topics of good sportsmanship.

This lesson plan from The National Endowment for the Arts teaches about the important role sports played in education in Ancient Greece, and how that relates to kids lives today.

"It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
-Paul "Bear" Bryant
In the News

In this last article, the writer asks "Is Good Sportsmanship Dead?" and the answer is No! The article shows some recent examples of good sportsmanship from both major league and local league sports

All of Japan enjoys watching Sumo Wrestling on television, but because a few players and coaches behaved badly this year, Japan won't get to watch the wrestlers.

In this Letter to the Editor, a woman explains about an incident of bad sportsmanship that she witnessed, and how even when we disagree, we still need to learn to play fair.

A philanthropist demonstrates the important role that sports can play in people's lives. His project to provide durable soccer balls to children in Zimbabwe seems like a small gesture, but it has helped educate African youth about HIV prevention.

"Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play."
-Mike Singletary

Tips and Resources

The Character Counts! "Pursuing Victory with Honor" program has a ton of resources for teaching good sportsmanship. We particularly recommend the very useful self-assessments for athletes and adults.

Ehow has an article explaining how everyday school activities, such as a spelling bee or a geography tournament can teach sportsmanship.

Family Education lists advice on how to teach children good sportsmanship.

This article explores how to make the displays of bad sportsmanship kids often see on TV into teachable moments.

Kids Growth has an article on how parents and coaches can keep good sportsmanship from extinction.

An article from the Examiner explains the type of conversations that adults should have with children in order to teach them good sportsmanship.

"I've worked too hard and too long to let anything stand in the way of my goals. I will not let my teammates down, and I will not let myself down."
-Mia Hamm
Please send us your comments, suggestions, character education stories, and any other ideas that you think would be of value in helping us improve our newsletter. E-mail us today!

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