One of the twin foundations of character, respect is the basis of a range of skills and attributes – empathy, caring, conflict resolution, violence prevention and the ability to get along with others. When Dieter and Zazi put out a joke edition of their school newspaper for April Fools’ Day, they learn that it is easy to disrespect and hurt others, even when not meaning to. An awareness of cultural differences is fostered as well as sensitivity to physical differences and vulnerabilities. Responsibility, the second fulcrum of character, is explored and fostered in this important program. When Zazi and Dieter have to choose between completing an important group project and a unique opportunity for fun, they learn the importance of honoring commitments and keeping your word, even when it is difficult. Problem-solving techniques are developed as our dynamic duo brainstorm positive solutions to their thorny dilemma and the related character traits of honesty, trustworthiness, persistence, discipline and doing your best are instilled. As the horizons of life expand during the elementary school years and students face a growing set of complicated choices, good judgment becomes a critical life skill, not only for the successful transition to the teen years, but often for mere survival. The complicated dynamics of growing up – rules, freedom, choices, risk assessment, good judgment and safety are humorously explored as Zazi and Dieter weigh a number of options to fill a long and empty summer afternoon. Our indomitable duo learn that with freedom comes responsibility and to gain the independence they crave, they must first earn it by making good choices. Self-knowledge, the highest order of social-emotional skills – and the foundation of authenticity and good character – is developed when Zazi faces some tough challenges as she moves into a new- and faster – social group.
Michael Pritchard’s Stepping on Up Series
Grades 3-6 48 min. 2011 DVD-2753-v3