CoverAcknowledgements IntroductionPERMAExperiencing GratitudeExperiencing Gratitude - Novice HighExperiencing Gratitude - Intermediate MidResilienceResilience - Novice HighResilience - Intermediate MidActive Constructive RespondingActive Constructive Responding - Novice HighActive Constructive Responding - Intermediate MidServiceService - Novice High Service - Intermediate MidGoalsGoals - Novice HighGoals - Intermediate MidExpressing GratitudeExpressing Gratitude - Novice HighExpressing Gratitude - Intermediate MidPerseverancePerseverance - Novice HighPerseverance - Intermediate MidKindnessKindness - Novice HighKindness - Intermediate MidVolunteerismVolunteerism - Novice HighVolunteerism - Intermediate MidHopeHope - Novice HighHope - Intermediate MidCharacter StrengthsOverviewOverview on Character Strengths - Novice HighOverview on Character Strengths - Intermediate MidAppreciation of Beauty and ExcellenceAppreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Novice HighAppreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Intermediate MidTeamworkTeamwork - Novice HighTeamwork - Intermediate MidLove of LearningLove of Learning - Novice HighLove of Learning - Intermediate MidKindnessKindness - Novice HighKindness - Intermediate MidHonestyHonesty - Novice HighHonesty - Intermediate MidSelf-RegulationSelf-Regulation - Novice HighSelf-Regulation - Intermediate MidCuriosityCuriosity - Novice HighCuriosity - Intermediate MidSpiritualitySpirituality - Novice HighSpirituality - Intermediate MidCreativityCreativity - Novice HighCreativity - Intermediate MidMindfulnessOverviewOverview - Intermediate LowOverview - Intermediate HighMindful PeopleMindful People - Intermediate LowMindful People - Intermediate HighResponding to DisappointmentsResponding to Disappointments - Intermediate LowResponding to Disappointments - Intermediate HighPerfectionismPerfectionism - Intermediate LowPerfectionism - Intermediate HighThe Five SensesThe Five Senses - Intermediate LowThe Five Senses - Intermediate HighConnecting to the PastConnecting to the Past - Intermediate LowConnecting to the Past - Intermediate HighSelf-CompassionSelf-Compassion - Intermediate LowSelf-Compassion - Intermediate HighPerspectivePerspective - Intermediate LowPerspective - Intermediate HighHandling Strong EmotionsHandling Strong Emotions - Intermediate LowHandling Strong Emotions - Intermediate HighMindful Academic RelationshipsMindful Academic Relationships - Intermediate LowMindful Academic Relationships - Intermediate HighMindful LearningMindful Learning - Intermediate LowMindful Learning - Intermediate HighCultural MindfulnessCultural Mindfulness - Intermediate LowCultural Mindfulness - Intermediate HighSelective AttentionSelective Attention - Intermediate LowSelective Attention - Intermediate HighAnnotated Bibliography
Positive Psychology in the Classroom

Overview on Character Strengths - Intermediate Mid

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. be able to define a characteristic. 
  2. recognize character strengths. 
  3. recognize personal character strengths. 
  4. recognize character strengths in others. 

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. connect content to background knowledge.
  2. connect context to meaning.
  3. use context and background knowledge to infer meaning of unfamiliar words.
  4. actively participate in conversations through proper responses.
  5. predict what information will follow.

Materials Needed


Explain that today we will talk about specific character strengths. Have students make predictions about what the phrase “character strengths” means. 

Activate Background Knowledge

Ask the students what characteristics are. 

  • Ask the students if everyone has the same characteristics. Hopefully they say no. Guide them to the decision that everyone has different characteristics that are stronger in them than others.  
  • Explain briefly that there are 24 character strengths, and everyone will have different ones that they are better at than others.  

Activity 1: Speaking

Before showing students the following chart, ask them if they know what a virtue is.  

  • Definition: a particular good quality in someone’s character.

Show the virtues chart, and ask them to predict what kind of character strengths or characteristics a person with each virtue might have. 

  • Have them predict with partners or create six groups, and have them discuss character strengths for one virtue. 








  • After they discuss, write some of the characteristics they thought of on the board for each virtue, and have a class discussion. 
  • Show the following chart and ask them if any of their predictions were correct. 


Character Strengths





love of learning 










social intelligence 











appreciation of beauty and excellence





Activity 2: Vocabulary

Have students look up or study one of the virtues by learning about all of the character strengths within it. They should work together to write a brief description of their assigned virtue and the character strengths it contains. 

Activity 3: Speaking

Explain that we will “spotlight” the virtue of temperance. 

  • Ask the students what temperance means (maybe specifically ask the group that focused on it in the previous activity). 
  • Separate the class into four groups .
    • Use the Handout Overview Lesson . Give one temperance character strength to each group. 
    • Each group should think of a person they know who exemplifies that character strength or think of an experience they have had that exemplifies that character strength. 
    • Pass the character strengths around until each group has had the opportunity to discuss each one. 
  • Discuss as a class. 

Activity 4: Listening

Ask students to look for good and bad examples of temperance in the following video: Peter Rabbit 

  •  After the video, have them discuss what they saw with a partner. 
    • What characteristics did you notice?
  • Discuss as a class. 


Have students take the survey to see what their character strengths are, and write a reaction paragraph or record a video explaining their thoughts about the results. 

  • Questions to guide their reading or speaking:  
    • What were your top 5 character strengths? 
    • What were your lowest character strengths? 
    • Were you surprised about some of your character strengths? Why or why not? 
    • What did you learn about character strengths? 
    • What did you learn about yourself?
    • How do you think you can improve your lowest strengths? 
    • How can you use your character strengths to help others 



Have the students discuss with a partner what their character strength results were from the survey. 

  • Have partners tell each other if they have noticed their partner practicing any of their character strengths. 
  • Have students share with the class, if they are willing. 


Share the following quote with the class: 

“Temperance is moderation in the things that are good and total abstinence from the things that are foul.”

-- Frances E. Willard

  • Go over what moderation, abstinence, and foul mean. 
  • After helping students understand those words, ask them to read the quote again and think about what it means. 
  • Discuss as a class.  


Ask the students how learning more about personal character strengths can help them in their own lives. 

  • Discuss with a partner. 

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