Parent and Community Connections
School District of Jefferson

This is a character education activity that integrates art, language arts, math, writing and science. It is well received by students, parent, and community members. Children make Garden of Virtues Posters or Peace Posters to start the new year. The posters are delivered to city government offices and businesses wishing success and peace in the coming year. Each child takes a poster to share with a local business for inspiration. Student returns homework assignment explaining where the poster is displayed.

Students will learn about civility and compassion by creating a poster to spread inspiration about kindness with their community.  (Students will learn about each trait that is highlighted in the posters.)  Completed for January, this New Year poster highlights compassion, civility and wishes the recipient success, health, and peace in the new year.
  • Large poster board for each student
  • Crayons, markers, glue, tape, scissors
  • Copies of vegetables and recipe “Garden of Virtues” for each student

A recipe for living with warm thoughts through the New Year

First, Plant 3 Rows of Peas:
Persistence, Patience, Peach of Mind

Next, Plant 4 Hills of Squash:
Squash Gossip, Squash Grumbling, Squash Selfishness, Squash Apathy

Then, Plant 3 Rows of Lettuce:
Let us be kind, Leet us be responsible, let us be respectful

No Garden is Complete Without Turnips:
Turn up with a smile; Turn up with a healthy attitude

Water regularly with confidence and love and
let your garden bring forth much fruit.

If we could all remember to cultivate this, no challenge would be too great;
And what a wonderful world this would be!

  1. Discuss the “Keys to Getting Along with Others” by talking about the words in the recipe.
  2. Discuss what a “recipe” is.
  3. Read the recipe and discuss the meaning.
  4. Encourage each student’s creativity as they make their posters. Pictures of vegetables are cut out of magazines, etc., for use on the posters or students draw them.
  5. Each child will take the poster to a place in the community to display.
  6. Each child will write a story about their experience when they took the poster.
  7. Share the stories!
  8. Homework assignment includes discussing the character traits with your family.
  9. Have fun as your class spreads inspiration throughout the community!

By holding a morning meeting and talking with the students how they felt creating something for someone else and giving it to them you can determine if they felt compassion and kindness.  Sharing the stories that the students write about their experience will also help determine if the objectives are met.