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Character Counts Essay Prompts For High School


If you are using the video, ask the first question before viewing.

1. A lot of people say that teenagers are self absorbed and don't care about anything but themselves.  Do you agree or disagree?

2. How do you feel when people show that they really care about you? How do you feel when you do something really caring for someone else?

3. In what ways is this a caring world? In what ways is it uncaring? What could each of us do to make this a more caring world?

4. When someone is uncaring how does that affect friends, school and community? Give examples.

5. Agree or disagree: It's uncool to be a caring person. Why, or why not?

6. To what extent would you inconvenience yourself for another person?

7. Do you agree with the student who suggested that caring means putting ourselves second?

8. Would you give money to a stranger on the sidewalk who asked for spare change? Why or why not? Would it make a difference if the person were a) a mother with child, b) very old, c) from a different culture? What does giving money to a stranger have to do with caring anyway?

9. At the beginning of the program Dr. Mike read a letter from Benjy, who said he had learned that listening was a greater act of caring than throwing coins in a cup. Why do you think he felt that way?

10. How could Dr. Mike's advice about listening help solve Roberto's problem?

11. How did the story of Gillian and her day camp make you feel? What did you learn from it?

12. Do you agree with Gillian that everyone can make a difference?

13. Is it realistic to think that the average teenager could make such an impact on the community, or is Gillian just a special case?

14. Can you choose to be a caring person, or do you have to be born that way?

15. Agree or disagree: By performing caring acts, we become caring people. Explain.

16. One student said,  Caring needs a government that works.   In our country, do government programs show caring for people in need? Do you think we can pass laws that will make people care? Why or why not?

17. Explain the quote from Kahlil Gibran, "You give little when you give of your possessions. It's when you give of yourself that you truly give."

18. What does caring have to do with the quality of your character?

19. Do you disagree with any of the ideas presented in this video?

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If you are using the video, ask question 1 before viewing.

1. Do you consider yourself to be a responsible person? Why? In what ways?

2. The people in the video identified several aspects of responsibility. What were they? Do you agree with them? What does responsibility mean to you?

3. Do you consider it important for your friends and family members to be responsible? Why?

4. Carlos said, "Maybe the real question is not 'what am I going to do,' maybe it's 'what kind of person do I want to be?'" What did he mean by that?

5. Think about somebody you know who is very responsible. How does that person demonstrate responsibility? Does that make you respect him/her more?

6. The girl who hit the parked car felt she had to report it. Why take responsibility for something nobody saw you do?

7. What does the golden rule have to do with responsibility?

8. What is the relationship between blaming and responsibility? How did Dr. Mike change blaming others into a tool for teaching responsibility? Think about what some of your biggest problems are in school. Do you blame anyone for those problems?

9. Dr. Mike told Carlos responsibility is power. What did he mean? Do you agree?

10. How did Lateefah's story make you feel? What did you learn from it?

11. Lateefah said, "My future is up to me." Do you agree with that idea? Explain. What would Lateefah's life be like, if she did not take personal responsibility for changing it?

12. How does Lateefah's story demonstrate the power of taking responsibility?

13. It's been said that "There are no rights without responsibility, and there is no responsibility without rights." What does that mean? Do you agree? What is the relationship between rights and responsibilities?

14. Dr. Mike said we need to separate problems into three categories: ones we have no control over, ones we have some influence over, and ones we have total control over. How would it help resolve our problems to look at them in this way?

15. Anika quotes her grandmother as having said, "You can't control what life puts at your doorstep, but you have complete control over how you respond to it." What does that mean? How can you apply this principle to your daily life?

16. What does being responsible have to do with the quality of your character?

17. What are the benefits of being a responsible person? How do you benefit from the responsibility of others?

18. Did the video present any ideas you disagree with?


(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

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