14. The Caterpillar

Lesson powerpoint here.

Lesson objectives:

  • For pupils to understand the link between habits and character: the more we think, say and do something, the more it becomes who we are.
  • For pupils to reflect upon how career choice can shape character.
  • For pupils to appreciate the lifelong work involved in becoming a good person.

1.Eulogy and Résumé Virtues.

  • Ask pupils to make 2 lists: the items that would appear on their ideal CV/résumé and the things they would like to be said about them at their 80th birthday celebration.
  • Ask pupils if they notice any differences between these 2 lists and ask them to speculate about why there might be any differences.
  • Show pupils the quote from David Brooks’ book The Road to Character, and ask them if they have any reactions to it.

2. Caterpillars and livelihoods.

  • Explain the caterpillar metaphor to the pupils: the idea is that the things we think, do and say, if we do them often enough become habits and habit becomes character (in the same way that the colours of the food that the Very Hungry Caterpillar eats, appear on the wings of the butterfly he becomes).
  • Give pupils the A3 article about Philip Green, Dominic Chappell and the BHS scandal.
  • Ask them to identify résumé and eulogy virtues for Green and Chappell and to identify their vices too.
  • Ask pupils if there is any link/connection between Green/Chappell’s virtues/vices and their choice of livelihood.
  • Ask pupils to think about the livelihood/career that they might choose and how this could help them to develop not only résumé virtues, but eulogy virtues too.
  • Discuss the idea that the career we choose might also have the potential for developing vices, which might undermine our chances of developing the eulogy virtues. Share the top 5 death bed regrets and see what pupils think about how they might have to manage their career to avoid these regrets.

3. Wisdom.

  • Play pupils the clip from the Wisdom Film. There are some discussion questions on the lesson powerpoint.
  • Finish with the quote from Dave Jolly.