Learning about Virtue

We’ve been home for a number of weeks with the arctic blast, tornadoes and illness. I’m itching to get back out adventuring! In the meantime, I started digging through my old files I’ve created in the past two decades of working in classical education. I’ve polished up some items to teach virtue formation. These are launch pads for school chapel or your co-op or maybe a family devotion. Let me know how you are using these! Here is a link to a free downloadable Virtue Guide on Compassion. I’ll break it down for you here too.


Each Virtue Guide starts out with naming the virtue and its vice followed by a definition. If you are familiar with the Five Common Topics, this is where we always start when we need to understand something. For example:

Compassion vs. Indifference
Showing mercy to those who suffer. Willingness to open your heart to those in need and show God’s love to the hurting. Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.

Call and Response

Next, the Virtue Guide proposes some call and responses to help your students own the learning about the topic . The lead would ask the question and the student would answer. Notice that the answer is phrased as a complete sentence. I like this for call and responses so students are saying a complete thought and hopefully it is sinking into their mind and heart.

What is Compassion? Compassion is concern for the suffering of others.

How do we practice Compassion? We practice compassion by noting our concern and taking action.

Biblical Integration

Each Virtue Guide has a couple bible verses written out for you to use. You can always do a broader search by going online. My favorite tool is Blueletterbible.org where you can do a keyword search, see the word in original language with Strong’s concordance lexicon, along with commentaries and every version you can think of. I’d recommend picking one of these for a memory verse.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17


This last section is fun! I like incorporating hand motions and silly voices to make them more memorable . Technically this could be called a call and response, but the purpose of this is a little broader and I integrate these into everyday situations. For example, driving down the road with a carload squabbling, I just call out “LOVE” and the boys call out their part and the girls call out theirs. It usually resets the tone in the car and I might just turn the music up a little louder to encourage a different path of thinking.

(teacher) Love…(boys) your brothers…(girls) and your sisters too!

Virtue Guides

I’ve posted all my Virtue Guides on Teachers Pay Teachers which is a simple site to navigate to any number of teaching resources. You can find these virtue guides in my Curious Learners storefront.

Virtue Master List

BUNDLE: All Ten Virtue Guides

Compassion Virtue Guide

Wisdom Virtue Guide

Thankfulness Virtue Guide

Strength Virtue Guide

Self-Control Virtue Guide

Reverence Virtue Guide

Patience Virtue Guide

Loyalty Virtue Guide

Humility Virtue Guide

Enthusiasm Virtue Guide

Discernment Virtue Guide

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