Character Education - The Six Pillars of Character - Citizenship

Teaching Guide:

for grades K-5

This page is from the teaching guide for the video
"Dealing with Disappointment"
in the DVD series You Can Choose!


When things don't turn out the way you hoped, it may seem like the end of the world. Here are some things you can do to keep disappointment from getting you down.

 Stop. Calm Down. Give yourself some time. Things might not seem nearly so bad tomorrow.

 Get your feelings out in a way that doesn't hurt you or anybody else.

 Talk about it with your parents or a good friend.

 Ask yourself if this is really worth getting angry or upset about.

 Think about what you can learn from the experience and how you can do better next time.

 Don't judge yourself. Failing at something does not mean that you are a failure.

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the video

Buy This Video

This video teaches children:

•  Ways of helping themselves keep perspective and handle disappointments constructively.

•  That losing doesn't make them losers and failing doesn't make them failures.

see story synopsis . . .


the series
Start your kids on the path to positive, healthful life choices. This delightful video series teaches children valuable lessons that contribute to self-discipline, good decision-making, high self-esteem, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to get along with others.  more. . .

For more information about individual videos in this series, click on the title below.
•  Cooperation
•  Being Responsible
•  Dealing with Feelings
•  Saying No
•  Doing the Right Thing
•  Disappointment
•  Appreciating Yourself
•  Asking for Help
•  Being Friends
•  Resolving Conflicts

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.



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

1.  Think about a time when something didn't go well even though you tried very hard. How did you deal with it?

2.  What do you do when you get really frustrated or mad at yourself?

3.  When things seem to be going wrong, what can you do to make yourself feel better?

4.  Name all the emotions Missie was feeling when she quit the team. Have you ever felt the same way? How did you handle it?

5.  Do you think Missie was taking things too seriously? How can you tell if you are taking something too seriously?

6.  How did Missie change between the first and second parts of the video?

7.  If something important doesn't turn out the way you had hoped, what are some helpful ways to deal with your disappointment? What are some harmful ways?

8.  How can you keep from getting angry and upset when things go wrong?

9.  Are there times when quitting something difficult is the right thing to do?

10.  What can happen if you always want everything to be perfect?

11.  Is losing the same thing as being a loser? Is failing the same thing as being a failure?

12.  What can you say or do to help a friend get over a disappointment?

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

To find teaching guides on related topics for this and other grade levels
click here.


1.  Ask the children to suggest various ways to deal with disappointment. List them on the board. When they've run out of ideas, compare the list with the one at the top of this column (see "How To Deal With Disappointment"). Discuss each idea and ask the kids to give examples.

2.  On slips of paper have the class write examples of times when kids their age might feel disappointed or feel like a failure. Have them pick one slip at a time from a hat, read it aloud, and offer suggestions for how to deal with it.

3.  Fill a glass halfway with a colored liquid. Ask the students to say whether it's half-empty or half-full. Quickly they'll conclude it could be either one. Explain that how you see things, your point of view, is called your "perspective." Your perspective on this glass can be compared to your perspective on almost anything. Another word similar to perspective is "attitude." The glass can be either half-empty (negative attitude) or half-full (positive attitude). Ask for examples of how our perspective and attitude can influence the way we see many things in our lives.

4.  Have the class brainstorm common obstacles (or "blockers") kids their age might encounter in trying to achieve goals in school, in sports, and so on. Examples: getting "B"s in spelling but not getting "A"s no matter how hard you try; not doing well in a sport because you're a lot smaller than the other kids. For each obstacle have the students suggest ways to overcome it. Emphasize that a key to overcoming obstacles and dealing with difficulty is your attitude (perspective). If you're confident and believe you can do something, that's half the battle.

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

Other teaching guides in this series:

  •  Cooperation
•  Being Responsible
•  Dealing with Feelings
•  Saying No
•  Doing the Right Thing

•  Disappointment
•  Appreciating Yourself
•  Asking for Help
•  Being Friends
•  Resolving Conflicts


1.  Think of different times when you felt disappointed or upset with yourself. For each one write about what you did - or could have done - to feel better. How could a positive attitude have made a difference?

2.  Write a letter to someone you know who's feeling disappointed. Explain how it can help to look at things from a more positive perspective. After delivering the letter, get together with the person to talk about it.

3.  Group writing assignment: In groups of three, have one person write a sentence or two about a time when a person was disappointed or upset. The paper passes to the next person, who writes a sentence or two from a negative perspective - it seemed like the end of the world. The paper passes to the third person, who writes a sentence or two from a positive perspective - it wasn't really so bad and something good came out of it. Give everyone a chance to write the three parts. Take time to discuss what you've written.

4.  Write a short story about someone who tried to do something difficult and stuck with it until he or she succeeded. Include some ideas about why the person's attitude toward the problem was important in overcoming it.

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


To enlist the involvement of parents, make copies of the "For Parents" block (see below) and send them home with the children. Tell the children to discuss the video with their parents, and to perform the following activities.

1.  Ask a family member or neighbor to tell you about a time when he or she felt disappointed because something important didn't turn out very well. How did he or she handle it? How could it have been handled differently?

2.  Ask a friend or family member to be your special "positive perspective buddy" for when things go wrong or you're upset. Explain that the main purpose of a positive perspective buddy is to help you see the brighter side of things and not take things more seriously than they deserve.

3.  While reading stories or watching TV shows or movies, look for ways that people handle disappointment. Discuss what you've observed with friends or family members. What did the people in the stories say and do? How could they have behaved differently? Did they have a positive attitude or a negative one?

4.  Think of people you know or have heard about who made the best of a bad situation - for example, overcoming an injury or disability. How did their positive attitude toward the situation make a difference?

Note to the teacher or group leader: It might be a good idea to think of some way for the children to share the outcomes of these activities with each other. Perhaps they could give written or oral reports or discuss their experiences in small groups.


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

(Copy this block and send it home to the parents.)


Dear Parent,

Your child is involved in learning-activities designed to develop good character and empower young people to make good choices for themselves. He or she may be asked to complete several tasks at home. Your cooperation with these activities will support our overall program.

The current lesson is about how to handle disappointments. We have shown a video entitled "Dealing With Disappointment," which presents a skit and discussion about a girl who gets so upset about losing that she wants to quit her baseball team. We urge you to ask your child to tell you about this video program and what he or she learned from it.

Here are some things you can do to help your child learn how to keep perspective and handle disappointments in a positive way.

 Stop the "I'm a failure" syndrome before it starts. Don't let your child feel like a complete failure because something didn't turn out well. Make it clear that a defeat or loss isn't the end of the world and doesn't mean he or she's no good.

 If your child experiences a disappointment, talk about it and help him or her learn from the experience. Emphasize the importance of having a positive attitude and not giving up or feeling like a failure because of one experience.

 When your child is suffering a disappointment, remind him or her of other times when things went badly but turned out okay. Let your child know you've felt that way too.

 Tell your child about times when you've had a similar experience.


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