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'Character' topic of top essay

February 14, 2011
Weirton Daily Times

By Emily Donley

Fourth-grader at Wellsburg Primary School

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." - Martin Luther King Jr.

My school helps me to be a better person by helping me to think critically and intensively.

To think critically means to see and think of things in many different ways. To think intensively means to think hard about something.

By reading Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote, I must think critically and intensively to know what he means.

My school helps me by teaching me lots of things. It teaches me about different traits of good character. The dictionary says character is the special way in which any person feels, thinks and acts.

I think that character contains:

C for creativity.

H for honesty.

A for alertness.

R for responsibility.

A for attentiveness.

C for compassion.

T for tolerance.

E for enthusiasm.

R for resourcefulness.

My school teaches me that all these things are good traits to have.

During school I must think intensively. We have tests, writing and computer work that we must ponder over.

Also, some children have Math Field Day after school. Tests are usually easy, but some are challenging. On writing assignments, we must also reflect about what to write.

Also in school, we must think critically. An example of this is the Six Hat Thinking Strategy. It is a thinking tool with six different colored hats. Each stands for a different way to think about the problem.

Another example of thinking critically is problem-solving. In almost all of our classes, we must solve problems. My teachers help me to think hard in many different ways. I know that thinking critically and intensively helps to solve many problems.

I think that Martin Luther King Jr. wanted people to know that thinking intensively and critically and having character is important.

(Donley placed first for grades third through fifth at the regional level and second among pupils in those grades at the state level of the YWCA's 18th-Annual "Project on Racism" Essay Contest.)

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