Pillars of Leadership – program for young learners

Updated: 7 days ago

Teaching elementary students leadership by 5 C’s: Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and most of all…Curiosity!


1) Pillars of Leadership is designed to mold the learners' motivation and curiosity into leadership skills that provide balance and build stamina to fulfill potential.

2) The students develop self-leadership together with communicating and influencing others empathically.

3) The program provides learning tools to help students cope better with the demands of school.

4) The kids experience decision making, problem solving, and critical and creative thinking activities for better higher education readiness.

5) Beginning leadership education at early age will give the children an advantage.

6) At age 8-12 creativity is at the risk of becoming stifled. Equipping with creative thinking techniques will not only preserve the early childhood creative spark but also make it a skillful habit.

7) The program’s theme projects connect the children to their strengths while enriching them about the world.

8) Learning about influential professions nurtures aspirations. That will motivate achievement at school in order to succeed in higher education.

9) The messages in Pillars of Leadership’ stories and activities help children befriend themselves to better cope with daily challenges at home and at school.

10) Around age 8-12 many young learners would rather self-stifle their leadership qualities in order to become popular. Having a time and a place for applying leadership will build resilience to ensure fulfillment in life.

How? Lessons Structure

To begin the instructor tells the whole class a story introducing the theme project of the next 2-3 lessons. Guiding questions nurture class conversation. A team product-based activity follows, to help the children embrace the leadership messages in the story. Teams are of 4-5 students. Participant switch the role of the team leader, so each member practices leading the team.

In times each team splits into pairs. Each pair member gets the chance to direct the discussion. The pair decides which elements to contribute to the team product. Then the two pairs share their findings and the team decides upon the final product. At the end of the lesson teams present their products to the whole class.

The next lesson elaborates more on the theme to incorporate the leadership skills better.

The last lesson of the project is for closure. Students converse how to implement what they have learned in the present and in the future. If possible, a guest that is connected to the theme comes to class to share how he/she uses the leadership skills in his/her profession. It is very possible that the guest learns more from the kids’ ideas.

With all these challenging activities, lessons are designed to be full of humor and fun.

What? Example theme projects

Level 1 - Learning the language of leadership. Learning self to teach others

· Red lights green lights – crossing the crossroad safe and confident with a vision board at hand

· Cooperation: The win-win solution - joining efforts to bring the best results

· Dream zoo – practicing brainstorming and team project building

· The young chef – food for thought, food for growth.

Level 2 – Incorporating leadership values and deepening competencies

· Be happy–Eat healthy – embracing healthy habits and leadership behavior

· Is it Really true? Fact or opinion – exploring the subtle line between opinion and fact developing critical thinking and discovering our fascinating world

· The vacation I will never forget – openness to change interconnecting with other pillars of leadership is the way to save the day.

Level 3 - Becoming inspiring change agents and trusted citizens of the world

· Planning a budget – from family expenses to financial literacy

· The big trip – making a family dream trip come true containing diverse expectations and getting help crossing bridges

· The mysterious wish – time-travel story takes the students on an adventure by which they become aware of future environmental and social problems. The students build upon the wisdom of their grandparents’ generation to creatively suggest solutions for issues that might threat the generation of their own future grand-kids.

Who? Program Team

Dr. Friedler is a lifelong teacher trainer. Michelle has been a CPSI leader for the past 4 years.

The Creative Problem-Solving Institute is The Creative Education Foundation’s annual conference in The University at Buffalo, NY. Michelle’s CPSI workshops inspire educators toward fostering creative thinking. Her paintings are used as creativity inspiring tools, to ignite caring mentors.

The training is based on Michelle’s teaching at The Dr. Erica Landau Institute for the Advancement of Youth to Excellence and Creativity in Tel Aviv, and on conversations with Dr, Moshe Rishpon, who established The Science Oriented Youth Department in The Weizmann Institute. Alumni of both institutes for the past 40-50 years have become leaders of their fields of expertise in Israel and worldwide.

Michelle Korenfeld’s experience is also based on raising her daughters, who were students at The Dr. Erica Landau Institute. At age 15 and 20 their bright personalities inspire her with creative leadership daily.

What now?

Contact Michelle Korenfeld to learn more at info.RaisingCreativeThinkers@gmail.com!

Michelle Korenfeld

Raising Creative Thinkers

21st Century Project-Based and Social-Emotional Learning lesson plans, stimulating teacher training, teaching tools, and best children’s STEAM book

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© 2017 by Michelle Korenfeld, Raising Creative Thinkers.