Middle School Advisory Program

Advisory programs are an important part of the middle school because of many different changes that adolescences are going through.  Advisory programs will also help the school community become a more welcoming place (NMSA Research Summary #9 1).  Adolescences are changing physically, emotionally, cognitively, and socioemotional.  According to M. Less Manning and Katherine T. Bucher in their book Teaching in the Middle School teachers and counselors are their as an activist for a young adolescence.  This also means that the teachers and counselors are more compassionate, and work better with and for the students which means more respect and better student to teacher relationships (Bucher, Manning 2001).   In a research summary by the National Middle School association Bucher writes that this kind of advisory is helping to teach the affective part of adolescence schooling.  As a advisor in this program one will generally have less then 20 students and one thing that is important about this is to build a sense of community by letting all your students know that you are there for them and that you care.  This small size helps students relate to others better and helps them become more comfortable sharing good things and bad things.  Even though few have researched middle school advisory scientifically there has been some research done on it.  Some have said that it has lowered drop out rates and others say that it has reduced student smoking and alcohol use (NMSA Research Summary #9 1).  Everyone needs a place to fit in and Advisory programs create a sense of welcoming, lets a student know that they are cared for by at least one other person and lets students talk about what is happening in their lives or learning affectively.

A topic for each month of school plus an idea of what to do each week

            Our school – School Spirit, Rules, Resources

Study Skills – Test taking, Homework, time management

            Friendships – Characteristics, making and keeping, between genders

            Peers – What is peer pressure, How to deal with peer pressure, Social skills

            Our Community – What is community, Building a strong, How to help

            Diversity – What is it, In our schools, Why do we need to understand diversity

            Family – What is Family, Siblings, Parents or Guardians

            Healthy living – Food, exercise, substance use

Role Models – Characteristics, Who are they, How do we decide who is a good

Role model

Role Models Advisory Plan

Topic: Who are your role models?

Grade: 7 (15 students)

Time: 30 minutes

Objectives: Students will be able to:

1)      Identify whom their role model(s) is/are.

2)      List characteristics of the role model(s).

Materials: Pictures of different role models that society chooses for example, sports players, musicians, actors/actresses, People with high power or lots of money.  Also bring in different role models that students may not think of right away, for example parents, siblings, grandparents, religious leaders, different people helping the community.  Also colored pencils/crayons and paper.

Interest Builder:  Tell students that everyone has or has had a role model before in their lives.  Even their guardians, teachers and their role models have had role models before.  Give some examples of Role models and if you can find some of their role models show them.


1)      Ask students to draw their role model and show it to the class or they can act out how their role model is in front of the class. How did they come up with this role model?  How did they find out about this person?

2)      In groups of 3 have students come up with a list of characteristics of role models.  Ask each group to share those characteristics.  Maybe right all of them on the board or on a computer so everyone can see them

3)      Explain to the students that not every role model has the same characteristic and that there is no outline or steps to becoming a role model.  Tell students that they could even be a role model for a younger sibling or friend. 

Evaluation:  Ask students if their ideas on the characteristics of role models have changed.  Ask students to think about who else could be a role model in their life and if they can think of anyone that could look up to them as a role model. 

Works Cited

Bucher, Katherine T., and M. Lee Manning. Teaching in the Middle School. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall Inc., 2001. 240-260.

National Middle School Association. 2003. 14 Oct. 2003