In a culture that increasingly promotes gratuitous violence, 

selfishness, greed and

over indulgence, children--

now more than ever--need opportunities to learn how to live with integrity, courage and compassion so that they understand their value as contributing members of society.

Why The Dragon King  
          Values Education Curriculum?
Three Pillars

The Dragon King Values Education Curriculum, for 4th-6th grade students, stemmed from an initial desire to aid a boy named Ethan in his fight for life.  Ethan had been badly burned and if he managed to survive his initial trauma, he would have in front of him countless surgeries to place and readjust various skin graphs on his body.



What Ethan needed...

                       what we all need... 

                                               is a story...



that will inspire within us the aptitude necessary to transform our challenges into triumphs and in so doing embolden us with a sense of gratitude, humility and self-worth.  If we can nurture in our children an innate sense of wellbeing and an internal moral compass, we, in a sense, enable them to become their own heroes.

In the story, Sarah, Ethan's mother, asks her son,
                "What makes a just and honorable person?" 

Faith in oneself and what one believes,

      courage to meet life's challenges, and

           wisdom to see the world with understanding

                           and appreciation.

In teaching this curriculum, we have divided thirteen character traits into what we call the Three Pillars of Ethan's insight.

Faith as demonstrated by the characteristics of:

  • Optimism

  • Adaptability

  • Loyalty

  • Cooperation/Citizenship

Courage displayed through the values of:

  • Integrity

  • Courage

  • Initiative

  • Perserverance

Wisdom exemplified in the principles of:

  • Respect

  • Responsibility

  • Compassion

  • Forgiveness

  • Contemplation

The teacher's manual  is broken down into

the following sections:

  • Definition with Synonyms and Antonyms

  • Story Illustration

  • Discussion

  • Activities

  • Art Connection

  • Quotes and Resources       


The teaching methodology of "head, heart, hands" is implemented in the construction of the lesson plans. Each character trait may be taught within a five to ten day period.  Also included in the manual is a collection of "Dragon Quest" games to supplement the lesson plans.        


  • illustrated children's book

  • audio book 

  • teacher's manual 

  • student workbook  

The Dragon King  illustrated children's book contains the story followed by an interactive section entitled "Can You Discover?" where readers are encouraged to draw, spy out hidden elements in the illustrations and learn some interesting facts about constellations and medieval heraldry.  Song lyrics are also listed in its back pages.  


The audio book accompanies the illustrated book and may be listened to either in class or at home.  The recording is complete with narration, characters’ voices, sound effects and six fully orchestrated musical theatre style songs.  Its duration is an hour and eight minutes including twenty seven minutes of music.

Quotes from The Dragon King that may be used for recitation


“How would I behave if I wasn’t afraid?” 


“Face your fear and it will lose its power over you.”

“No task lies before you so dreadful that you

shall not master it.”

Teacher: “What makes a just and honorable                      person?”

Student: “Faith in oneself and what one                              believes, courage to meet life's 

                 challenges, and wisdom to see the                      world with understanding and                            appreciation.”

Inspiration born from adversity...

Thirteen Traits

Four Books

The student workbook is comprised of the thirteen lesson plans as listed under the Three Pillars.  Each lesson plan is broken down as follows:


  • Definition with Synonyms and          Antonyms

  • Quotes

  • Story Connection

  • What Do You Think?


Within each lesson are discussion questions along with amusing activities that explore the thirteen character traits.  The student will discover intriguing facts about castles, dragons and other mythical creatures from around the globe in addition to interesting tidbits about the medieval world. Also included are puzzles and riddles plus black and white coloring book images by illustrator, Johanna Burr, as well as some new “doodles” by her sister, Sophia Burr.

Praise for The Dragon King


"This beautiful story, chronicling courage and honor in the face of adversity, will intrigue and inspire children of all ages as courageous valor triumphs over fear."

Reed Powell Christian, MAT, Parent, Teacher, Theatre            

Instructor, Atlanta, GA




We hope that your entire school body will benefit from your students’ exploration of this material.  Some vehicles for sharing might include all school assembly performances, displays of student art in hallways, as well as school and community volunteering.  We believe such exercises as “Courageous Communication” (nonviolent communication) and the “Loving Kindness Meditation” may be maintained as useful practices throughout the school year. 


We welcome your feedback as to how we might improve your students’ experience with this curriculum and we thank you for sharing the message of The Dragon King.

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Human Art Publishing


Todd Burr

Vivian Slade      



To see more of author/composer Vivian Slade's work, visit