Building Champions

A Small-Group Counseling Curriculum for Boys
Pages: 188
ISBN: 9780878226993
Item Number: 5720

$42.89You save $4.10 (8.73%)

Listen to author Carol Miller discuss her book on the Prosocially Yours podcast shown below.

A fun-filled game plan to help boys of upper elementary and middle-school age build trust, respect, and peer connections, Building Champions covers the topics boys most want and need to become better friends, classmates, and citizens.

Numerous hands-on and interactive experiences maintain group members’ interest and allow them to practice targeted skills while learning.

Eight group lessons cover the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Building Champions
  2. Breaking a Sweat (Goal Setting)
  3. In the Huddle (Integrity and Respect)
  4. Hands In (Relationships)
  5. Game Time (Leadership and Teamwork)
  6. Sitting on the Bench (Self-Control)
  7. The Last Play (Confidence)
  8. Shake Hands, Game Over (Being a Good Sport)

Each lesson after the first includes three teaching options to address the needs of different types of groups. Downloadable reproducible items include lesson “exit slips,” student handouts, and program organization and progress tracking forms.

Shown below is episode five of Prosocially Yours, a podcast produced by Research Press. In this episode, host Elizabeth Hess interviews school counselor and author Carol Miller discussing her program for boys and how she implements it remotely.

Praise for Building Champions

“Carol Miller’s book Building Champions is absolutely the best group curriculum for boys out there. The activities, themes, handouts, and materials are easily laid out for school counselors to follow and implement in their school counseling programs. Additionally, the curriculum is aligned with the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors, which is an extra bonus! I would highly recommend Building Champions to every school counselor.”

—Malti Tuttle, PhD
Assistant Professor, Auburn University

“Who better than a school counselor to design a curriculum for champions? Carol Miller has focused on how boys can improve their academic, social/emotional, and career goals to become champions. I love how she has used a variety of learning styles to focus on each student’s strength. See for yourself how this resource can improve your program.”

—Lisa Koenecke, MS, MCC
Middle School Counselor, River Bluff, Wisconsin
Past President, Wisconsin School Counselor Association

“This is the book you’ve been waiting for. It is a comprehensive and effective program, and it is filled with everything you need to run a group for middle school boys. It is also easily adaptable for high school and upper elementary students. The activities are appealing, straightforward, easily implemented, and fill the requirements for any developmental guidance program. This should be in any good counselor’s library.”

—Gaye Dunn, MS
Middle School Counselor, East Moline, Illinois

“As a middle school counselor, I often see boys as an underserved population in the school environment. In Building Champions, Carol Miller provides a much-needed and hard-to-find resource that helps boys develop self-leadership skills while also addressing the external arenas of relationships, leadership, teamwork, and sportsmanship. This small-group curriculum fills an obvious gap in the growth of boys, providing a path to self-development and maturity. Kudos to Carol Miller for creating a user-friendly resource benefiting boys in their development.”

—Jan Desmarais-Morse, MEd
Middle School Counselor and Counselor Educator,
Goshen, Indiana

“Carol Miller truly understands the nature of boys! Being a mother of three boys and a school counselor to hundreds more, I appreciate the hands-on activities and analogies that she uses throughout Building Champions.”

—Mindy Willard, MA
High School Counselor, Franklin, Wisconsin
2013 American School Counselor of the Year


BuildingChampions_PDF_ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors

BuildingChampions_PDF_What is a Champion



Carol Miller, certified counselor and author of Building Champions: A Small Group Counseling Curriculum for Boys, discusses why she wrote the book and how she works with boys in small groups.

Why did you decide to write a boy’s group curriculum?

I decided to write Building Champions because I ran several groups with boys in my school counseling program and felt there was a need for material specifically devoted to boys. Having gender-based groups allows students to freely express themselves in front of their peers as well as take the risk of trying new things without fear of ridicule. When I started my first boys’ group, I searched for material that would be both relevant and fun. I couldn’t find anything that suited my needs. There were few programs designed specifically for boys. Boys, particularly middle school boys, have lots of energy and sometimes few words. They need lessons that get them up and moving and offer hands-on learning experiences. After running my boys’ group, I was able to develop the Building Champions curriculum.

Have you collected data on your groups, and if so what were the results?

I do collect data. I typically use behavioral referrals, since most of my students get in trouble in class and are referred to me. I keep track of the frequency and type of behavioral infraction before the group, during group, and after the group. The incidence of infractions always decreases. In addition, I send out parent surveys and teacher surveys to see if they have noticed changes. The surveys have showed positive results. The book includes assessment surveys and evaluations in the Appendix.

How do you select your participants?

I select my group members using a combination of behavioral data, teacher recommendations, and self-referrals. In addition, I might invite a student or two to join as well, so that I have a balance of leaders and those needing to build leadership skills. I interview my members before the group to make sure that they are committed to working in the group and being an active participant.

How many groups do you run a year?

I run four different boys’ groups each year using the Building Champions curriculum. I try to run a separate group for each grade level in my middle school. The book includes alternative lessons, so if I have the same kids for two years in a row, I rotate the lessons and choose an different option to give them something new. I keep a notebook of which lessons I use with each group to keep me organized.

What’s your favorite lesson?

I think my favorite lesson is “Becoming A Leader,” Option 2 from Lesson 5. In this lesson, pictures from Handout 5.3 are hung up around the room, and the boys are asked to find a partner, examine each picture, and determine what leadership message each picture is trying to convey. I love watching the boys move around the room and seriously examine each picture to figure out the leadership message. Their answers are always insightful, and sometimes I learn as much from them, as they do from me.

For additional information about author Carol Miller, visit her author page.

Reproducible forms and handouts for this title are available on our downloads page.

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