Principles of Integrity

6, 7, 8

This lesson introduces students to the "Be true to yourself" portion of the defintion of integrity.

Lesson Rating 
One 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • analyze three phrases about three people.
  • compare the phrases to the defintion of integrity, "Be true to yourself."
  • identify both an example and a principle from his or her own life demonstrating being true to self.
  • relate principles and a quote to the meaning of integrity.

The following written in a display area before students arrive in class:Integrity - Be true to yourself

  • Johnny would never steal from the store.
  • Marsha would never spread rumors about anyone!
  • Hector is always on time.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Point to and read the definition of integrity that is on the display board: "Integrity - Be true to yourself." Then ask the learners to read the next three sentences to themselves:

  2. Johnny would never steal from the store.

  3. Marsha would never spread rumors about anyone.

  4. Hector is always on time.

  5. Teacher: Take a few minutes to think about how these phrases relate to being true to yourself.What does true mean in this context?Whatdo these statements say abouteach person?

  6. Ask the students to share their thoughts about Johnny; what do they know about himfrom this sentence? (Two or threestudents repond, while the teacher encapsulates each of the students' responses in a short sentence on the board.) Ask the students to share their thoughts about Marsha andHector with thesame procedure.

  7. Teacher: Given these examples, what does it mean to be true to yourself? (Discuss and write three or four responses on the board.)

  8. Teacher: In your notebook or on paper, write a short example in your experience when you were true to yourself.Write about whatvalue or principle you believeyou were showing with that example. Allow5 minutes for journaling.

  9. Askforfour or five volunteers towrite onthe board the principles they were upholding in their personal examples. Allow 2 minutes.

  10. With a different color of marker, underline the important words of the students' statements (specific principles).

  11. Teacher: It's obvious from your thinking that you have experience with integrity (being true to yourself).Don Galen described integrity as "what we do, what we say, and what we say we do."Discuss how this quote relates to "being true to yourself." Discuss how the students' examples andprinciples are related to integrity.

  12. Teacher: The next time we meet, we'll examine how we are true to both ourselves and others.

  13. Save the work from today on a flip chart or board for Lesson Two. You may want to organize the notes by labeling the parts as follows: 1) definition 2) student meaning 3) principles/examples

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.

Academic Standards

Select categories to search for standards.

Handouts Coming Soon

Logo Red

Handouts Coming Soon

Please "excuse our construction dust." Our new website went live on October 1, and we are still converting the lesson plan handouts to the new system. We will have the remaining handouts live as soon as possible. Please contact us if you need any handouts immediately.  We will prioritize the conversion of the handouts and notify you when they are available.