Honest Communication
  1. 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.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.

In this lesson, learners explore different ways communication can be changed through interpretation and intentional misleading.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define eschew and obfuscation.
  • identify ways to be honest and clear in verbal communication.
  1. Anticipatory Set

  2. Tell the learners that in order to be clear, their communication should eschew obfuscation. Ask them what they think that means. The phrase eschew obfuscation means "to avoid purposely confusing communication." (Eschew means "to avoid"; obfuscation is "making meaning unclear.") This is an example of irony because the phrase itself is an example of obfuscation.

  3. Brainstorm together what it means to be honest in communication. This may include being straightforward, telling the truth, giving complete information, showing intent to be understood, and being sincere. Honesty in communication means that in writing and in speech and other nonverbal communication, you are straightforward in expressing the truth without misleading.

  4. Move the learners into pairs and tell them to take turns reading the six statements with different inflections in order to communicate different meanings. They may use a tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and other means to change the meaning, intent, or sincerity of the sentences. Give them five minutes to experiment with this.

    1. Don't you love those dandelions?
    2. Are you ready yet?
    3. What are you doing?
    4. We were gone for three hours.
    5. The pencil was on my desk.
    6. It is my turn to do that.
  5. Meet as a whole group. Discuss how facial expressions and body language and tone change meaning.

  6. Review obfuscation. Ask what can make the meaning unclear when they are communicating verbally. They may recognize that tone might not match body language and make meaning unclear. Talk about what they can do to make their meaning clear and honest when communicating with others.