What Is a Promise?
  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.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.

Learners define honesty as fairness and straightforward conduct. They look for examples in a story and analyze the merits and mistakes of the main character.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define honesty as straitforward conduct
Home Connection: 

Discuss with their families, "Why is it important to you that people are honest?"


Grimes, Nikki. Jazmin’s Notebook. New York: Puffin Books, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0141307022

  1. Anticipatory Set

    Write the following statement on a display: "I never tell the truth." Ask whether the statement is true or false and discuss. (Note: If the statement were true, then it wouldn't be true anymore.)

  2. Ask, "What does it mean to be honest?" Listen to the learners' definitions of honesty and take notes from their explanations. Explain that although honesty is usually associated with telling the truth, honesty has a wider definition that they will explore together.

  3. Before reading the short African fable called "The Ostrich Egg Wife," tell the learners you want them to listen for examples of honesty or dishonesty in the story.

  4. Read aloud or allow time for the learners to read the Ostrich Egg Wife. After reading, ask how Setelane was not honest. (He broke a promise.) Ask what happened to him when he broke a promise. (He lost everything.) Ask, "What was worse, the words he said to his wife or breaking a promise? Why?" This may create some debate. Was Setelane honest when he said his wife was the daughter of an ostrich egg? If they disagree about this, tell them, "This may be a good time to look up the definition of honesty in the dictionary."

  5. Discuss this definition of honesty: "fairness and straightforwardness in conduct."

  6. Discuss the ways Setelane did not show himself to be straightforward, or a man of honor.