A Person of Honor

6, 7, 8

Students use journaling or role-playing to reflect on the benefits to the community of truthfulness and straightforward actions. They analyze traits and actions of someone who has built a "good reputation."

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • define good reputation and analyze how it is earned.
  • discuss Mohandas Gandhi and his example of honesty and integrity.
  • reflect on personal honesty and what it means to be a person of honor.




  1. Anticipatory Set

    Ask, "What does it mean to have a 'good reputation'?" Reflect on the reputation of people of honor, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and Thomas Jefferson. Their reputations for honesty and integrity allowed them to lead people and to effect major social changes. The benefit of their integrity was the power to make a difference.

  2. Discuss how these men earned their reputations. Brainstorm the elements of a reputation (actions, how you treat people, what you spend time on, honesty, work ethic, etc.).

  3. Read aloud or have a student read aloud:

  4. Mohandas Gandhi was a lawyer from India who practiced nonviolence to change laws. He helped to change laws related to Indian people in South Africa. Then he moved back to India where he continued to fight for the rights of the poorest Indians who were mistreated under British rule. He was known for his integrity. He did not ask anything of his supporters that he did not do himself, such as making his own clothes so they wouldn't buy British cloth and cleaning toilets to show that all people are equal. Gandhi led his people to nonviolently protest the British rule until they left India in 1947.

    Mr. Gandhi said, "A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble." What did he mean by this?

  5. Tell the students that Gandhi is remembered for his honor. Have them write a journal reflection about what it means to be a person of honor and its impact on the community. Encourage students to write about their personal goals about honesty and being people of honor.

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 generationon.org.

Philanthropy Framework

  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.