A Straightforward Approach

6, 7, 8

In this lesson, students brainstorm examples of honesty and communicate its value and benefits to the community, family, friends, and self.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • reflect on the value of honesty to the community.
  • work in small groups to write about the value of honesty to self, family, friends, and the community.
  • four pieces of chart paper (with a prepared question on each--see Instructional Procedures)
  • four different colored markers


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    In the previous lesson, students were asked to reflect on the question (and encouraged to ask their families) "Why is it important to you that people are honest?" Discuss student responses to this.

  2. Tell them that today they are going to explore the following related question: “How is our community and world improved and strengthened when people are honest and straightforward?" They are going to share their thoughts about this question in smaller groups. Read the group discussion method below.

  3. Prepare four chart papers, each with a different topic printed at the top:

    • How does honesty help the community or promote civic virtue?
    • How does honesty affect my family?
    • How can friends show honesty, and how does it strengthen friendship?
    • What does it mean to be honest with yourself?

    Assign the students to each of the chart questions and place the four charts in work areas around the room. Give each group a different color marker. Each group writes bullet points on their chart to describe the benefits of honesty and give examples.

  4. After about three minutes, have the groups rotate to a different chart. The group reads the comments of the previous group and adds ideas in their own marker color. After three minutes, rotate the groups. Repeat until each group is back to their original chart. Give them two minutes to read the comments in their groups. Then, hang up the charts in the room for all to read.

  5. The charts will stay up for several days, allowing students to read the groups' comments. Tell the students to observe themselves and others over the next few days and look for examples of honesty promoting the common good, and add those examples to the charts.

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.