Good Judgment and Honesty

6, 7, 8

Students reflect in writing about the value of honesty and following the rules. They explore the benefits to self and the common good.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 20-minute class period
The learner will:
  • reflect in writing about the value of rules to the common good.
  • reflect in writing about how the common good is a motivation for making honest choices.


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Write the following Barbara Jordan quote on the board and ask the students if they believe what this Texas Congresswoman said about playing by the rules. Discuss.

    "If you are politically inclined, you may be President of the United States. All my growth and development led me to believe that if you really do the right thing, and if you play by the rules, and if you’ve got good enough, solid judgment and common sense, that you’re going to be able to do whatever you want to do with your life." –Barbara Jordan

  2. Students write a response to the Barbara Jordan quote. In their response they also answer the question, "How does honesty help oneself and the common good?" And "How does thinking about the common good help with decision-making when the rules aren't clear?"
  3. As an alternative, students may write a pledge or personal statement of what they can personally do to promote honesty, defined as playing by the rules for the common good.
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.1 Define philanthropy as individuals and organizations providing their time, talent, and/or treasures intended for the common good throughout history and around the world. Give examples.
      2. 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.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define and give examples of the motivations for giving and serving.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.