To Thyself Be True

6, 7, 8

This lesson explores how people can be honest with themselves. Learners reflect on how they can be honest with themselves and take personal responsibility.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • recognize statements that shift blame are examples of not being honest with oneself.


  1. Anticipatory Set

    It may be a familiar experience to walk out of a test that you didn't do well on and say, "That test wasn't fair" or "The teacher didn't tell us that was going to be on the test."

    Discuss how these sentences might be examples of dishonesty.

  2. This shifting of blame to the teacher is an example of being dishonest with oneself, or self-deception. Discuss why anyone would choose to be dishonest with themself. Discuss the consequences of not being honest with oneself.

  3. Brainstorm familiar examples of things people say or situations when people are not honest with themselves and blame others or circumstances (recycling, getting homework done, my sister needed my help). Discuss why it might be difficult to face these situations honestly.

  4. Write the following steps for taking honest responsibility for oneself:

    • I am the one in charge of myself, not a victim of outside influences.
    • I must take personal responsibility for what I do or want to accomplish.
    • I will make a plan for moving forward.
  5. Ask the learners to reflect on something they avoid even though they know it is best for them (and others). Then read through these three steps with that in mind.

    Learners write a plan for taking responsibility for something they are avoiding, using the three steps above as a guide. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  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.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.