Be True to Yourself

6, 7, 8

Learners examine the meaning of the phrase, "be true to yourself" and explore what changes when the words "and others" are added to the definition of integrity.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • reflect on the meaning of integrity as "be true to yourself."
  • provide examples of being true to yourself.
  • examine how the meaning changes when the words "and others" is added to the definition.
  • The phrase "be true to yourself" written on a display area


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the learners: "Be true to yourself" is a phrase that parents/grandparents once said to their children. What do you think "be true to yourself" means? Discuss, and write the students' responses (the gist) on the display. Prompt the students with the questions, "what does true mean?" and "what is the tie to 'yourself'?" Allow about 3 minutes.

  2. Underline significant words that students have suggested for meaning.Teacher can do this or invite students to suggest or come to the display board and underline. Allow 1 minute

  3. Teacher: What are some examples of these underlined words being acted out that you've seen, heard about, or experienced? Allow 5 minutes for discussion.

  4. Encapsulate three or four examples on board or flip chart. Ask the learners: Given these examples, what words would you add to the definition of "be true to yourself"? Allow 3 minutes and rewrite the definition on the board.

  5. Add the words "and others" to the phrase"be true to yourself" so it reads, "Be true to yourself and others."

  6. Teacher: Now when I add these two words to this definition, does it change the meaning? (Student response) Does it call for more thinking or action? (Student response). What makes you say that? (Ask students to follow their statements with their rationale or thinking.) Allow 6 minutes for discussion.

  7. If time permits, have the students brainstorm specific examples of the revised definition, "Be true to yourself and others."

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.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.