Respect in Action

6, 7, 8

Learners are challenged to enhance respect in their personal relationships as well as to define actions they can take to enhance respect in their school and community.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • brainstorm with peers ideas to enhance self-respect and respect for others in the school and/or community.
  • reflect in writing on specific personal action to promote self-respect and respect for others.

Harris,Thomas Anthony. I'm OK--You're OK. Harper paperbacks, 2004. ISBN: 10: 0060724277


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Display the following four lines for the class to read:

    I'm Not OK; You're OK

    I'm Not OK; You're Not OK

    I'm OK; You're Not OK

    I'm OK; You're OK

  2. Ask a student volunteer to read the following aloud to the class:

    In the book, I’m OK, You’re OK, Dr. Harris talks about four ways in which most of us look at our lives and our relationships:

    • I'm Not OK; You're OK
    • I'm Not OK; You're Not OK
    • I'm OK; You're Not OK
    • I'm OK; You're OK
  3. Dr. Harris concluded that the most common way individuals look at their lives is I'm Not OK; You're OK.

    He also concluded that the I’m OK; You’re OK approach to life is the most ideal and worthwhile.

    A teacher posed this question to her class asking them to write a one-page response: "What is one thing you could do to help bring an I’m OK; You’re OK attitude to our school?"

  4. Ask a student volunteer(s) to lead a discussion on the following questions:

    • How does "I'm not OK" relate to the idea of self-respect? How might someone overcome feelings of I’m Not OK?
    • How does "You're OK" or "You're not OK" relate to the idea of respect for others?
    • What are some things our class could propose to do to bring an I'm OK; You're OK attitude to our school? Our community? World?
  5. Following the class discussion, ask learners to write a response to these questions in their journals:

    • What am I specifically going to do (or not do) to practice self-respect? 
    • What specific steps am I going to take to demonstrate respect for 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.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.