Respect and Democracy

6, 7, 8

In this lesson the learners define respect and relate it to the core values and beliefs of a constitutional democracy.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learners will:

  • defne respect.
  • describe how democratic values apply to respect.
  • learner copies of Handout: Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy
Home Connection 

Ask the learners to respond to the following questions in their journals: Have you ever been the target of teasing or bullying? How did this make you feel?


CIVITAS: A Framework for Civic Education, a collaborative project of the Center for Civic Education and the Council for the Advancement of Citizenship, National Council for the Social Studies Bulletin No. 86,1991. Michigan Department of Education - Curriculum Development Unit: Social Studies 612198



  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Display this definition: "valuing yourself/being proud of who you are, valuing others; valuing the world around you; being courteous with others and tolerant of personal differences"

    In the game "Jeopardy," players are given the answer and must state the question. What is the question that produces the answer above? Hint: it is the definition of a positive character trait.

    Question: "What is respect?"

  2. The following lessons in this unit explore different applications of the meaning of respect.

    Brainstorm a variety of examples of what "respect" and its antonym "disrespect" might look like. You can fill in a Frayer model to analyze the concept. This includes the word respect in the middle, surrounded by the definition, characteristics, examples, and nonexamples. 

  3. Scan the definitions and descriptions on the handout Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy. Use a highlighter to call attention to words or phrases that are related to respect/disrespect. 

  4. Write a reflection on this statement: The Core values of democracy depend on respect for the diverse make-up of the people involved. Give examples and include a personal point of view of why it is important to deliberately be respectful. 

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.