Home‎ > ‎


Honesty Pays Lesson          © Jenny Jenkins 2015    www.valueslessonsnz.com

Have the slogan 'Honesty Pays' displayed in a prominent place. 

Other lesson ideas for honesty are listed at the bottom of this page.

1. Ask: 'What is honesty? (Making sure you say and do the right thing)
2. Our slogan is: Honesty pays. If honesty pays, what are some of its rewards?
Teachers: research by reading this article: 10 Benefits of Being Honest https://elementalwellnesscoaching.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/10-benefits-of-being-honest/ 
Draw some of these points out in discussion.

Equipment: a coin for each student 

Ask the class:
Is it important to be honest in little things as well as big things?
Can we become trapped by small acts of dishonesty? What can they lead to?

1. Dishonesty

Place a pile of coins up the front, enough so there is one for each student. 
Ask the students come and pretend to steal a coin, hide it and return to their seat. 
Discuss that taking anything without permission and keeping it is stealing, which is wrong. This could be a coin from their mother's purse, a package of gum from the store, or a pencil from school. Taking without permission is dishonest. Ask: 'How does being dishonest make you feel?'

2. Lying

Ask the class, 'Raise your hand if you have stolen a coin.' Tell half the class to keep their hands down. Let them practice both raising and not raising their hand when asked.
'When you put your hand up, you are being honest.
When you kept your hand down, were you being honest, even though you didn't move and said nothing?' 
Teach the children that keeping silent about something they have done wrong, even if they aren't asked about it, is dishonest. It is a form of deception and dishonesty.
Discuss how they felt when they lied or deceived. Did it feel better to be honest? Why?
Discuss how they feel when they are lied to or deceived. Do we want others to feel this way by the lies we tell? Will they keep trusting us?

3. Lying about someone’s dishonesty

Ask the students to raise their hand if their partner has stolen a coin. Again take turns being honest and lying by keeping their hand down. Teach them that if they said yes, they are being honest. If they say no, they are being dishonest. Discuss that lying about someone else’s actions is not honest. Does it feel better to be honest? Why?

4. Stealing

Have them place their coin in front of them. Go up to a child and steal their coin. 
Ask, 'Is it right or wrong to steal another persons money? Why? How did the child who lost their coin feel. How can I make things right?'
Teach them that everyone makes mistakes, but afterwards it can be made right again. Ask them how.

a. Confess/Own up. It takes great courage to do this.

b. Say sorry. Why?
c. Right the wrong. Return or replace what was stolen. This is called making restitution. Why is this important too?

Children role-play stealing their partner's coin and owning up, saying sorry and then returning it.

5. Small vs. Large Dishonesty

Have them all put the coins in a pile in front of the class. Mix them up and ask if they could find their exact coin in the pile.
Have the students shut their eyes while you take a coin, then have them open their eyes and try to guess where a coin disappeared from the pile.
Ask, 'If you take one coin from a big pile of coins, is it all right?' Then discuss that a dishonest person is often able to deceive without being detected because you can’t easily see what is missing. Is this still being dishonest? It doesn't matter if it is a small theft or a big theft, it is still stealing. Why? Ask, 'Are there are any other ways that you can be dishonest with money? One by one, talk through their ideas and clarify: 'Yes, that is dishonest. Why is it wrong?'(You may get some surprising responses. Investigate the more subtle ways your children have thought about being dishonest.) 
Reference http://www.yourldsblog.com/2011/09/20/honest-to-goodness/   Image source: http://www.jewishjournal.com/images/bloggers_auto/sorry.jpg https://img.clipartfest.com/bb752a024ee29fda44f628295fee392b_575-349.gif  https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/t/woman-s-hand-picking-us-coin-white-background-business-55106507.jpg; https://eds203fall2010.wikispaces.com/file/view/larger_cartoon_classroom.jpg/159573393/432x279/larger_cartoon_classroom.jpg

This Week's Challenge
Read your code of conduct every morning.
Try hard to keep it. Note any areas where you struggle.

Begin the Next Lesson with Revision

1. Who remembers what we learned last lesson? (Honesty Pays.) What is honesty?
2. What are the rewards for being honest?
3. What are some ways that people can be dishonest?


Print out this Image as an Honesty poster: