Lesson #1: What’s Respect?

Activity type: Brainstorm & Discussion
Grade level: 5-8th
Time: 20-30 minutes

Educational objective: Understand the meaning of the word RESPECT and how mutual respect increases emotional and physical safety.

Stress!

Here’s How:

  1. BEFORE students arrive, WRITE “RESPECT” on the board.
  2. ASK: What does RESPECT mean? Brainstorm definitions/synonyms.
  3. ASK: Why is treating others with respect important in groups?
  4. ASK: What does it looks like when you treat someone with respect? Give an example that you’ve experienced in the past day or so. Examples (if kids are stuck): Say “please” and “thank you.” Return things that people lend to you. Listen when someone else is talking.
  5. ASK: What does it look like when someone disrespects you? Give an example from your own (recent) experience. Examples (if kids are stuck): People make fun of the way I look. Don’t listen to what I have to say. Push me around or threaten me.
  6. ASK: What is self-respect? What’s an example of someone acting like they have self-respect? What behavior might indicate low self- respect? How does self-respect connect with treating others respectfully?
  7. EMPHASIZE: Communities work best when we treat each other with respect. Respect needs to be a 2-way street otherwise something’s off balance and people don’t feel safe physically or emotionally.

READ and DISCUSS:

Manuel and his friend Carlos are talking with some other friends about a movie they just saw. Carlos says, “That guy in the movie wasn’t buff enough to beat up those bad guys.” Manuel laughs and says, “You should talk, man! You’re so skinny, anyone could beat you up!”

ASK: Was Manuel showing respect for Carlos? What would you do if you were Manuel? Is doing that going to get you more respect in the future? Will it increase your self-respect? How might it help/hurt the friendship? Has this ever happened to you? How do you usually handle it?

READ and DISCUSS:

Carrie just heard that her aunt is in critical condition after a car accident. She tells her best friend Michelle how upset she is. But she asks Michelle not to tell anyone else. Later, Tanya asks Michelle what’s going on with Carrie. Michelle says, “She doesn’t want to talk about it. Leave her alone.”

ASK: Did Michelle show respect for Carrie? What would you do if you were Michelle? What would you do if you were Tanya? How does keeping other people’s secrets show respect for them? What are some times when keeping a secret may hurt more than it helps?


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