Teaching the CORE of Respect
Laura A. Riffel, Ph.D.
Teaching Respect
• Kick-off Lesson Plan- Can be adjusted
for all ages. Click Here
Activity Two
• Spell out RESPECT in bubble letters on
6 foot piece of bulletin board paper.
• Have the students brainstorm ways to
show respect and write them in each
– Example: Bubble “R”
• Raise your hand in class
• Remember your manner words “Please” and
“Thank You”.
Activity Three
• Role play charades of being respectful
– Write ideas on piece of paper like:
• Holding door open for someone who has
their arms full.
• Picking up pieces of paper off floor.
• Covering your cough when you sneeze.
– Have students come up either one at a time
or in teams of two and have them read a
scenario and then act it out.
• Have rest of class guess what they are acting
• You can divide the class into two teams and
keep score if you like.
Play “Are you Smarter Than a
Fifth Grader” for Respect.
• Click here for sample game
Activity Five
• Have students work in groups of four to create
stop motion video of ways to show respect
using clay figures.
– Website telling how to do “stop motion”
– http://labnol.blogspot.com/2007/03/tutorialcreate-stop-motion-animation.html
• Have students write script and get it approved
and then make clay figures for video.
• Ask parents to lend digital cameras for project
for the day.
• The students will be learning something newbut also be talking about Respect while they are
doing it.
• Pop popcorn and have movie viewing day.
Activity Six
• Have students write a letter to their
favorite music celebrity asking them to
write a song about respect.
– Teaching letter writing skills
Activity Seven
• Have students gather in teams of four
to create a song of their own about
– It has to have rhyme, rhythm, and a
– Ask the music teacher to come talk to them
about how to write a song.
Activity Eight
• Physical Education Game
– Using disposable plastic cups (you need
100 red and 100 blue)
– Chain link fence on school property
– Class divides into the red team and the blue
– Relaying one team player from each groupthe students run a 50 yard dash to the fence
with one cup and place it in fence to spell
RESPECT. The next person can’t leave with
their cup till the previous runner is back and
tags them.
– First team to complete spelling Respect
(correctly) wins.
Activity Nine
• Have students write a 3-2-8 paragraph
about respect.
– Example:
• At Elmore Middle, we focus on respecting
self, respecting others, and respecting
property. Respecting self means getting
enough sleep so you are prepared for class.
Respecting yourself also means doing the
right thing, even when no one is looking.
Respecting others means treating people the
way you would like to be treated. Respecting
others also means including others when
engaging in activities. Respecting property
means picking up litter. Respecting property
also means being environmentally prudent.
These are the three things we respect at
Elmore Middle School: Self, Others, and
Activity Ten
• Have students make a collage of
pictures from magazines showing what
respect looks like. They can use half of
the picture from a magazine and draw
the other half. (Example: Picture of
rainforest and drawing someone
planting a tree to replenish the
– Ask parents to send in magazines from the
National Geographic
Ranger Rick
Activity Eleven
• Invite guest speakers to come in and
talk about respect in relationship to
their job and why it’s important.
– Examples:
Police officer
Airline pilot
Sports Figure
Store owner
– Have students write proper thank you letters
to the guest speakers.
Activity Twelve
• Ask students to prepare a PowerPoint
Slide Show to teach their parents about
the behavioral expectations of the
Give parameters.
There must be 15 slides or more
They must record sound
They must use clip-art or digital pictures
There must be at least one animation
They must use complete sentences
Activity Thirteen
• Check out this great website:
• http://charactercounts.org/lessonplans/lesson_planes_sr.php?ethical_va
• Ideas for all age levels– Favorites:
• PEACE Partners for Secondary
• BRUSH UP on Respect for Elementary
Activity Fourteen
• Elementary
– Pretend an alien from outer space just
landed at your school playground.
• Write out a letter explaining what RESPECT
looks like, sounds like and feels like.
• Be sure to illustrate in case the alien doesn’t
read English.
• Secondary
– Pretend an alien from outer space just
landed in your school cafeteria.
• Write out a letter explaining what RESPECT
looks like, sounds like and feels like.
• Give non-examples and examples.
Activity Fifteen
• Check out this link to see a secondary
example of using Harry Potter to teach
“RESPECT” and equality for all:
• http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/
Activity Sixteen
• Have students study the words of the
Declaration of Independence and rewrite the Declaration for the classroom
instilling the portrait of respect for
learning in the classroom.
• Display the new declarations with
author’s names hidden- on a bulletin
board or in the hallway. Give each
student a 2 by 2 post-it note and have
them go out in the hallway one at a time
and vote for the one they like the best.
• Use that Declaration as a Class Motto.
Activity Seventeen
• K-2 Lesson Plan on teaching respect
using the five senses:
– http://learningtogive.org/lessons/unit156/les
Activity Eighteen
• Commercials
– Ask the students to work in teams of two
and create a two minute commercial for
– Film the commercials and then show them
one a day- at the start of class.
Activity Nineteen
• Show the movie: Snow White and the
Seven Dwarves.
– Have students take notes during the movie
and write down all the signs of disrespect
they see.
– Have the students rewrite Snow White and
the Seven Dwarves as a “Fractured Fairy
Tale”• Rename the seven dwarves into pillars of
respect and write bios for each dwarf:
– “Gleeful” – When the teacher asks Gleeful to
do a task, Gleeful says, “Happily.”
Activity Twenty
Part of Respect is understanding each other’s
– Divide the class into partners and assign each group a
different country:
– Have the students study the following:
• Food, holidays, housing, major exports and imports
• Have students develop a PowerPoint about each country and
present to entire class
– Set up a United Nations and have half of class serve as UN
on day one and the other half serve as UN on day two
• Pose countries against each other in a dispute and have the UN
committee develop a Peace Treaty between the two countries.
• Example: Mexico depends on exports of machinery to the United
States and the United States decided they wanted to stop taking
exports of machinery from Mexico and accept machinery from
India. Mexico wants to sue the US because they had an
agreement for 50 years of commerce between the two countries.
• The two partners for Mexico must argue their side to UN and the
two partners for the US must argue their side to UN.
• The UN committee must write a PEACE treaty between the two
countries and convince them to work together.
Activity Twenty One
• Poetry
– Using the letters of RESPECT to start each line of
their poem:
• Have students develop a poem describing what
Respect is by writing their poem.
• The lines need to rhyme
Respect is quiet as a mouse
Everyone everywhere in the house
Shows respect by giving creed
Paying homage to a good deed.
Everyone deserves to be treated
Carefully, so no one feels cheated.
Treat each other as you would yourself. It will be good
for your own health.
Activity Twenty Two
• Math activity
– Using a key where A=1 and Z= 26, each
student writes a secret sentence about what
respect means to them.
– Then the students write math problems
where the answer to the problem will be the
number of the letter for their secret
– Students trade papers and see if they can
solve each other’s equations.
Activity Twenty Three
• Art- purchase cheap masks and have students
decoupage pictures from magazines that depict
what they stand for, or what is important to
• Have students post their masks on a bulletin
board and then give each student a blank sheet
of paper.
• Pass out a sheet of paper that has everyone’s
name written on the sheet.
• Have each student write one nice thing about
each student in the class. (A compliment)
• Retype a page for each student with their
compliments and post under their masks.
Activity Twenty Four
• Divide students into twelve groups
– Each group is assigned a month of the year.
– Give each group a blank calendar grid
– Have the group design a picture for the top
of the calendar depicting something that
happens during that month. They have to
work together to create the picture.
– Have the group write down one activity a
day (after they number the calendar
appropriately for the month).
• The activities must be ways to show
• Example: May 1- Look for trash on the floor
and pick it up.
– Make copies of the calendar for each
student to keep in their desk.
Activity Twenty Five
• Find some articles from
www.missmanners.com that are
appropriate for the grade level you
teach. (Be sure to pre-read)
• Read several to the students and then
have the students write a question to
Miss Manners about disrespect.
• Have the students pass these
questions one to the left and then have
them write an answer as if they were
miss manners giving an answer about
how to show respect.
Activity Twenty Six
• For grades 3 and above (even used with
middle and high school students)
• Read the book Petey by Ben Mikaelsen
– As you read the book, stop and reflect how
Petey was not treated with respect at the
beginning of the book.
– (Petey is a character who has cerebral palsy
and is sent to live in an institution in the 1920’s.
Petey was called many names and considered
to be dumb. Petey proves to everyone just how
smart he is.)
– As the main character unfolds in the book,
discuss how he treated Petey with respect.
– Then have students write to Ben Mikaelsen. He
is an awesome author and Petey was a real
person. He is a great author to bring to your
school to talk to students.
Activity Twenty Seven
• Print off Respect journals for the
students using a variation on 3 stars
and a wish.
– Three good deeds I did today and 1 thing I
wish I had done different.
– (You can do this once a week if you like- but
it is possible to do 3 good deeds a day)
• I held the door open for Mr. Jones when his
arms were full.
• I picked up some trash on the floor and put it
in the trash basket.
• I remembered to wash my hands before lunch
and I even used soap.
• I wish I had remembered to wait to be called
on when I raised my hand to answer a
Activity Twenty Eight
• Read Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a
dream speech.”
• Have students re-write the speech with
their own dream for what a respectful
classroom would look like.
• It has to start with “I have a dream…..”
Activity Twenty Nine
• Bully prevention is part of teaching
– Brainstorm with students all the ways they
have witnessed bullying in their lives:
• Name calling
• Threatening
• Etc.
– Have students brain storm what they should
do when they witness bullying.
• Bullyproofing your PBIS School (available for
free on www.pbis.org) is a great resource to
help with this topic.
Activity Thirty
• Use the anniversary of September 11 to
teach Respect.
– Check out this website that has ideas for
grades K-12 on using September 11th as a
“teachable moment”.
– Have students draw American Flags and
write respectful words on all of the white
Activity Thirty One
• Ask students to bring a shoe box to
• Set up a table with supplies:
– Construction paper, glitter, clay, scraps of
material, toilet paper tubes, tissue paper,
pipe cleaners etc. (hint: ask parents to send
in all the supplies)
• Have students create a diorama
showing an aspect of respect in
different areas of the school.
• Older students can use dioramas to
teach younger students what their
diorama is “teaching”.
Activity Thirty Two
• Put students in groups of four
– Give each group the following:
Large piece of tag board
Sticker dots
Index cards
– Each group is to develop a game board (like
• They must develop 20 questions or cards depicting
– Correct answer – move forward 2 spaces etc. or
– Example:
» You dropped your lunch on the floor and left
green beans on the ground- go back two spaces
» You remembered to tell the lunch ladies thank
you for your lunch- go forward two spaces.
– Trade games and play each other’s games
– Take games down to a younger class and
use to have students teach respect.
Activity Thirty Three
• Give students special gotchas to give
out to others.
– Ask them to watch each other for the next
week and catch each other being good.
– Have students read their gotchas aloud that
they received.
– Discuss how it made them feel to receive a
gotcha from one of their classmates.
– Read one of the “How Full is Your Bucket”
(many different readability levels available)
• Have a discussion about how it felt to fill
someone else’s bucket and how it felt to get
your own bucket filled by someone else.
Activity Thirty Four
• Take students to the computer lab.
– Have the students go to
www.surveymonkey.com and take a survey
you set up for them.
– Tell the students this survey is anonymous.
– Ask these questions:
• 1. What are some ways you have seen
people being respectful in school? (use the
essay question box)
• 2. What are some ways you have seen
people being disrespectful in this school?
(use the essay question box)
• 3. What would mean the world to you? What
could an adult give you that would let you
know you had done a good job; but it can not
cost any money? (use the essay question
– Share results with the class and discuss.
Activity Thirty Five
• Read the book (The Grouchy Ladybug)
– Have the students make an accordion book
rewriting the book with the Grouchy
Ladybug being disrespectful and learning a
lesson in the end of the book.
• Read the book (Brown Bear Brown
– Have the students make an accordion book
rewriting the book with Brown Bear seeing
students being respectful.
Activity Thirty Six
• Check out this website for grades 7-12
– http://www.goodcharacter.com/ISOC/respect
• Great lesson idea on connecting
democracy and respect, as well as
video clips for discussions and writing
• Elementary teachers can modify these
ideas for the level taught.

Teaching Respect - School Counselor Ideas