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West Nyack Elementary School » Character Education » HONESTY

HONESTY

What is honesty?

  • Honesty is telling the truth.
  • Honesty is straightforward conduct.
  • Honesty is being sincere, truthful, trustworthy, honorable, fair, genuine, and loyal with integrity.

Honest, trusting kids:

  • Tell the truth despite consequences
  • Voice their opinion in a kind, thoughtful way
  • "Tell on" someone only when necessary 
  • Show and share their feelings 
  • Know their classmates and teachers care and want the best for them
  • Feel and react without guilt 
  • Express themselves positively as well as critically

You are being honest when you ...

  • Do your own homework
  • Tell a friend the truth
  • Explain the real reason you didn't turn in your homework
  • Keep your eyes on your own paper 
  • Clean up your room after making a promise 
  • Give the cashier the extra money she gave you by mistake 
  • Write a report in your own words instead of copying
  • Admit you made the mistake 
  • Keep a friend's secret 
  • Turn in a wallet full of money that you found

Be honest with yourself

  • Accept responsibility for your own actions; don't blame others.
  • Be honest about your feelings.
  • Face issues as they arise.
  • If you are considering lying, try to think of the consequences.
  • When confronted with a situation, think of others.

Proverbs and maxims

  • Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented. (George Braque)
  • The truth is more important than the facts. (Frank L. Wright)
  • In the mountains of truth, you never climb in vain. (Nietzsche) 
  • If you tell the truth, you have infinite power supporting you.

More quotes about honesty

  • There is no wisdom like frankness. (Disraeli)
  • A harmful truth is better than a useful lie. (Thomas Mann)
  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. (Jefferson)
  • One falsehood spoils a thousand truths. (Ashanti proverb)

Heroes and heroines

  • Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who believed that a person's first duty was to be virtuous.
  • Cochise was a Native American leader who was known for his honor and for keeping his word.
  • Barbara Jordan was a remarkable Congresswoman who was a model for honesty in politics. 
  • Martin Luther was a religious leader who led the Reformation movement (against the existing church) with honesty and courage.

Put honesty into action

  • Thank someone in your family for being honest.
  • Tell your parents about a mistake you've made.
  • Tell the truth when you've done something wrong. 
  • Compliment a friend for being honest. 
  • Express your real feelings without anger, without blaming others, without exaggerating, and without hurting the feelings of someone else. 
  • Turn in something that is lost and encourage others to do the same. 
  • When someone wants to copy your work, politely explain that it isn't right and that it's best to do your own work.
  • Admit a mistake or error in judgment you have made and apologize to anyone it might have affected. 
  • Do your schoolwork honestly
  • Be truthful with your friends and thank them for being truthful with you. 
  • When you ask someone to be honest with you, don't get angry with them if their honesty isn't what you wanted to hear.

Community service ideas

  • Write a letter of thanks to a politician or community leader who has taken a stand on a controversial issue.
  • Visit a senior citizen center to play board games with the residents. Make very honest moves as you play.
  • Share the meaning of honesty with your family. Ask them to share their ideas with you. 
  • Remind members of your community to be honest. Decorate public areas with signs telling about the value of honesty. 
  • Create a classroom honor code. Write it down and hang it up in the classroom, so that everyone can see it all year long. 
  • Plan a class field trip to a daycare center to tell stories with themes of honesty to young children.

8 great reasons to tell the truth

  1. Telling the truth lets everyone know what really happened. There's less chances of misunderstandings, confusion, or conflict.
  2. Telling the truth protects innocent people from being blamed or punished.
  3. Telling the truth allows everyone to learn from what happened.
  4. You usually get into less trouble for telling the truth than for lying (and getting caught).
  5. Other people trust you more when you tell the truth. 
  6. You don't have to tell more lies to keep your story straight. 
  7. You gain a reputation for being truthful - a trait that most people value. 
  8. Telling the truth helps you feel secure and peaceful inside.

10 tips for being more truthful

  1. Make a commitment to tell the truth and honor it.
  2. Tell someone about your commitment and progress.
  3. Think before you give a dishonest answer, explanation, or reason.
  4. Be careful of when and how you use exaggeration, sarcasm, or irony. 
  5. Be careful not to twist the truth or leave out part of it.
  6. Don't indulge in little white lies; don't get caught in cover-ups.
  7. Watch out for silent lies. When you know about a lie and keep quiet, the lie lives on.
  8. When you catch yourself lying, throw your mouth into reverse and tell the truth. 
  9. Talk to yourself quietly and ask what is the best thing to do.
  10. Treat your to something special with you tell the truth even when it's hard.

More activities

  • Write and perform a skit in which you and others debate the saying "Honesty is the best policy."
  • Discuss what is means to "live a lie."
  • List examples of what honesty means to you and role-play.
  • Research whistle-blowers or people who go public about an unfair, unsafe, or unethical practice in the workplace or other place.
  • Study honesty and dishonesty in advertising. Read or look at ads - in the news, magazines, on tv.
  • Learn about the relationship of honesty and (mental) health.
  • Learn about honesty in scientific or medical research.
  • Compare national honesty (crime statistics) with local honesty. Which is higher?
  • Research cultures past and present to learn their views of honesty.
  • Find out how your school handles dishonesty. Are there student guidelines about cheating, stealing, lying, plagiarism, and other issues? 
  • Survey your class to find out how honest students are.
  • Collect pictures of people throughout history who have been known for their honesty.
  • Write a jingle about honesty or dishonesty. 
  • Read stories about honesty.
     

Booklist for Honesty

For Grades K-3

  • A Day's Work - Bunting
  • The Empty Pot - Demi
  • Ira Sleeps Over - Waber
  • Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine - Ness
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Potter
  • Too Many Tamales - Soto
  • What's So Terrible About Swallowing an Apple Seed? - Lerner & Goldhor
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  • Petunia - Duvoisin
  • Pinocchio
  • Ruby Copy Cat - Rathmann
  • Strega Nona - De Paola
  • Rooter Remembers: a Bank Street Book about Values - Oppenheim
  • The Berenstain Bears and the Truth - Berenstain
  • The True Francine - Brown
  • Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock - Stevens
  • Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire - De Groat
  • I Did It, I'm Sorry - Buehner
  • Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul 2 - Canfield

For Grades 3-6

  • The Value of Honesty: the Story of Confucius - Johnson
  • The Value of Truth and Trust: the Story of Cochise - Johnson
  • Dog Years - Warner
  • Humbug - Bawden
  • Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook - Park
  • The Skull of Truth - Coville
  • Notes from a Liar and Her Dog - Choldenko
  • Honest Abe - Kunhardt
  • On My Honor - Bauer
  • Jennifer-The-Jerk Is Missing - Gorman
  • One-Eyed Cat - Fox
  • Spying on Miss Muller - Bunting
  • Water Sky - George


 











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image West Nyack Elem. School (WN) | 661 West Nyack Road| West Nyack, NY 10994 | 845-624-3474