Overcoming Obstacles

Standards Addressed

  • Students will identify good character traits.
  • Students will discuss ways to be a good friend and responsible family member.
  • Students will demonstrate responsible citizenship in the school and community.
  • Students will interact with others to explore ideas and concepts, communicate meaning, and develop logical interpretations through collaborative conversations; they will build upon the ideas of others to clearly express their own views while respecting diverse perspectives.
  • Students will recognize, accept, and appreciate individual differences.


  • Students will learn the meaning of respect.

  • Students will give examples of respect at home, at school, and in their community.

  • Students will cite examples of respectful behavior.


  • Board or chart paper, markers, and the “Respect Anchor Chart” educator resource (“I Do”)

  • One card or piece of paper and safety scissors for each student (“We Do”)

  • “Respectful or Not Respectful?” activity sheet for each student (“You Do”)

  • “Respect Forms for Jar” activity sheet and a container (“Closure”)

Starter (10 minutes)

Meet each student at the entrance to your classroom with a handshake and a smile. Be sure to look each student in the eye and verbally welcome each student by name as they enter the classroom. Then, when students are settled, write the word “RESPECT” on the board. Ask students, “Have any of you heard of this word before? If so, can you tell me what it means?” After listening to a few students’ responses, say, “Respect is treating someone in a way that makes them feel cared for and important.” Then ask, “What does respect mean to you now that you have learned the definition of the word?”

Teacher Presented Knowledge / I Do (10 minutes)

Create a “Respect” anchor chart with the class (see “Respect Anchor Chart” at the back of this lesson as an example). Have students provide specific examples of respectful behaviors and write them on the chart.

Guided Student Practice / We Do (20 minutes)

Ask students to write “RESPECT” on a card or piece of paper. Direct them to cut the card or paper into five to seven puzzle pieces.

Once students have created their “RESPECT” puzzles, say, “Now, I want each of you to turn to your classmate sitting next to you and show them your puzzle. Notice how your puzzle is different from his or her puzzle, though each of you was given the same directions. This shows how each of us thinks very differently about things...and that is okay! That is what makes each of us special. We must always show respect and treat others kindly, even when they think about things differently from how we think about them.”

Have students mix up their puzzle pieces, trade their puzzles with a classmate, and try to put together their classmate’s puzzle.

Student Independent Practice / You Do (20 minutes)

Tell students, “You are going to participate in an activity where you will decide which actions are respectful and which actions are not respectful.” Give each student the “Respectful or Not Respectful?” activity sheet. Tell students, “Circle the squares that display respectful actions.” Assist students as needed.

Have students share their finished activity sheet. State, “When you are respectful, you do not hurt people or things. Good students always try to be respectful.”

Closure (5 minutes)

Establish a respect jar in the classroom and show the coupons to students (see the “Respect Forms for Jar” activity sheet). Tell students to fill out a coupon and place it in the jar each time they see a classmate being respectful. Then, once the jar is filled, randomly pull names from the jar for praise.

Student Assessment

  1. What does the word “respect” mean?
  2. How did you show respect today?
  3. How can you show respect to others?
  4. What does respect look like in our classroom and at home?

Extensions for Lesson 7: Respect

Art Extension

Divide the class into small groups and pass out poster board, markers, and pens. Explain that they are going to create a poster showing how they can be respectful at home, in school, or in the community. When all posters are complete, have each group share theirs with the class. If students struggle to think of an idea, suggest the following: 1. Picking up trash on school grounds or in the school, 2. Taking care of belongings, 3. Demonstrating playground etiquette, 4. Respecting others and objects in the classroom, 5. Taking care of yourself (brushing your teeth, washing, etc.).

ELA Extension

Have students write what respect means to them and how we can show respect to others.

Drama Extension

Tell students that they are going to practice respectful behaviors through a role-playing activity. Ask for six student volunteers. Tell them they are going to role-play the disrespectful way and then the respectful way to handle situations that occur at home, at school, and in the community. Give each volunteer one of the following situations to role-play: a disagreement with a sibling over a game; your parent asks you to do something; someone cuts in front of you in line at school; you need to tell the teacher something; you are watching a movie with friends and want to share a story. After each role-play, have the class discuss the scenarios. You may model first by demonstrating a situation being handled disrespectfully (what not to do) and then being handled respectfully (what to do).

Literature Extension

Read the story Little Bear’s Sunday Breakfast, by Janice Mariana, to the class. Following the reading, ask students, “How did Goldilocks and Little Bear become friends and learn to respect each other?” Go around the classroom and ask each student to share one way he or she can show respect to others.

Music Extension

Show students the YouTube video Sesame Street: Respect (Word on the Street Podcast). Have students explain in their own words the importance of respect.

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