Overcoming Obstacles

Standards Addressed

  • Students will distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
  • Students will respect alternative points of view.
  • Students will use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event and to provide a reaction to what happened.
  • Students will use appropriate props, images, or illustrations to support verbal communication.


  • Students will understand that integrity means always trying your best to do the right thing.

  • Students will understand that people with integrity are trustworthy.

  • Students will understand that integrity is a matter of personal choice.

  • Students will understand that looking at a situation from someone else’s perspective will help them to make a good choice.


  • A picture of a situation that requires integrity (“I Do”)

  • “Good Choice” and “Bad Choice” activity sheets for each student (“We Do”)

  • “Joey’s Decisions” activity sheet (“We Do”)

  • A sheet of drawing paper for each student and coloring supplies (“You Do”)

Starter (3 minutes)

Say to students, “Today, we are going to learn a new word for doing the right thing. The word is ‘integrity,’ and people with integrity always try to do what is right and honest. Sometimes, having integrity is hard. Sometimes, it might be more fun or easier to do something that you know is wrong, but a person with integrity is strong enough to say ‘no.’ A person with integrity thinks about what he or she is going to do and then makes a choice. A person with integrity decides for himself or herself what to do. Being honest, fair, and responsible is up to you.”

Teacher Presented Knowledge / I Do (10 minutes)

Direct students’ attention to the picture of a situation that tests a person’s integrity (for example, seeing someone drop money, sneaking a cookie behind your mother’s back, breaking something and blaming someone else, etc.). Tell students, “Today, I am going to look at a picture of a situation where I would need to make a choice about what to do. Listen as I look at the picture and ask myself questions that will help me choose what to do. Notice how I think about how my choice could make someone else feel. Notice, also, that my choice stays the same even though no one is watching.” You should look at the picture and verbally reflect on the choices you could make and how each choice could affect others.

Guided Student Practice / We Do (20 minutes)

Pass out a copy of the “Good Choice” and “Bad Choice” activity sheets to each student. Then say, “Now, I am going to tell you about a pretend boy named Joey and some choices that he makes. As I read them, think about each of Joey’s choices and how they will make others feel. If you think Joey made a good choice, hold up the happy face. If you think Joey made a bad choice, hold up the sad face.” (See “Joey’s Decisions” activity sheet at the back of this lesson for the list of choices.)

Read Joey’s decisions to the class and give students time to respond with their happy/sad faces. Then, say, “When Joey makes good choices, he is using ‘integrity.’”

Student Independent Practice / You Do (20 minutes)

Tell students, “Think about a time you made a good choice and draw a picture about it. I want you to think about how your choice made someone feel and what would have been different if you had made a poor choice. I want you to think about how important it is to have integrity.” Assist students as they draw their pictures.

Closure (10 minutes)

Call on students to share and discuss their drawings. Remind students that it is important to always do the right thing, even when no one is around.

Student Assessment

  1. How does doing the right thing make you feel?
  2. If you are with a group of friends who are making a bad choice, what should you do?
  3. What can happen if you surround yourself with friends who do not make good choices?
  4. Would you trust someone with integrity or someone without integrity more? Why?

Extensions for Lesson 8: Integrity

Art Extension

Students can make and decorate a sign that says “I Make Good Choices.”

Art Extension

Tell students that integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking or they get no reward for it. Have students depict situations that show someone demonstrating integrity. (For example, cleaning up after yourself without being asked, etc.)

Drama Extension

Students can role-play situations demonstrating integrity. (For example, a student’s parent is away from their computer for a few minutes, and the student wants to look up YouTube videos that their parents don’t allow them to watch. What do they do?)

Literature Extension

Read A Big Fat Enormous Lie, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Following the reading, introduce the “Cover Up” activity. Place a large bowl or pot with six to eight inches of water in front of the class. Place a quarter in the center bottom, and then give each student a penny. Tell students that, as in the book, telling a lie may be a way out of a problem. But usually you have to tell more lies to cover up the original lie. Challenge students to cover up the quarter (representing the original lie) by dropping a penny into the pot one at a time. Students must drop from at least two inches above the water. Afterward, have the class discuss what happened by answering the following sample questions: How many pennies did it take to cover the quarter? How is this similar to trying to get out of a lie by covering up the lie? What can happen when you are caught in a lie? Will you lose others’ trust? Do you think simply telling the truth may be easier than lying? Explain.

Science Extension

Have students create a domino chain and knock it down to illustrate the effects one action can have.

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