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Context for this Lesson

Teaching Strategies: 

Focus Questions: What does it mean to respect others? How can we be respectful to others? How can we constructively and respectfully express disappointment or disapproval to our peers?

Goals: To understand what it means to be respectful of others. To identify appropriate ways we can show disappointment and disapproval.



Introduce the word respect and ask the group to help define it. "When I finish talking, let’s see if we can show what the word respect means to us by using our bodies. Standing in our own space, with no sound I would like you to make yourself into a statue of the word respect on the count of 5-4-3-2-1. Great. Relax. We are going to make our statues for respect again. And this time I am going to ask half the group to help tell me what they see in their classmates’ statues of respect. There are no right or wrong answers; we aren’t trying to guess what their statues are. We are going to talk about what we see them doing. Right now I would like this half of the room to sit down in their own space and face the other side of the room. On the count of 5 if you are in the group that is standing, with no sound I would like you to make yourself into a statue of the word respect on the count of 5-4-3-2-1." The ½ group looks at other group. Describe what they see, what that has to do with respect. Switch ½ group freezes and repeat.

Transition: "We have come up with a great definition of respect and lots of ideas about respect might look like. Now we’re going to talk about what respect might feel like, first I want to teach you a game."



Teach donkey with teacher in the middle, establish the goal is for the class as a group to win. Teach bowl of jello, elephant and donkey. “We are now going to find a way to physically represent our vocabulary words.” Have three volunteers come in and give them ten seconds to create an image for the word "Respect," then ask the group for suggestions on how we can make the image better (more specific, easier to duplicate, etc.) Have the group play with new vocabulary plus donkey, elephant, etc.

After a round, split class into groups of three to create image for the word respect as a group. Allow the groups 30 seconds to plan, then have them freeze in poses and unfreeze ½ group to describe what they see then switch roles. Repeat process in groups of three to create freezes for disrespect. Ask the group how respect and disrespect changed when we made images as a group. Based off of the student’s images create poses for respect and disrespect to insert into Donkey and play a final round using five poses (bowl of Jello, elephant, donkey, respect and disrespect).

Reflect: What are ways we were we respectful when we were playing this game? What did it feel like to be in the images of being respected or disrespected? When we worked together to add in new images (respect, being disrespected, etc.) what did we need to do to be successful?

Transition: "Raise your hand if you had an idea during our game of Donkey that we didn’t get to use. Okay-hands down. Now raise your hand if you have ever felt like people around you were being disrespectful and not listening to what you wanted. So we’ve all (or almost all of us) have felt that way. In our last activity everyone is going to get to share their opinion on some questions by using their bodies to show us how they feel."

Vote With Your Feet

Explain to students that we will be using our bodies to show how we feel in response to certain questions about issues of respect. Set up an imaginary line in the class with one side being no and the other side being yes (post signs or write on board to indicate which side is which for visual learners/those who forget easily). Explain that we will be standing on a continuum and students can choose yes, no or anywhere in the middle if their answer is maybe or sometimes. There are no right or wrong answers- this is just about opinions and ideas. Use a few example questions to get students use to concept (Example-I am a student at ADS so all should be on Yes, or I like pizza just as an example for students to defend their answers etc.).

Questions for the class where they will be asked to explain why they chose to stand where are:

  • When I feel disrespected I tell an adult.
  • It is important to think about how other people feel, even when they are upsetting me.
  • When I get upset it is okay to yell.
  • I know ways to tell my friends I am disappointed.

What is one thing we can do to be more respectful of each other in this class?

What are some ways we can let people know we are feeling disrespected?

Hold up your fingers to show me on a scale of 1-5 how we think we did in respecting our space, our work and ourselves today. 1 means we have a lot of things to work on and 5 means we did excellent and almost never needed a reminder to be respectful.

Extensions/Applications : 

Writing Assignment on Respect Issues of respect of differences and ties to historical/social issues of respect