Honesty shows up consistently throughout the Thornton Burgess books. Characters play tricks or lie to get what they want or keep out of trouble.
Honesty is not only telling the truth but also includes the ability to be fair, sincere, genuine, and respectable. Honesty often is associated with trust because when someone is caught lying, we consider them to be untrustworthy. A few examples of this trait include:
- Old Mother West Wind (Chapter 10): Sammy Jay steals Happy Jack’s nuts and doesn’t admit that he did it.
- The Adventures of Peter Cottontail (Chapter 16): Reddy Fox lies about how he got hurt.
- The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel (Chapter 6): Peter Rabbit snoops to find out where Chatterer’s new home will be.
Kids learn to lie at an early age. Many times it’s a lie to avoid getting into trouble. As a parent, sometimes it’s difficult to know when a child is being honest, especially if you weren’t there to witness the situation or if you are told different stories by multiple children. Who do you believe? How do you instill the importance of honesty without dampening the spirit? Let’s admit, whether lying or telling the truth, if trouble was caused there will be a consequence. Teaching honesty and sincerity BEFORE, IN BETWEEN, and AFTER those situations arise is the best way to ensure your child is listening and learning. In the midst of the moment, anger and defensiveness can block the eyes and ears from experiencing truth.
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Below we’ve listed activities, links, and books that will help teach the character trait of honesty. We’ve also included several books as teacher/parent helps on this subject.
- Honesty curriculum: free downloads and videos
- Choose a story to read to your kids. Afterwards let them sum up the story to you in their own words. Then tell them it’s your turn and exaggerate the details of the story you just read. Ask them if that’s truly how the story was told. Explain how exaggeration can also be a form of dishonesty.
- Read The Boy Who Cried Wolf and discuss with these guided questions.
- Honesty is the Best Policy lesson plan (for middle school)
- Honesty printable worksheets
- Honesty games for kids
- Choose a card or board game to play with your child. Discuss the importance of following the rules and what happens when someone cheats to win.
- Role playing different situations is a great way to get kids to understand and problem solve when it comes to matters of telling the truth (cashier gives the the wrong amount of change, a classmate says they have the answers to a test, a library book is damaged, etc.)
- The Lie Monster lesson
- Discuss the difference between fiction and nonfiction books. Help your child sort some books into these two categories. Talk about the differences between pretending and lying.
- Discuss the importance of reading or watching the news (to find out what’s happening locally and around the world, weather, sports, etc.). Ask whether we should always believe this information. (This is a good opportunity to explain the importance of the source and understanding there are often two sides to every story.)
- Read A Penny’s Worth of Character. This is a chapter book that will take several settings to read. It’s an excellent story about a boy who wants his favorite treat from the store, but is dishonest in how he gets it.
- Teach preschooler’s about honesty.
- Talk about how Jesus dealt with Peter when he lied.
- Classroom resources for teaching honesty (lesson plans, activities, and worksheets)
- Memorize Bible verses about honesty (Proverbs 12:19 and Proverbs 12:22 are good ones to start with)
⇒ Check out our Pinterest page on honesty for more books and lesson ideas! ⇐