Improve life outcomes

Jumpstart: Respecting Authority - Universal


CASEL Competency Focus: Relationship Skills
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Board/Chart Paper, Writing Utensils, Guess Who? Handout (Included), R-E-S-P-E-C-T Handout (Included)

1. In Their Own Words, State the Definition of Respect
2. Identify Respectful Behaviors
3. Recognize Authority Figures

Definitions of Key Terms:

  • Having Respect: having a good feeling about someone because of how they treat others.
  • Showing Respect: showing care, concern and kindness for others; often listening and following directions.
  • Authority Figures: a person, usually an adult, who has the power to make decisions and enforce rules; authority figures are most often people we trust and those who care about us.

Lesson Procedures

Introduction: Showing respect for others is not just about being polite. While politeness and manners are important traits to have, there is more to being respectful. The most effective way to teach a child respect is to model the behavior. Examples of modeling respect in the school setting could include moving to the right side of the hall to allow others to pass, cleaning up after yourself at lunch and having students clean the area around their desks at the end of the day. Other ways to promote respect in the classroom; clearly communicate and enforce expectations you may have for your students. Ask students to provide examples of disrespect. What is an example of a respectful alternative? It’s important to acknowledge acts of respect exhibited by both adults and students alike. Prior to introducing the game, have students share what respect means to them. Record responses on the board or chart paper.

Game Time: Guess Who?

During this activity, the teacher will provide clues that describe different authority figures in a school building. The game may be played as a whole class or teams. Give one clue at a time. The person/team who guesses correctly with the fewest number of clues gets a point (if playing a game). Use the clue cards included in the lesson or create your own!

Application: R-E-S-P-E-C-T What Does it Mean?

Now that students have identified a variety of authority figures at school, it’s time to identify ways to show these people respect throughout the school day. Have students complete the handout independently, in small groups or as a class.

Try it out!

Have students choose an authority figure from the list. Instruct students to intentionally show an act of respect to that person. Encourage students to share with you what act they performed. How did it make them feel? How did the person of authority react?