Honesty is an admirable and important trait to instill in young children. Children who learn to value honesty are equipped to maintain and even improve society as responsible, caring adults. Use a simple craft integrated into a class lesson about honesty to teach kindergarteners the benefits of honesty as well as the consequences of acting dishonestly.
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Set aside a class session to explain what honesty is and how being truthful or telling lies affects how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you. Start the lesson by asking children questions about honesty like “What is honesty?” “Why is it important to be honest?” “Is it ever okay to lie?” and “What are the consequences of dishonesty?” After discussion, move into a craft involving masks. Complete the lesson with an activity that tangibly demonstrates the effect that dishonesty can have on a person's character.
Help each child hold a paper plate up to his face. Lightly make eye holes with a pencil where each child's eyes are. Help the children cut out the eye holes if they are not able to do it themselves. Encourage the children to decorate the masks with paint or crayons into someone or something they like. Children can make a favorite animal or superhero. Punch a hole on either side of the plate and cut an 18-inch piece of string for each mask. Secure the string so children can wear their masks.
Gather the children to talk about the mask craft. Discuss that while it’s fun to wear a mask for Halloween or playtime, masks hide who we really are. Explain that honesty is showing the world who we are and what we think about circumstances, places and other people. Help the children understand the importance of authenticity in healthy relationships by saying that good friends tell each other what they think and feel in a kind, respectful way. Talk about the consequences of lying, such as making people think they can’t trust you or be friends with you and making you feel guilty.
Tower of Flour Activity
Drive home your lesson with an activity involving common kitchen materials. Place a dime in the center of a glass cup. Pour about one cup of flour into the glass on top of the dime. Pack the flour down tight. Set a paper plate on top of the glass. With the plate pressed up against the glass, flip the plate and glass over and set them on top of the newspaper. Tap the sides of the glass gently with a kitchen knife. Carefully remove the glass from the paper, leaving a short pillar of flour with a dime placed on top.
Tell the children that the dime represents honesty. Cut off one of the edges of the flour tower with the knife. Watch as the dime begins to fall. Continue cutting off slices of the tower until the dime falls through the flour tower and the tower itself collapses. Explain that this is what lying does to our character.