What Does Respect Look Like?

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SWBAT describe qualities of respectful behavior that students will exhibit.

Big Idea

Students have heard the word "Respect" for many years in school by the time they get to 4th grade but sometimes they have a difficult time defining it. This lesson makes it very clear what respect looks like and sounds like when we are being respectful.


5 minutes

How are students going to take the necessary risks to grow throughout the year especially through meeting the challenging common core standards. They need a classroom community that is supportive and respectful. They also need to know that each student will be held acountable for showing respect to each other, the school, and the teacher. This lesson helps students identify respectful behavior through speaking and listening.


20 minutes

I introduce this lesson by reminding students what our school rules are. If your school rules do not include the word respect then you can offer it as a suggestion for the classroom rules.

I tell my students that our class rules are:

- respect our school

- respect others

- respect yourself

When I ask, "What does respect mean?" usually hands shoot up in the air with different ideas. I tell students that together, we are going to make the definition of respect really clear by identifying what it looks like and sounds like when we are being respectful in the classroom.

Students turn and talk with partners and then I call on students to share out. As they share, I write their ideas down on a poster. After a list of at least four or five ideas on each side has been collected, I send students away in pairs or small groups to prepare to model what each of these examples might look like when someone is being respectful. 

I tell them that we are only showing good example of respect and that it needs to be a quick performance. Very few props are needed.

They practice or prepare for about 5 minutes. After each student group presents their example, the other students explain what they saw that made the demonstration an example of respect.


5 minutes

After many students present, I remind students that these are ways that I expect them to show respect throughout the school and in our classroom. I remind them of some of the important examples their classmates demonstrated and ask them to put a thumbs up on their chest if they can agree to do their best at being respectful. Any student that does not put a thumbs up, I'll ask them if they have a question or a comment for why they can't agree. Rarely do I have a student challenge any of the examples. The few times I have had this happen, its because students do not like the wording or have a "What If..." scenario. I reassure them that we can solve problems as they arise as long as we are all working to be respectful at all times. They then can agree to our class rules and examples.