Teaching Guide:

for grades 7-12
This material is from the teaching guide for the video "Respect" in the series
"In Search of Character" produced in association with CHARACTER COUNTS!

Are You a Respectful Person?
(Take this self-evaluation and decide for yourself.)

True False  
I treat other people the way I want to be treated.
I am considerate of other people.
I treat people with civility, courtesy, and dignity.
I accept personal differences.
I work to solve problems without violence.
I never intentionally ridicule, embarrass, or hurt others.
I think I am/am not a respectful person because: ___________________

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"Respect" - The Video
This program shows how treating people with respect helps us get along with each other, avoid and resolve conflicts, and create a positive social climate. Learn more . . .

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"In Search of Character"
"In Search of Character"
The Series
This award winning video series spotlights ten core virtues that help teens develop into caring, respectful, responsible people who make choices based on what's right, rather than what they can get away with.
Learn more . . .

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For more information about individual videos in this series, click on the title below.

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If you are using the video, ask question 1 before viewing.

1. Suppose you were driving in a traffic jam and you suddenly realized you have to cut across two lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic to turn right at the next corner. What’s the first thing you would do? Why?

2. What would you have done if someone tried to cut in front of you in traffic without asking your permission? Why? Has seeing this video changed your mind?

3. In the video Dr. Mike received a FAX from a teenager who is tired of all the put-downs at her school. Do you have the same problems at your school? What do you think can be done about it?

4. How do you feel when someone judges you without knowing you or giving you a chance? How do you feel when someone you disagree with calls you a name? How do you feel when someone bumps into you in the hall and doesn't apologize?

5. Agree or disagree: Courtesy and politeness are a lot of nonsense.

6. In the video one teen said that if someone shows you respect, you should show respect in return. Do you agree? How do you feel if you treat someone with respect and that person responds with rudeness? If someone insults you, should you insult that person in return?

7. One girl in the video makes the point that you don't have to respect everyone, you simply have to treat people with respect. What’s the difference? Do you agree with her point of view? Explain.

8. Agree or disagree: When people stay out of a bully’s way, they are showing respect.

9. Mike's advice to Kim is to establish some rules and make them stick. What are your rules for respectful behavior?

10. How did the story of Brian Harris and his pen-pal service make you feel? What did you learn from it?

11. Do you think Brian’s pen-pal service is making our world a better place to live in? In what way?

12. What can you do to make this a more respectful world?

13. Does respect play a role in harmonious race relations? Explain.

14. Do you think that people in our society are respectful enough of each other? Why?

15. Do you consider yourself to be a respectful person? Why, or why not? In what ways do you show respect to others?

16. How is respect related to fairness? To caring? To the Golden Rule? To violence?

17. What does respect have to do with the quality of your character?

18. What are the benefits of people treating each other with respect?

19. Did the video present any ideas you disagree with?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

To find elementary and middle school teaching guides on Respect and related topics,
click here.


1. How does government "of, by, and for the people" depend on respect? Write an essay connecting the concepts of democracy and respect. How is listening to different points of view a sign of respect and a cornerstone of democracy? What is it about the concept of democracy that relies upon mutual respect among people? How is the very concept of democracy related to respect for the individual?

2. Watch a sitcom on television, and then write about how the actions of the characters demonstrated either respectful or disrespectful behavior.

3. Bullies are often trying to make people "respect" them. Is this really respect, or is it fear? What is the difference? How is bullying and violent behavior an act of disrespect?

4. Write about a time when you were disrespectful to someone. Why did it happen? Was it the right thing to do? What were the consequences? How did it make the other person feel? What did you learn from the experience?

5. Describe three things you could do to be a more respectful person. How would that affect your relationships with others? How does it benefit you to be a respectful person?

6. In the video one teen talks about a ripple effect: If one person treats another with respect, the respect begins to spread out from there. Write an editorial for your school newspaper encouraging students to start the "respect ripple effect." Describe what it could accomplish in your school setting.

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

Other teaching guides in this series:

  •  Trustworthiness
•  Respect
•  Responsibility
•  Fairness
•  Caring
•  Citizenship
•  Honesty
•  Courage
•  Diligence
•  Integrity


1. Conduct a survey in your school or community, asking questions like these. Do you think people are respectful enough? What are some disrespectful acts that really annoy you? What are some respectful acts that you especially appreciate? Compile the results into a report.

2. Brainstorm ways to make your school environment more respectful. Create a list of recommendations and place them in your school newspaper or on a poster.

3. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group develop a list of do’s and don’ts for being a respectful person. Have them make oral reports to the class addressing the following questions: What happens when people live in accordance with these guidelines. What happens when they don’t. In what ways does respectful and disrespectful behavior affect our community and society?

4. Bring in articles from newspapers and magazines describing situations in which respect or disrespect are issues. Talk about who is acting respectfully, and who is acting disrespectfully in these situations. Using the articles as evidence, tell the class about the consequences of disrespectful and respectful behaviors.

5. Role play some typical situations in which disrespectful behavior leads to hostility and maybe even violence. Then, change one of the disrespectful actions into one of respect and see how the outcome changes.

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)


Are you an athletic coach or recreation director? Would you like some ideas to help you develop the virtue of caring in your athletes? Then click here for Respect & Sports.


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