Teaching Guide:
for grades 4-8

This material is from the teaching guide for the video
"The Responsibility
Connection" in the series "The Character Chronicles"
produced in association with CHARACTER COUNTS!

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


Personal Responsibility:
True False  
I do what needs to be done.
I am reliable and dependable.
I never make excuses or blame others for my actions.
I always follow through on my commitments.


Social Responsibility:
True False  
I do my part for the common good.
I volunteer in my school or community.
I participate in community service.
I do what I can to help take care of the environment.

I think I am/am not a responsible person because:

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"The Responsibility Connection"
The Video

In this video, fourteen year old Kailani presents her classroom video blog on the topic of  responsibility. Through a combination of skits, group discussions, commentaries, and documentaries, Kailani's blog reveals how taking responsibility for ourselves and our community makes us better people and the world a better place.  more . . .


Click play for a sampling of
"The Character Chronicles"

"The Character Chronicles"
The Series
This award-winning six-part video series brings character education alive for upper elementary and middle school students. Presented from the point of view of a middle school video blogger, this series explores the Six Pillars of Character through the thoughts and personal experiences of young people throughout the U.S.
more . . .

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

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.




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If you are using the video, ask the first two questions before viewing.

  1. What do parents mean when they say you should "take responsibility?"

  2. Do you consider yourself to be a responsible person? In what ways?

  3. What does "taking responsibility" mean?

  4. How does behaving responsibly affect our relationships with our friends? How important is that?

  5. How does behaving responsibly affect your relationship with your parents? How important is that?

  6. Have you ever caused problems for somebody else by being irresponsible? What happened? Would you do things differently if you had another chance?

  7. Has anybody ever caused problems for you by being irresponsible? What happened? What do you wish that person understood about what happened?

  8. How does it make you feel when somebody lets you down?

  9. How does it make you feel when you have let somebody else down?

  10. Do you think there is any connection between being responsible and being trusted? Between being responsible and being respected?

  11. Are you responsible? In what ways are you, and in what ways are you not?

  12. Successful people get that way by being lucky. Agree, or disagree? Explain.

  13. If I try hard and don't succeed it's not my fault. Agree, or disagree? Explain.

  14. How might taking responsibility give you power over your life?

  15. How did taking responsibility help Veronica change the course her life was taking? Do you know anyone who's done something like that?

  16. In the Veronica story, we are told that Veronica decided to "reinvent herself." What does that mean? How did she do it?

  17. How did Alex's story (e-waste) make you feel? What did you learn from it? What motivated Alex and his friends to do what they did? Do you think that most kids could do something like that, or are Alex and his friends just a special case?

  18. Alex closes his story about the "Win Team" by suggesting that people find a cause and do what's right. What does this idea have to do with responsibility?

  19. What responsibilities do you feel you personally have for: 1) yourself, 2) your family, 3) your community?

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

To find teaching guides on Responsibility and related topics for other grade levels
click here.


  1. Write about a time you were let down by someone's irresponsible actions. If you could say anything to this person now, what would it be?

  2. How responsible are you? Take the quiz above. For each question, rate yourself on a scale of one to five (1=awful, and 5=terrific). For each of these behaviors give an example of how you are either responsible or not, and what you could do to improve.

  3. Can you think of a time you did something really irresponsible? Describe it in detail. Why did it happen? How did you feel about it at the time? Did it affect anybody else? Did it cause any problems for you? How do you feel about it now? What did you learn from it? Or, perhaps you would prefer to write about something you did that was very responsible.

  4. Book Report: Write about how the characters in a book behaved in either a responsible or irresponsible way, and how their behavior affected other characters and the story. Do the same with a movie or television program.

  5. Imagine waking up one morning and deciding to "reinvent" yourself. What changes would you make? How would you go about it?


(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



    1. Have students break into groups and share a time when they acted irresponsibly and a time when they took responsibility. In a large group, have them share one of their stories and the impact that person's behavior had on those around them.

    2. Have your students visit this page to find opportunities to become involved in activities and issues relating to personal and social responsibility.

    3. The quiz above contains some behavioral guidelines for how to be a responsible person. Write these guidelines on the board. Have your students think of as many examples of each as they can, and write them on the board. Can they think of any other responsible behaviors that should be added to the list? Have a class discussion about these behaviors.

    4. Have everybody in the class declare two short term goals that can be accomplished during the semester. Have them present their goals to the class, including their plans, their deadlines, and why these goals are important to them. Then, have them track their progress, giving periodic reports to the whole class. Set up some kind of a reward for people who achieve their goals.

    5. As a group, identify some problems in your school or community. Come up with a plan for attacking one specific problem. Organize a community service project around it.

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