Teaching Guide:
TRUSTWORTHINESS
for grades 4-8

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

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

True False  
I am honest. I don't lie, cheat, or steal.
     
I keep my promises and follow through on my commitments.
     
I try to do what is right, even when it feels difficult.
     
I am a good and dependable friend.
     
I think I am/am not a trustworthy person because: ___________________

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

"The Trust Connection"
The Video

Judy, a thirteen year old video blogger, explores the role of trust in everyday life, how trust is gained and lost among friends and family, and the consequences of lying to fit in.  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.

 

 

 

Subscribe to our almost
Monthly Newsletter


Get breaking news and developments in character education and helpful tips and ideas that you can use with your own character education program.
View the current issue.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

 

 

Send this page to a friend
Do you have friends or colleagues who would like to know about this page or about this website? Click on the blue arrow to share it with them.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

If you are using the video, ask questions 1-4 before viewing.

  1. How do you know when you can trust someone?

  2. What part does trust play in your relationships with your friends and family? How would these relationships be affected if you found out someone was lying to you?

  3. Can you imagine starting a friendship with someone you didn't trust? What would that be like?

  4. What are the benefits of being a trustworthy person? How do you benefit from the trustworthiness of others?

  5. What does trusting somebody mean?

  6. What do you look for in someone so you know you can trust him/her?

  7. What makes a person trustworthy?

  8. What does trust have to do with the quality of someone's character?

  9. How do you define a "lie"?

  10. Is it ever okay to lie? When would that be?

  11. What is a white lie? Is there any difference between a white lie and any other kind of lie? When have you told a white lie? What was the situation?

  12. Some people say that simply avoiding the truth isn't really a lie. What do you think?

  13. What is the biggest lie you've ever told? Would you do it again? Why or why not?

  14. In the discussion about telling lies, one girl says her parents still mistrust her after her big lie. She says that her dad asked how he could know he could trust her again. Can you come up with an answer to that question?

  15. If your friends were here right now, would they say you were trustworthy? What would your parents say? Are you more trustworthy with your friends are with your parents? Do you think your parents should trust you automatically? Why or why not?

  16. Have you ever lost the trust of someone you cared about? How did it make you feel? How is your relationship with that person now?

  17. The young people talking listed fear and wanting people to like them as reasons to lie. Have you ever felt that way? What other reasons do you feel people have for lying?

  18. Have you ever lied to fit in? Did it help you fit in? If not, what happened?

  19. During the dramatized skit Judy has us imagine a story about a boy who lied to fit in with some basketball players. We see how he gets further and further stuck in his chain of lies. Do you sympathize with him? Have you ever told a small lie that led to another and then got out of hand?

  20. Have you ever been lied to by someone you care about? What did that feel like?

  21. What advice would you give to someone who wants to earn back your trust?

  22. What qualities in one's character are needed to regain trust? What qualities in one's character are needed to trust someone again after he/she has broken your trust?

  23. Can your parents trust you? Why or why not? What role does trust play in your relationship with your parents? Have your parents talked to you about trust? How important is it to you and your parents?

  24. One of the last things Judy says in her blog is that the real problem with lying isn't the lie but the way it wrecks our relationships with other people. What does she mean by this? Do you agree with her?

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

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

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

  1. Judy begins her blog by having us imagine living in a world where you can't trust anybody. She shows two examples that illustrate her point. These include crossing the street and ordering food at a café. Write about another example that shows how important trust is in our daily lives.

  2. Write about the importance of honesty and trust in making our society work.

  3. Describe an important relationship in your life right now. What role does trust play in that relationship? How did you earn each other's trust?

  4. Write about a time when you saw somebody lie. What was the situation and how did it feel to witness it? What did you do? Would you do the same thing again?

  5. Write about a time when you were lied to. How did you feel? What did you need from that person to trust him/her again?

  6. In the video, one girl talks about "that big talk" you have to have with your parents after you've been caught lying and how it's awkward and scary. Write about a time when you had to have that talk. What was it like? What did your parents say? What parts of what they said did you agree or disagree with? Did that talk change the direction of your relationship with them?

  7. Write about the role guilt plays in lying. In the video, one kid says that "after you've lied and people find out, you have a guilty feeling you carry around with you." Do you agree with that? If so, in what way?

  8. Write about a time when you told a lie that got out of hand. What happened and how did you undo the damage?

(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

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  1. Have students break into pairs and share with each other a time they lied or a time they were lied to. Have each student describe the main emotion they felt as a result of it. Come back together as a group and list in two columns the emotions for both lying and being lied to. Compare and discuss the list and its impact on our relationships with others.

  2. In order to help us think about how much we rely on trust to make things work in our communities, Judy had us imagine a world where we couldn't trust anyone. What are some examples of how your school relies on trust to make things work as a community?

  3. As a group, come up with a list of examples of things that might occur in your school that would violate the trust of its community. Now, break into groups. Have students come up with what they think might prevent that violation from happening and what would be needed to repair the harm done in each example.

  4. As a class, come up with two lists: one list of ways trust is essential in our personal lives and a list of ways trust is essential in society. What are the personal responsibilities we have to make the first list work, and what personal responsibilities are needed to make the second list work? How are your responses similar and different?

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

TERMS OF USE   

© Copyright Elkind+Sweet Communications, Inc. All rights are reserved. The material in this website is intended for non-commercial educational use. If you wish to copy or use any of this material, please click here for "Terms of Use." Except as provided in "Terms of Use," this material is for private use only and may not be republished or copied without written permission of the publisher.

* CHARACTER COUNTS! and the Six Pillars of Character are registered trademarks of the Josephson Institute.  www.charactercounts.org

Home  •  High School Teaching Guides  •  Middle School Teaching Guides  •  Elementary School Teaching Guides  •  Service Learning

Character in Sports  •  Opportunities for Action  •  Great Web Resources  •  School to Work  •  How-To Articles   •  Character Ed Organizations

Live Wire Media  •  P.O. Box 848  •  Mill Valley, CA  94942  •  USA  •  415-564-9500