Learning About Honesty

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Grade Level
Elementary School
Social Studies
Length of Time
45 minutes to 1 hour

In this lesson, you will teach the students about a character skill - honesty. You will have them read a short story I wrote and answer questions over the story. Then, you will discuss the story.


Students will learn:
About honesty
Consequences of not telling the truth
How to apply what they learned

Materials Needed

You will need the short story, Timmy's Lies.
Questions over the story TIMMY'S LIES Timmy Andrews, who was seven years old, ran down the lane to his house, which was in the country. "Mommy. I'm home. Where are you?" Timmy yelled, dashing inside the house with his report card. "In the living room. What's wrong?" "Nothing. Timmy dashed into the living room and almost fell over Fluffy, their Cocker Spaniel puppy. "I got my report card. I made straight A's." "Let me see," his mother said, as she held out her hand. "Timmy, this is great," his mother replied, as she looked at his card. "Your father is going to be proud of you, too." Timmy, who lived with his parents, Mary and Robert Andrews, attended Crest Elementary School. School was almost out for the summer, and he was excited about spending the time with his friends. "Mommy, I'm hungry. Can I have a snack?" "Sure, come out to the kitchen, and I'll give you some cookies and milk. Also, I have something to tell you." "What, Mommy?" Timmy asked, as he sat down for his snack. "Timmy, your father and I have decided to move to the city." "Why? I like it in the country." "Your father was hired as a writer for the newspaper. The house we bought will be closer to his work as well as to your school." "Can I go outside and play for awhile?" "Yes. I'll call you when supper is ready." Timmy ran outside and played in his sand pile. Why do we have to move? I like it here. I want to stay here with my friends. I don't want to move to the city, Timmy thought to himself. Shortly, Timmy heard his mother calling. "Timmy, supper's ready. Come inside and wash your hands." Timmy, with a frown on his face, looked down at the ground as he walked inside. He didn't want anything to eat. He didn't want to move. As he sat down at the table and looked at his plate of food, the aroma of the food made him hungry, but when he picked up his fork to eat, he couldn't eat. "Timmy, why aren't you eating? "I'm not hungry. Can I go to my room?" "I guess, but you know that if you don't eat any supper, you can't eat later." "I know." "You may go, but before you do, I wanted you to know we're moving in two months." "Two months!" "Yes. You'll be out of school then. It'll be easier for us to focus on moving." Timmy stood up and hurried to his room. He plopped himself on the bed and burst into tears. A few minutes later, he started playing with his toys. Shortly, his mother entered the room. "Timmy, it's time for you to go to bed." "Okay," Timmy replied, as he put his toys away. Timmy took his pajamas out of the drawer, put them on, and climbed into bed. When morning came, Timmy got up and dressed before his mother came in to get him. "Timmy, you're up early." "That's because I want to go to school and be with my friends." As soon as breakfast was over, Timmy dashed out the front door. He walked down the lane to meet his bus. In a few minutes, he was on his way to school. During the day, Timmy sat in his chair and stared out of the window. He didn't pay any attention to his teacher. At recess, Timmy sat by himself. His teacher came up to him. "Timmy, what's wrong? Why aren't you playing?" "I don't want to play. I want to be alone." "Okay. If you want to talk, I'll listen." Timmy didn't respond. He just sat there and thought about moving. When recess was over, they went back inside. Timmy had trouble doing his work. He stared out the window occasionally. Soon, the day was over and Timmy went home. After Timmy ate supper, he went to bed. Fluffy jumped on his bed, and they went to sleep. The next morning at the breakfast table, Timmy's mother asked, "Have you been getting your homework done?" "Yes," Timmy replied, as he started to eat. When it was time for school, he walked down the lane to meet his bus. As soon as school started, the teacher said, "Class, today we are having some tests over your homework assignments." Timmy, who was startled, thought, Oh no, I haven't studied. I'm behind. When he received his test, he looked at it and tears came to his eyes. He couldn't answer very many. He saw his teacher look at him as she walked toward his desk. "Timmy, what's wrong? Why aren't you working on your test?" his teacher whispered to him. "I haven't done my homework," Timmy admitted, as tears rolled down his cheeks. "I know. You're a week behind. Why haven't you been studying?" "I don't know." Timmy knew it was because he didn't want to move, but he didn't want to tell his teacher. "You were making A's. I'll have a note for your parents after school. When the bell rang, she handed Timmy the note. He walked outside and climbed on the bus. After he arrived at his house, he entered the back door and put the note on the kitchen table. Then, he hurried upstairs to his bedroom. In a few minutes, Timmy saw his parents enter his bedroom. "Hi, Mommy. Hi, Daddy," he said, as if nothing was wrong. "Timmy," his mother said, "why did you lie to me? You told me you did your homework." "I don't know." "Timmy, I want you to get your homework completed by the end of the week," she said firmly. "That's right, Timmy, and you may not play outside and watch television until you are caught up," his father ordered sternly. "Okay," Timmy muttered. His parents left the room and Timmy burst out crying. In a few minutes, he was soon asleep. His mother brought him his supper. When she entered his room, she said quietly, as she bent over him, "Timmy, I have your supper." He woke up and rubbed his eyes. "Okay," he replied. "I'll lay it on your desk." After that, she walked out. Timmy got his tray, went back to his bed, and sat down. He looked at his food, and decided he didn't want to eat. Fluffy hopped on top of Timmy's bed, and Timmy said, "Here, Fluffy, you can eat this. I'm not hungry." Fluffy ate all of Timmy's food. In a few minutes, his mother entered the room. "I'm finished, Mommy." "Timmy, I'm glad you decided to eat." "It was good," Timmy replied. "I'm glad you liked it." As she turned and looked at Fluffy, who was on the floor, she noticed that she was acting peculiar. "What's wrong with Fluffy?" "I don't know." Suddenly, Fluffy threw up all over the floor. Timmy's eyes almost popped out of his head. He knew why she was sick, and he suddenly felt lousy for making Fluffy sick. "Timmy, did you eat your supper, or did Fluffy eat it?" "Fluffy ate it," he admitted sadly, as he looked away from his mother. "Why did you lie to me?" "I don't know," Timmy muttered. "Then you'll stay in your room for two days. When you come home from school, you'll go directly to your room." After his mother left, Timmy burst out crying until he fell asleep. The next day, as Timmy entered the kitchen, he saw his parents sitting at the table. "Timmy sit down. We want to talk to you," his mother said. "Timmy, I want this lying to stop, his father ordered. "You haven't lied before, so I don't understand why you're doing it now." "Okay," Timmy mumbled, as he looked down at his plate of food. "Now, you better hurry and eat, or you will miss the bus." "I don't feel good. I feel sick at my stomach." "Maybe you better lie down and not go to school. You could be coming down with the flu," his mother said, sympathetically. Timmy stood up and walked upstairs to his room. He lay down on his bed, with Fluffy right beside him. In a few minutes, his mother entered his room with a thermometer. "Timmy, I want to take your temperature." After a few minutes, she took it out of his mouth and said, "Timmy, you don't have a fever, but I think you should stay home today." "Okay." As soon as his mother left the room, he got out of bed and played with Fluffy. After a few hours, he heard someone coming up the steps. He dashed across his bed and under the covers. Shortly, he saw the door open and two people enter his room. "Timmy, this is Dr. Hodges." "I don't need a doctor," Timmy said, abruptly. "Since you said you weren't feeling good this morning, I wanted him to check you out." "I don't need a doctor," Timmy repeated. After the doctor did his examination, he went out of the room. Shortly, Timmy's mother came into his room. "Timmy, the doctor said you're all right physically. Why did you tell me you were sick?" "I don't know." "Not telling me the truth causes more problems for you," his mother said firmly. "Okay," Timmy mumbled. "By the way, your teacher called and wondered why you weren't in school. You had a surprise class picnic. I told her you weren't going to be there." "But, Mommy, I feel okay now." "No, Timmy. Since you lied to me, you'll stay home from the picnic." "It's not fair," Timmy yelled, as he burst into tears. "I'm sorry, but you brought this on yourself. You shouldn't have lied to me," his mother replied, as she left the room. Timmy stayed in his room the rest of the day. The next day, Timmy got dressed and went into the bathroom. After he flushed the toilet, water went everywhere. He rushed downstairs and yelled for his parents. "Mommy, Daddy, where are you?" He couldn't find them inside, so he rushed outside. When he saw them he hollered, "Mommy, Daddy, the bathroom stool's leaking! Water is everywhere!" "Timmy! Tell me the truth." "I am," Timmy insisted. "Go to your room, Timmy," his father ordered. Timmy went back inside the house and started cleaning up the water. In a few minutes, his mother came upstairs and saw Timmy trying to clean up the bathroom. "Timmy, you did tell us the truth." "I told you the bathroom stool overflowed." After they cleaned up the room, Timmy and his parents walked downstairs and sat on the sofa in the living room to talk. "Timmy, we didn't believe you because you had been lying to us. You need to always tell the truth, so that people will believe you." "Okay." "Why have you lied to us?" "Because I didn't want to move." "Oh, Timmy, you should have been honest with us and told us why you were upset," his mother said. "I'm sorry, Mommy. I didn't think it would do any good." "It always helps to talk about things that upset you instead of lying." "Okay." "I hope so, Timmy." "Can we take Fluffy to our new home?" "Yes, and you'll like our new place. It's right across the street from your school. All you have to do is walk." After that, Timmy realized that telling the truth and being honest about his feelings was better than lying or keeping things inside. Questions for Reading Comprehension 1. Who was the main character in the story? 2. Who were the other characters? 3. Where did the story take place? 4. What happened in the story? 5. What conflict did the main character experience? 6. How did the main character handle his/her problem? 7. What lesson did the main character learn? 8. Did the character's personality change in the story? 9. What did you learn from reading the story? 10. How can you apply what you learned from the story?


First, you will have the students read the story.

Then, you will have them answer the questions over the story.

After that, you will discuss the story with the students.

Talk to the students about being honest and what the consequences are when students lie.

Then, you can ask the students what they learned from the story.

Finally, you can ask them how they can apply what they learned from reading the story.


100 to 90 = A

89 to 80 = B

79 to 70 = C

69 to 60 = D

Below 60 = F

You can grade the students on how well they participated in class and on the worksheet they did over the story.

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