How to Teach Kids Respect

by Laura Gurley on April 18, 2012

One of the most highly searched character-related education topics is how to teach kids respect, according to google searches. It’s the character trait teachers scour the internet to find ideas on how to teach most often. And it’s not difficult to see why– respect has its fingers in almost all classroom management issues. Respect can also include a student’s relationship with oh-so-many:  the elderly, the authority, the younger, the environment, animals, and for various races/religions/genders, etc.

And since teachers globally are googling it so often, I thought we’d take a day to highlight a few of the top resources for teaching respect in the classroom I’ve found, to date. Enjoy.

Character Counts Lesson Plan Ideas. This list of 18 lesson plans on respect spans several different grade levels. Lesson ideas range from a focus on showing respect for the non-native student, listening skills, respecting each other, and giving respect to everyday heroes.

35 Activities You Can Do to Learn Respect. Dr. Michele Borba assembled this excellent list of 35 practical activities you can encourage students to do, or do as a class, that encourage respect. Activities include: creating a “recipe” for respect, making a button or bumper sticker with respect’s motto, and engaging in classroom discussions on specific questions.

School Counselor Rob’s Video on Respect. In this 5 minute simple, drawing-style video, a teacher explains practical examples for respecting places, things, and people. Suitable for elementary grades.

The Cornerstone for Teachers’ Month of Respect. Our own Angela Watson has created a fantastic resource on character education over at her blog. If you scroll down to the month of January, you’ll find a definition, talking points, and several resources about the topic.

Create a Respect Rap. Show students the following short youtube from some elementary students. After you talk about respect and brainstorm what respecting others and ourselves might involve, group students and have them write and perform a rap for the class.

Fearless Lions Respect Video and Rap. {Don’t Miss This One Below! It’s really good!} This 5 minute video would be an excellent lesson starter or quick reminder to your students of what respect should look like. The first two minutes videos a common classroom scenario of disrespect, while the last three minutes shows a well-done rap/music video by a class of older elementary students and their teacher. {You can see just the rap itself, without the first scene, here.}


Have any other ideas for teaching respect in the classroom?  Have you found a lack of respect to be an issue with your students, parents, or co-workers?

Related Posts. Top Ten Character Education Posts  |  Make Your Classroom Kinder  |  Teaching Individuality Classroom Management Top Ten Classroom Management That Works

Want More Practical Teaching Tips? Visit our past teaching tips here. And the winner of last week’s teacher-door prize? Lindzee M., comment #17! Thanks to all who entered!

- Laura L. Parker, Editor and blogger at LauraParkerBlog

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