Relationship Skills

Family Resources on Respect

Lesson Topic

Showing Respect

Essential Questions

How do we show respect to others?

Loading the player...

Getting Ready for the Conversation

Conversation Starters and Practice at Home Activities

School to Home Resources on Respect


Previewing Activity:

The following can be asked/done before watching video.

Explain to students how respect means you value others for who they are, you honor your differences, and you admire others because of their skills and qualities.

Ask students about the ways they understand the word respect.

Ask about the rules for respect in the classroom.

Ask students where they have heard the word respect before.

Activity 1:

Watch video: Respect [3 minutes]

Activity 2:

Discussion questions following the video.

  • How do Sarah and Gema respect each other?
  • How do Sarah’s kind actions make Gema feel?
  • Why is it difficult for some children to befriend someone who is different?
  • What are some ways we can show respect for others in our classroom? On the playground? At home? In our community?

Activity 3:

Respect the Speaker


Note to teachers:

Before starting this lesson, the teacher should find a stick that is a foot and a half long without sharp points. Often a 2” thick, light stick with no branches works best. It should also be noted that any item found in nature can be the “Talking Stick.” Native American tribes have used feathers, shells, bones, rocks, etc. Do not limit yourself to a stick, but make sure the item comes directly from nature and can be used over and over again.

  • Gather class and sit in a circle.
  • Tell students that today they are going to experience a Native American practice called a “Talking Circle.”
  • Explain that the Talking Circle is a very special practice of Native American people. It is a very respectful way of communicating and listening to each other.
  • Show the Talking Stick and explain its purpose: whoever holds the Talking Stick is the speaker in the Talking Circle. Everyone else in the circle respects the speaker.
  • Ask students: How do we show we respect the speaker?
  • (Eyes on the speaker, mouths closed, listening ears open, etc.)

Direct Instruction:

The Talking Stick will be safely passed clockwise around the circle, one person at a time. Invite the students to practice passing the talking stick. (Model how to safely pass the stick. Give each student a chance to hold the stick for a moment before passing to the next person in the circle.)

When the stick returns to you, explain that the person holding the stick will be the speaker. Say: “Since I am holding the stick, I am the speaker. I have two jobs: first, I must respect everyone in the circle and introduce myself.” (Greet everyone and say your name).

Remind them about being respectful in the Talking Circle. All eyes are on the speaker and all ears listen to the speaker. What should their bodies be doing? What would be most respectful?

Guided Exploration (We do):

Practice passing the stick while the rest of the group respectfully watches and listens.

When the stick has made it around the circle and all students have introduced themselves, tell them they are going to practice what happens in a real Talking Circle.

We are going to pass the Talking Stick around once more, and each of you will have a chance to tell us something about how we respect each other in the classroom. It might be about how we respect the books or the other supplies. Perhaps you want to talk about how we respect the teacher or other students. When you have the stick, it is your turn and we will respectfully listen.

If you do not wish to speak, you may pass the Talking Stick to the next person.

Independent practice

Give students a moment to think about what they will say when the stick is passed to them. Pass the Talking Stick around the room and listen to each person’s thoughts on respect.


When the stick returns to you, comment on the students’ respectful behavior.

Ask students how the class might decorate the Talking Stick to make it even more special.

Ask students how the Talking Circle and the Talking Stick can be used in other parts of the day, here at school and at home.

Find a special place for the Talking Stick.

Vocabulary and Definitions

difference (n): a way in which two or more things or people are not like each other.

  • Alexandra and Burke remain best friends despite their differences, which include gender, race, and age.

personal (adj.): emphasizing that something is done, known or experienced by oneself.

  • One of Alvin’s personal goals is to climb Mount Everest when he is older.

respect (n.): valuing others; honoring differences; admiration for someone, especially because of his or her personal qualities, knowledge or skill.

  • Ophelia gained the respect and admiration of her classmates when she won the statewide spelling bee competition.

unique (adj.): unusually good and special; being the only one of its kind.

  • No two people are exactly the same, making each person unique.
Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.