Treating people with respect makes your world a nicer place to live in, whether it's at home, at school, or out in your community. And it's easy - all you have to do is treat people the way you like to have them treat you. Here are a few ideas.
This video helps young adolescents:
Develop an understanding of the importance of respectful behavior.
Become aware of the many ways in which they show both respect and disrespect toward each other.
Adopt a value for treating people respectfully.
Learn to appreciate people's differences rather than fear them.
Become interested in learning more about their own roots and those of their schoolmates.
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.
If you are using the video, ask the first question before viewing.
1. Agree or disagree: It's okay to insult or make fun of people as long as they don't hear it.
2. What are some common signs of disrespect that you see in people here at school? How do you feel about that?
3. What do you dislike most about the way people treat each other here at school? What do you like the most? Why do you feel that way?
4. Are there a lot of put-downs here at school? Are put-downs a sign of disrespect? How, in what way?
5. Is there a difference between a put-down and an insult? What's the difference?
6. Do you have to like a person in order to be respectful, or can you be respectful to someone even if you don't particularly care for him or her?
7. When you're with a group of kids, what things might other people do or say that make you feel good? What things make you feel bad?
8. Do you think there is racism here at school? How is it expressed? How does that make you feel?
9. Have you, personally, ever experienced racism or some other type of prejudice? What happened? How did it make you feel?
10. Do the kids in your school tend to stay within their own racial and ethnic groups, or do they mix. Why do you think that happens here?
11. Several of the kids in the video commented that they feel pressure to stay with their own kind rather than mixing. Do you find the same pressures here at your school?
12. Do you think people are afraid of differences sometimes? Can you give some examples? Why do you think that's true?
13. Is it harder to respect someone who is very different from us? Why?
14. What are the benefits of having friends who are different from us?
15. Have you ever learned something new about a different culture from a friend?
16. How well do you kids know each other? What things stand in the way of getting to know people better?
17. What responsibilities do you feel you have toward your classmates?
18. Is it ever okay to treat another person with disrespect?
19. What are the benefits of treating people with respect?
20. The kids in this video said they think everybody is entitled to be treated with respect. Do you agree?
21. What was most meaningful to you in this video?
Other teaching guides in this series:
2. Have the class identify as many differences as they can among their members. This should include national, racial, and cultural differences, as well as different talents, disabilities, etc. How do they feel about all this diversity?
3. The kids in the video suggested having class discussions about different ethnic backgrounds so they can learn to understand what other people are feeling. As one boy put it, "knowledge is the basis for harmony." Organize a multi-cultural appreciation week. Have kids representing different groups put together presentations designed to help other kids understand and appreciate the special characteristics of that group. Include such things as history, customs, values, cultures, anything that might contribute to breaking down the barriers that prevent people of different cultures from getting along.
4. Have the kids role play the following situation:
1. Imagine that some day you will have a child. Write a letter of advice for that child to open when he or she reaches the age you are right now. Tell the child about the way kids in your school or other groups treated each other at this age, and how you hope he/she will treat people.
2. How is the issue of respect portrayed on television or in the movies? Watch a movie or TV show and write about how the characters interacted with each other. In what ways did they treat each other with respect or disrespect? (Give some specific examples.) Do you approve of the way they treated each other? Did you feel different toward characters who treated others with respect than those who didn't? Which did you like better? Why?
3. Are some kids ridiculed at your school? Why? What do they get picked on about (height, weight, appearance, disability, accent, skin color, etc.)? Exactly how are they picked on? How do you think these kids feel about this? How do you feel about it? How does that kind of behavior affect the climate in your school?
4. Have you ever been made fun of for something that you couldn't change? Can you give some examples? How did (do) you deal with it? How did it make you feel?
5. In what ways do you treat people with respect? Are there any ways in which you don't?
6. Have you ever seen anybody mistreated for being different. Describe the incident. How did it make you feel? What would it take to prevent things like this from happening again?
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