Respect for Authority

3rd - 8th

Students examine the country of Mongolia and how it is trying to form a democracy. As a class, they participate in a class meeting about a new class rule and they voice their opinions. They read excerpts of a letter of a Peace Corps volunteer and identify the characteristics of a market economy and socialist state.

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Inquiry-Based Learning

Respecting the Differences of Others

Fifth graders discover the importance of respecting the differences of people around the world in different situations in order to avoid conflict and promote peace. Students compare the sounds of a symphony and the instruments creating those sounds to people and their unique qualities. To demonstrate respect, 5th graders role play specific scenarios.

Picturing the Successful Student

Sixth graders work in small groups to identify the characteristics of a successful learner. They identify characteristics that think are most helpful for them. Students answer the question: What does a successful student look like?


Investigate "respect" with your class. They will participate in a think/share activity in which they complete sentence starters about their personal experience with "respect." Then they view a video clip in which Holocaust survivors describe their experiences with respectful and disrespectful behavior. Finally, they evaluate their personal views on "respect."

Show Respect Online

Digital citzenship is explored as your class discusses how to show respect in social situations, in-person, and online by recognizing the importance of "tone" in both face-to-face and online communications. Using a hand-out, learners edit an e-mail message and follow rules given for writing clear and respectful e-mails.

A Problem with Authority?

Students consider the prospect of inviting a controversial leader to speak in their community. They analyze the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's controversial invitation to speak at Columbia University. Students create provocative interview questions to ask other contentious world leaders for class presentations.


Students examine why it is important to respect others and learn of a time when others were discriminated against and why (laws). They illustrate a time when they were discriminated against (treated unfairly) or they witnessed someone else being discriminated.

Search Warranted?

By reading the article "In New York, It's Open Bag or Find Exits" from the New York Times, young readers can work on evaluating claims in a piece of informational text. They analyze current search procedures implemented to fight terrorism and examine constitutional rights to privacy. Use this instructional activity to practice a deep reading of a nonfiction text, focusing on the author's word choice to strengthen an argument.

What's the Author's Purpose?

What is the author's purpose for sharing an autobiography? Start this activity with the short story provided about getting pulled over by a police officer. Then, discuss the acronym PIES and how it stands for the four main reasons an author would tell a story. Then dive into some reading about Rosa Parks. As a class, create a chart to decide why Rosa tells a specific story in her autobiography. Finally, learners complete an assignment independently. This activity reflects the popular "I do, we do, you do" model. 

What's Mongolia Really Like?

Learners discover the people of Mongolia. In this social studies instructional activity, students look at the Mongolian nomadic culture by reading a letter written by a member of the Peace Corps. They describe the different types of communities found in Mongolia and compare them to the United States. 

October: Respect for Self and Others

Students realize their worth and dignity as human beings and account for their strengths as well as display their weaknesses. They display good manners and politeness, showing the respect for others as they would wish for themselves. Complete the project: Prism Respectrum.

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