Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education
After this lesson, students will be able to:
- define 'ethics'
- describe the process of making ethical decisions
- explain the six pillars of character and explore how they apply to real-life situations
1 - 1.5 hours
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- Video lesson Business Ethics: The Six Pillars of Character; include printed copies of the lesson's transcript for students, if desired
- Copies of the quiz, one for each small group
- Chart paper
- Six pillars of character
Warm-Up and Preparation
- Write the quote 'Each person must live their life as a model for others' on the board and give students five to ten minutes to reflect and journal their responses to it.
- What does it mean to be a model?
- What characteristics does someone who is a 'model' have?
- Who is a model for the students? Why?
- When they are finished journaling, break students into small groups and have them share their answers. What do they consider a model? What characteristics do these people have?
- Ask students to guess who said this quote, then explain it was Rosa Parks. Ask:
- Do you consider Parks a model? Why or why not?
- Now ask students to consider the term 'ethical.' Start by having groups discuss the meaning of the term, then lead a class-wide discussion on the term.
- What does it mean?
- What actions are ethical?
- What does it mean to be unethical?
- Ask groups to choose one person they consider to have upstanding character and write the name of that person down for later.
- Have students title their notebooks 'Six Pillars of Character' and make a two-column chart with the titles 'Character Trait' and 'Meaning.' They will then number six lines for the six pillars they'll learn about. Instruct students to take notes in this chart as the lesson video plays.
- Start the video lesson Business Ethics: The Six Pillars of Character and pause at 1:06. How does the video's definition and explanation of ethics match the class discussion? Do students agree?
- Restart the lesson video, pausing at the following times to review characters and definitions:
- 2:00 - Trustworthiness
- 2:57 - Respect and Responsibility
- 3:40 - Fairness
- 5:15 - Caring and Citizenship
- After reviewing and defining these six pillars of character, ask groups to return to the person they choose as a model of character from the warm-up and write the name on a piece of chart paper.
- Ask groups to go through the six pillars and decide if the person meets the criteria, writing each trait on the chart paper and reasoning the trait the person exhibits.
- For example, if students chose Atticus Finch, is he trustworthy? What are some examples? How does he show trustworthiness?
- As students prepare their charts, circulate the room to guide and support.
- When finished, have each group share as classmates offer their feedback and opinions. Do they agree? Why or why not?
- Post charts in the classroom, then play the remainder of the lesson.
- Have groups take the quiz together, then review as a class.
- Ask students to write the six pillars of character in their notebooks and reflect on their own lives. How do they exhibit each character trait? Have them journal and free-write about each.
- When finished, ask students to consider each pillar and develop a plan to strengthen that character trait.
- For example, how can a student act more trustworthy? Have them write real examples, such as coming to football practice on time every day or completing all homework on time.
- Have students share their work in their small groups, discussing each trait. Allow students to offer a 'pass' on areas they feel are too personal to share.
- Now have each student write their name on a piece of paper and leave it on their desktop.
- Instruct students to stand up and move one desk away and sit down, considering the person whose name is on the top of the paper. What character traits do they have?
- If necessary, review your expectations for kind, sensitive, and appropriate content.
- Give students two to three minutes to write a short entry on the paper about the person. For example, if the desk and paper belong to Suzie, another student may write 'I see Suzie as a trustworthy person. She is always there when I need a friend and comes to class on time.'
- Lead students as they circulate the room, desk to desk, to reflect on the character of their classmates.
- Begin class the following day by having students reflect on the feedback they received from their classmates. What did they learn? How do their views of themselves differ than how others view them?
- Set aside time to check in on students plans for improved character every month. How are they doing with the project?
- Explore the six pillars of character of the characters in the books you read. Which do they have? Why?
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