Social Stories on Respect

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

How do you teach students about respect? Try social stories. In this lesson you will read social stories that you can use or adapt to teach your students about respect.


''Respect'' is one of those words that many people use, but not everyone understands. We tell kids to respect authority, each other, and themselves. Sometimes we need to explain this concept a little more clearly. Social stories are a tool used by many teachers to present complex concepts to students using brief scenarios that explain expectations. Here are some social stories on the topic of respect.

Social Stories on Respect

What Is Respect?

Today was the first day of school. We had an assembly, and the principal, Mr. Hodges, explained the school rules and expectations. Mr. Hodges said that our motto for the year is ''RESPECT.'' I wasn't entirely sure what that meant, so I started asking people.

My art teacher, Mrs. Walters, said respect is admiring someone for their talents or accomplishments. She said she respects great artists like Van Gogh and Picasso and wants to do art like they did.

Mom said respect is how we should treat someone in authority like teachers, parents and police. Mom said that respecting them is listening to them, following their instructions, and being polite to them.

Grandpa told me that respect is using good manners. Good manners are saying ''please'' and ''thank you,'' holding the door, and helping people who need help.

Dad said that respect is treating another person as if they have value. Dad said that I should treat people the way I want them to treat me.

I've been thinking about what everyone told me about respect, and I'm going to try to treat people with respect this year, just like Mr. Hodges recommended.

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