Teaching Respect in the Classroom

There is a huge need for teaching respect in the classroom. At school, it’s an important part of a healthy learning environment. If students and teachers don’t respect each other, there will be behavior problems and constant issues with classroom management. If you’ve been looking for ways to teach respect in your classroom, this post is filled with lessons, activities, and ideas to help you teach respect and promote a healthy learning environment.

My respect resource shown below contains an assortment of materials that will help you teach respect to your students. Check out all the activities below!

Respect Curriculum

Build a positive culture in your classroom and empower students to be their best selves! This respect resource equips you with an entire toolbox of materials to help your students develop and practice positive character traits.

Respect Pacing Guide

Use this pacing guide to map out your entire month of lessons on respect. This will help you set aside enough time to complete as many or as few of the activities as you’d like with students.

Teaching Respect in the Classroom by Kristine Nannini

Respect Bulletin Board

Whenever I start teaching a new character education trait, I like to create a bulletin board. It’s a great way to introduce and define a new topic and start class discussions. In my respect resource, I include everything you’ll need to introduce respect to your students with a beautiful bulletin display. Keep this display in your classroom for the entire month that you are teaching students about respect.

Respect Bulletin Board
Respect Bulletin Board
Respect Bulletin Board
Respect Bulletin Board

With my respect resource, you can customize your display to best fit your class. You can add a quote of the week, respect scenarios to discuss as a class, writing prompts for the day or week, and respect posters.

Respect Read Alouds

Read alouds are always a great springboard for discussions. Some of the best conversations in our classroom follow reading a great book together. If you are looking to teach respect, I put together a great collection of books to read. These will help expose your students to the different kinds of respect and help show what they look like. Your students will also see what disrespect looks like and some of the consequences that can arise from disrespectful behavior.

Respect Read Alouds
Respect Picture Books

In my Character Education: Respect Resource, I include a list of mentor texts to check out along with link to each that you can use to purchase.

Respect Calendar

A random act of respect calendar is a great way to encourage (and remind) students to do something respectful every day. I made these calendars with the goal of building positive habits! Hopefully, students will wake up each day and think about how to act respectfully even after they finish the calendar.

Random Acts of Respect Calendar
Random Acts of Respect Calendar

These calendars are editable so you can change the month, customize the acts of respect to fit your students, and make different versions of the calendar that so students are doing different acts of respect than their classmates each day.

Each day, I like to take a few minutes to talk about the day’s act of respect with your students. Give students examples of ways to complete the act of respect or have students give examples. When students have completed an act of respect, have them color in a square.

Doodle Coloring Reflection Page

A doodle coloring reflection is a great way to get students to think about respect and different ways they can show it. You can include reflection questions, examples of respect, fun quotes, and doodles for students to color.

Respect Doodle Coloring Notes

Respect Myself Selfie Activity

This printable activity helps students think about ways to respect themselves. For this activity, students will brainstorm how they can practice self-respect and what it means to respect themselves. This could be done as a class, in small groups, or individually. Then they will draw a self-portrait and use their self-respect ideas to decorate their selfie.

Printable Respect Myself Selfie Activity

Specific directions, research tips, planning pages, and multiple templates are included. I also provide materials to help.

Respect Cause & Effect Activity

In this activity, students will consider the consequences of different actions. Then they will color the effects blue if they are negative and orange if they are positive.  

Printable Respect Activities

This is a great way to show students the benefits of treating others with respect (and also the pitfalls of being disrespectful).

Would You Rather…? Respect Activity

This activity teaches students to communicate RESPECTFULLY through a game of Would You Rather…? Students will pair up, work together, take turns as speaker, and take turns listening to demonstrate respectful behavior and communication.

Printable Respect Activities
Printable Respect Activities

Respect Quote of the Week

Have your students analyze different quotes on respect for class discussion. For each week you spend teaching respect in the classroom, you can share a new quote with students. In my respect resource, I include five different quotes with three short-answer questions to help students reflect on the quote’s meaning. I selected quotes that have a unique perspectives on respect and will help you have great discussions with students in your class!

Respect Quote of the Week
Respect Quote of the Week
Respect Quote of the Week

Respect Scenarios

Respect scenarios are a great way to help students understand respect. They allow your students to place themselves in new situations and think about ways to be respectful. I’ve also found that they inspire meaningful conversations and discussions.

Respect Quote of the Week
Respect Scenarios and Social Stories
Respect Scenarios and Social Stories

You can display the scenarios on your bulletin board for a class discussion or print the scenarios and allow students to work in groups or independently.

Respect Parent Letter

Parent letters are very effective for teaching respect in the classroom. It’s a fantastic way to get parents involved so they can reinforce the character education lessons at home.

The letter included in my respect resource provides parents and families with tools to help them explain, model, and praise respect in the home. Additionally, it includes a list of books and movies that families can enjoy together.

Respect Parent Letter
Respect Parent Letter

Respect Anchor Chart

I start my unit on teaching respect with an anchor chart. It’s a great reference tool that students can use as they respond to questions, work independently, and contribute to discussions during your character education lessons throughout the month.

Respect Anchor Chart
Respect Anchor Chart
Respect Anchor Chart

You can do this together with students after introducing your bulletin board on respect. It’s also a great activity to accompany a mentor text or read aloud. Students will get the most benefit doing this together as a class. Have students respond to the discussion question and use their answers to complete your anchor chart.

Respect Posters

Posters are great way to remind students of the character trait you are covering each month. In my respect resource, I include three different posters that define respect. Each poster has the same message with different clip art that shows an example of respect.

Respect Posters

You can hang the posters on a bulletin board to create a display, display the posters around the classroom or in your hallways, pass the posters out to students to keep at their desks, or use the posters as a cover page in a folder.

Respect Readers Theater

These readers theater scripts are such a great tool for promoting respect in the classroom and at home. They allow your students to get creative and create a memorable experience about showing respect. Additionally, they will help with fluency, comprehension, and speaking and while doing character education.

Respect Reader's Theater

There are three scripts for students to read and perform:

The Voice of Respect: In this story, a boy named Charlie listens to the voices of Anger, Selfishness, Justice, and Respect as he goes about his day. By the end of this play, students will recognize the different voices and how respect is different than anger, selfishness, and justice.

What Does Respect Mean?: In this story, students will take each letter of R-E-S-P-E-C-T to talk about what it means and sing or say the line from Aretha Franklin’s song, “Respect,” before each letter. This play will help students understand the concept that respect is wide-ranging and can be shown in many different ways.

Show Some Respect, You Animal!: In this story, your students will be playing the roles of a zookeeper named Casey and several disrespectful animals at the zoo. Students will have a lot of fun playing the role of disrespectful animals. Luckily, they have Casey to help them understand why it’s important to be respectful and show some manners!

Respect Writing Prompts + Publishing Pages

Writing prompts encourage students write about respect in a thoughtful and creative way. They are also a great tool to help students reflect on ways to be respectful.

Respect Writing Prompts
Respect Writing Prompts

In my respect resource, there are five writing prompts that encourage students to reflect and write about respect. They include writing about a time they witnessed something disrespectful, writing about how to respect a culture, writing about different ways to show respect, writing a short story about showing respect at school, and responding to a writing prompt about two people interviewing for a job. I’ve also included a bulletin board, writing paper, and clipart to turn this into a display for your classroom or hallway.

The individual pillars (kindness, respect, responsibility, courage, cooperation, empathy, generosity, perseverance, friendship, an integrity) each cover an entire month. Each pillar of my Character Education or SEL Curriculum is filled with meaningful lessons, materials, hands-on activities, anchor charts, bulletin board materials, parent letters, and more that will set you up for entire year.

Teaching Respect in the Classroom by Kristine Nannini

Respect Curriculum

Build a positive culture in your classroom and empower students to be their best selves! This respect resource equips you with an entire toolbox of materials to help your students develop and practice positive character traits.

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