Truth and Consequence

Brittany Zae

This lesson is designed to help students understand the importance of telling the truth, through lessons from history.

Grade Level: K - 1st

Subject: Social Studies

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

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Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to understand individual responsibility, truthfulness, punishment and consequence through sighting examples from history, their classroom, school and community.

Materials Needed

  • one dollar bill
  • George Washington and the Cherry Tree from The Children's Book of Virtues


Opening to Lesson

Introduce George Washington to the students. Show students a picture of Washington on the dollar bill. Why would our country honor Washington? Why is he so famous?

Body of Lesson

Direct Teaching

Tell students some information about his life and when he lived. Explain that Washington was a military leader, helped write the United States Constitution that established the basis for our laws, and was the first president of the United States. Explain that George Washington is called the “father of our country.” Also inform students that he was known since childhood for his good manners and honesty. Show students where Virginia is on map and compare this to where the students live.

Guided Practice 1

Read the story “George Washington and the Cherry Tree” from The Children’s Book of Virtues. Stop reading the story midway on page 85 where Mr. Washington asks George if he knows who chopped down the tree. Ask students what George should say.

Ask students, “What has happened? What is the problem? How can George solve the problem? What are possible consequences of telling the truth? What are alternative actions available? What are the possible consequences of the alternative actions?”

Finish reading the story. Ask students “Why did George tell the truth?”

Guided Practice 2

Discuss the consequences of George’s actions. Did he show individual responsibility for his actions? How did he feel? How did his Father feel? What was his punishment? Was his punishment fair? What other punishment could he have received? If he had been whipped or spanked, would he have wanted to tell the truth?

Discuss whether story is fact or fiction. Ask, “Can there be fictional stories about factual people?”

Independent Practice

Have students retell the story from the viewpoint of George and from the viewpoint of Mr. Washington. Make sure they explain their feelings and actions. Discuss with the class what George and his father learned from this event.


Ask students if it is important to be honest, to tell the truth. Do they always tell the truth? Is there ever an occasion when it is permissible not to tell the truth? Should children always tell the truth to their parents? How truthful do they need to be to other adults?

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Assessment & Evaluation

Through guided questions, close monitoring and informal observation; the teacher will be able to assess student’s ability and understanding of the subject being introduced. Through individually assessing during independent practice and reviewing during guided practice the teacher will be able to evaluate students.

Modification & Differentiation

Students may work in groups or individually in order to complete their assignments. In order to accommodate for all students, allow extra time to review for lower students and extra worksheets to occupy the time of advanced students.

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