1. challenges
  2. character
  3. character education
  4. commitment
  5. compassion
  6. conflict resolution
  7. contentment
  8. cooperation
  9. courage
  10. decision-making
  11. encouragement
  12. filial piety
  13. goals
  14. gratitude
  15. healthy families
  16. healthy lifestyle
  17. integrity
  18. kindness
  19. leadership
  20. life goals
  21. loyalty
  22. marriage
  23. meaningful life
  24. moral education
  25. perseverance
  26. politeness
  27. relationship skills
  28. religion
  29. respect
  30. responsibility
  31. self-awareness
  32. self-improvement
  33. service
  34. sexuality
  35. social awareness
  36. sportsmanship
  37. teamwork
  38. tolerance
  39. trustworthiness

Story

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Two boys were taking a hike through the woods to a neighboring village. One of them noticed a wallet on the path and picked it up. It had a lot of money in it! “Wow! I’m rich!” he shouted.

The other boy pointed out that the wallet belonged to someone, and perhaps they should try to find out by asking around the village. The first boy said, “No, I’m going to spend the money. The owner was careless to lose the wallet. So I get to keep it, and the money is mine!”

When they got to the village, the boy with the wallet bought a bag of candy and started to eat it. The shopkeeper at the candy store wondered to see all the money in the wallet as the boy paid for the candy. “Where did you get all that money?” he asked. The boy didn’t answer and ran out of the shop.

As the two boys were walking down the street, the honest boy said, “I’m hungry!” The boy who stole the wallet responded, “I’m going to keep this candy all to myself since I’m the one who found the wallet!”

Just then, the police chief of the village grabbed him from behind.

“I hear you have a wallet with a lot of money in it. The candy storekeeper thinks it looks just like the one a villager lost recently. I’m going to take you both over to the jail.” And he did! The man who lost the wallet was there to prove that it was his.

The sheriff then said to the boys, “Did both of you spend the money in the wallet?”

The thief said, “We both did. It’s his fault, too!”

The honest boy said, “No, that’s not what happened! I told my friend to try to find the owner. I didn’t eat any of the candy. Look inside his mouth. It’s the same color as the candy he was eating.”

The thief’s mouth was indeed all red—the color of the candy he had been eating! The honest boy was free to go. The thief had to stay and wait for his angry parents to come and fetch him. Then he had to use his own money to pay back the man who had lost his wallet.

Objectives

Cognitive: Students will understand about respecting property that does not belong to them. They will understand that if you find something that is not yours, it is best to try to find the owner. It’s wrong to keep it when it belongs to someone else. Students will also understand what it means to be truthful.
Affective: Students will feel like they want to return lost property, and they will want to always tell the truth.
Behavioral: Students will develop the habit of returning lost property, and they will encourage others to do the same.

Class Session 1

Read the story to the children, then lead the students in a discussion, using questions such as the following: What happened in the beginning of the story? What happened in the middle of the story? Why do you think the boy didn’t try to return the wallet to its owner? If you lost a wallet, would you want the person to return it to you? Would you get excited if you found a lot of money? Would you want to have that money for yourself? Would you want to be friends with the boy who stole the wallet? Why or why not? Point out that most people would get excited if they found a lot of money and would want to keep the money for themselves, but they would not keep it. It is best to try to find the owner. This is an example of using the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. You might want to write the Golden Rule on the board.

Explain that anyone who lost some money or anything of value would want the person who found it to return it. Since that is what we would like others to do for us, we should do it for them. The story reminds us that anything that is not ours, anything that does not belong to us, should not be taken, used, used up, or damaged. Explain to the students that this is why we ask, “May I?” before we use other people’s things. We ask, “May I use your pencil?” or “May I get my ball back from your back yard?” or “May I borrow your jacket?” Ask students to remember this story when they find something someone has lost or when they want to use someone else’s property.

Class Session 2

Materials Needed:
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons

To reinforce the lesson of asking permission before taking or using something that belongs to someone else, lead the children in a game of “Mother, May I?” The children all line up on one side of the room or gym or play yard. The teacher calls a child’s name and says something like, “Timmy, you may move forward one step.” Timmy has to say, “Mother, may I?” before he can take the step. If he just takes the step, he is “out.” The teacher calls other children’s names and gives them simple instructions, like “You may pat your head with one hand,” or “You may jump up and down twice,” or “You may do one full turn around.” If a child instantly does it without asking permission in the form of “Mother, may I?” he or she is out. The one left at the end wins!

Now have the students make up a story about losing something that is theirs. An example may be: “One day I lost my cat. The neighbor found the cat. He brought ‘Tiger’ back to me. Now I’m happy!” This story has four parts to it. Tell the children to illustrate the four parts of this story. Have them fold a sheet of paper into four equal parts. Ask them to label each section in order, 1-4. Section number 1 should illustrate: “One day I lost my cat.” Section number 2 should illustrate, “The neighbor found the cat.” Section number 3 should illustrate, “He brought ‘Tiger’ back to me.” Section number 4 should illustrate, “Now I’m happy!” Students are to draw all four pictures. When the pictures are completed, the students can also write the sentences in each section, if that is possible. When everyone is done, put their pictures up on the wall and let children do a “museum tour” of one another’s pictures. Have the children break into groups of three and four to make up their own “I lost something; someone found it; he or she returned it to me; now I’m happy” plays to show to the class.

Explain that the man in the story who lost his wallet did not take very good care of it. We all have to learn to take good care of the things we have and the things we use. Ask students if they can think of what the class can do to help take care of things at school. Make a list of their suggestions. Make another list out of a discussion of what things we take care of at home.

Add that when we take good care of things, we are showing respect for those things. Urge the students, “Let’s take good care of our school and our classroom! Let’s take good care of our homes and our things.” This discussion could lead to a service project. Perhaps students can go out and pick up trash around the school and surrounding community. Explain that this is a way to show others that we care about the things that are ours. People will respect our things more when we do.

From: Discovering the Real Me, Book 1. For book orders, click here

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