Theme Study

Teaching Honesty in School

Teaching honesty in school is extremely important for students of all ages. Kindergarten teachers should introduce the importance of honesty from the beginning, so students can learn how to properly treat other people. Students at this early age may not completely understand the impact that lying can have on other people. Building a strong foundation for children in the lower grades about honesty will greatly help them as they get older. Reading the following books to children will greatly increase their awareness on the importance of being truthful, even when it can be hard sometimes.

Sam Tells Stories

by Thierry Robberecht

This is a wonderful book to be read aloud to students in grades K-3 to teach them about honesty. Sam tells his classmates at school several stories such as “My dad is an astronaut” and “He even met some aliens.” He even tells a story to his mom when she gets mad at him for having dirty clothes. At school the next day, Sam tells his friends the truth about everything. Even though they are mad at him, they still ask him to play soccer with them after school. Sam realizes he has amazing friends. Sam’s brother helps him realize that he is not so boring after all. He is a great storyteller! Reading this story aloud to children in lower elementary grades will help them realize that they don’t have to lie to make friends. Instead, being honest with people will help them make the best of friends. I think this book should be read near the beginning of the year when the students are just getting to know each other. This book will help them realize that their classmates will like them for who they are, so there is no need to lie to make friends.

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie

By Laura Rankin

Ruthie loved all types of tiny things. On the playground at school, Ruthie found a tiny camera. Martin, a kid in her class, claimed that the camera was his, but Ruthie wanted the camera and did not want to give it to him. Martin told Mrs. Olsen, their teacher, that he got the camera for his birthday and then Ruthie said she got the camera for her birthday, which wasn’t true at all. After Mrs. Olsen took the camera, Ruthie realized she made a mistake. She lied about the camera being hers and she felt terrible. Ruthie told Mrs. Olsen the truth about the camera the next day at school. Mrs. Olsen gave Ruthie a hug and told her that she was proud of her for having the courage to be honest. Ruthie apologized to Martin. This is a great book to read aloud to students in grades K-3 to teach them about lying. Ruthie shows the students that it’s okay if you make a mistake, but being able to fix the mistake is very important. Ruthie felt good inside because she was honest with her teacher and she apologized to Martin. This book helps students understand that taking something that is not yours is not the honest thing to do.


by Julia Donaldson

This book is about a fish named Tiddler who always tells tall tales about why he is late to school. One day, when Tiddler swam into a fishing net and barely escaped, he realized he was lost and going to really be late for school! Tiddler was able to find his way back to his class because he heard other fish in the sea telling his stories. When Tiddler finally arrived to school, he told everyone what happened, but none of the other fish believed him because they were used to his tall tales. This hilarious book is a great read aloud for students in grades K-3. Students will learn what a tall tale is and why the other fish don’t believe Tiddler when he is really telling the truth. This will teach students the importance of being honest to other people because people won’t believe someone who lies.

Tiddler by Julia Donaldson

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

retold by B.G. Hennessy

This book is about a shepherd who is bored with watching sheep. Because the shepherd was so bored, he tried to teach the sheep tricks, but the sheep didn’t seem interested. To create some excitement, the shepherd boy yelled, “Wolf! Wolf! There is a wolf after my sheep!” The people of the town came running as fast as they could to help the shepherd and his sheep, but there was no wolf. The shepherd boy enjoyed all of the excitement. The next day was boring again so the shepherd boy yelled again, “Wolves! Wolves!” Once again, everyone came running to help, but once again, there were no wolves. The next day, when there really were wolves, nobody came to help when the shepherd boy yelled “Wolves! Wolves! Wolves!” Nobody believed the shepherd boy. This book can be read aloud to children in grades K-3 to teach them about the importance of being honest. When people lie over and over again, people lose trust in that person. Nobody believed the shepherd boy because he lied the previous two days. This book will show students the importance of gaining people’s trust by being honest and the impact lies can have.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

by Diane deGroat

This is a wonderful book to be read aloud to students in grades K-3. In this book, Gilbert did not want to be in the class play because he was scared he was going to forget all of his lines. Gilbert was assigned to play George Washington in the play. He was scared because he knew that George Washington had a lot of lines, but when his teacher gave him a hat to wear for the part, Gilbert felt a lot better. Gilbert snuck the hat home so he could practice his lines. At school the next day, Gilbert realized his hat was not in his book bag. Gilbert said that he didn’t take it and blamed Philip for taking his hat. Gilbert’s mother brought the hat to school so everyone knew that Gilbert had lied. Gilbert gave the hat to Philip because Gilbert realized he was not a very good George Washington, since he lied. Philip gave the hat back because he said that Gilbert did say he was sorry for lying. Gilbert made no mistakes when he said his lines during the play! This book helps teach students the importance of telling the truth, even when it is hard. Also, students are able to realize that it is okay for them to make mistakes, but lying about making mistakes is not okay.

By: Tori Rhodes

ELM 330