Character education lessons, activities, and resources

Pillar: Respect

Purpose: Acknowledging the effects of others’ hard work in their community, students create a photo and text exhibit that examines the careers of individuals in the community whose work they respect.


  • Students will interview an individual about his or her job and understand the impact their work has on the community.
  • Students will write a brief essay or reflection highlighting the worker’s answers to their questions.
  • Students will share their work through a photo and text exhibit.

Discussion:  Ask students to discuss the following quote, “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”


Write the following questions on the board: What does work mean to us as individuals?  As a society?  How does work shape our values?  Our lives?

Have students copy the questions down, then discuss them.  List answers to the questions.  Suggest that the work we do for ourselves and our families also affects others.  Have students cite examples such as: If someone works hard and is proud of his or her work, it fosters respect from those who directly benefit from it, as well as from those who simply witness it.  This respect, in turn, can inspire others to be more responsible and committed in their work.

Discuss what makes a job worthy of respect.  Discuss concepts like prestige, esteem, authority and power, and how these influence the way we perceive workers.  Be sure to emphasize the importance of respecting all persons who contribute to society, regardless of how much money they earn or how much authority or status they wield.

Introduce the project.  Say: To foster respect for working people in the community and to display our appreciation for these individuals, we are going to showcase them.  Tell students their assignment is to seek out, interview, and photograph a worker whom they respect.  Also inform them that once everyone has completed these tasks, the group will create an exhibit of the photographs, including descriptions of each photo.

Assign each student the following tasks:

  • Interview a particular individual about his or her job. Ask the same questions that were discussed at the beginning of class.
  • Take a photo of the worker at his or her job.
  • Write a brief essay or reflection highlighting the worker’s answers to questions and explain why this person was chosen.

Have students plan, prepare, and construct the exhibit after they have completed the tasks above.  You might get the exhibit started by including a sample photo and caption of a worker whom you admire.


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