Morality Lesson Plan for Middle and High School Students
Morality, in addition to raw academics, plays an important role in society. It raises an important question, “Who is responsible for teaching morality?” Is it society’s responsibility, including teachers, to pass on the virtues of civilized life to the next generation? Or is this strictly within parents’ purview to oversee? Who gets to decide which morals get attention and which don’t?
There’s little doubt that including some kind of character or moral education in addition to strict academics positively influences students. The question then is not if we should include discussion and education of morality in schools, but how.
Teach Positive Behaviors. One of the first ways that you, as an educator, bring moral education into your classroom is by directly speaking about positive behaviors. Sometimes we assume that students know the correct, moral thing to do in any given moment. But do not allow this assumption to cause you to overlook the opportunity to make “Teachable moments” out of situations in your classroom. Openly share with students what the “right” thing to do is, and engage them in a discussion that challenges them to evaluate for themselves what seems the most appropriate course of action.
Be a Role Model. It’s not just what you say; it’s what you do that counts. As one of the few adults in the life of a child, it’s important that you use your conduct to model for students what an ethical professional looks like. Make sure that you do the right thing and conduct yourself along the highest moral standards. Judge fairly, practice honesty and respect, share, demonstrate responsibility, and allow students to see how you embody these characteristics in and out of the classroom.
Connect It to Your Content. Sometimes learning certain content is straightforward learning. But look for those opportunities where aspects of your content raise the moral question or connect to character issues. Students enjoy being challenged to think critically about themselves, and connecting ethical discussions to your content both reinforces their content knowledge and their characters.
Talk with Parents. Your students are important to you, but you are not the sole adult interested in your students’ moral development. Share your aspirations of your students’ characters with parents, converse with parents about how students are doing academically and ethically, and always make sure you allow parents to remain in the driver’s seat of their children’s character development.
So how can we teach morality in the CCD classroom? Here is a lesson plan I did for middle to high school students. Both are in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.
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