Honesty - Intermediate High

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes: Students will learn why and how to be honest with others, recognize how honesty may differ across cultures, and understand what it means to be honest with themselves. Language Learning Outcomes: Students will practice using target vocabulary in context, participate in conversations with proper responses, and be able to use the conditional verb tense in speaking.

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. learn why and how to be honest with others.
  2. recognize how honesty may differ across cultures.
  3. understand what it means to be honest with themselves.

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. practice using target vocabulary in context.
  2. participate in conversations with proper responses.
  3. be able to use the conditional verb tense in speaking.

Materials Needed


Students are going to learn about honesty today.

Activate Background Knowledge

Expose students to the  new vocabulary in the powerpoint Honesty Intermediate Mid: honest, dishonest, sincere, insincere, conform, transparent, apology. 

  • Introduce honesty by asking them to think of examples in movies or books where somebody lied.
    • What happened because of the lie?
    • How would the story change if the person didn’t lie?

Activity 1: Vocabulary

Ask students to think about what it means to be honest. 

  • Then, have them collaborate with a partner. As a class, make a brainstorm on the board about what honesty could mean to students. 
  • Have students share their definition of honesty

Activity 2: Speaking

The students are going to work through some possible scenarios that challenge honesty.

  •  Put students into groups of 3-4. Have them read the Academic Honesty scenarios from the PowerPoint or the following handout:  Academic Honesty Scenarios
  • Students will discuss whether or not they feel the scenarios describe honesty or dishonesty. If a scenario is dishonest, students will rewrite and explain the scenario in such a way that it demonstrates honesty.

Activity 3: Grammar

Review the second conditional with students, referring to the powerpoint as needed

  • Use the following handout for each student second-conditional-worksheet-templates-layouts_101020.pdf.
  • Have students answer the questionnaire about honesty from the handout.
  • When students finish the questionnaire, they will create their own sentences about honesty using the conditional. 

Activity 4: Listening/Speaking

Play the short video about conformity: Conformity Bias | Ethics Defined - YouTube.


  • Ask students about examples of conformity in their life. 
    • What does it means to be true to oneself?
    • How are being true to oneself and honesty related?
  • Think of some synonyms for the word authentic, i.e. sincere, real, not fake, etc. 
    • What are some situations where people might not be authentic or true to themselves? For example, what about social media or ‘fake news’?
    • When is it important to conform, and when is it not necessary to conform?

Activity 5: Reading/Writing

Give students the following handout, and have them complete it: Being_True_to_Yourself_Exercise.pdf

  • When students finish, have them talk in groups about any insights they may have gained.

Activity 6: Speaking/Listening

Play two truths and a lie.

  • Individually, have students write three sentences about themselves. Two are true, and one is false. Model for students how to do this if necessary.
  • In partnerships or small groups, have students share their sentences with each other, and try to guess which sentence is false. 
  • Now have the students think of a sincere and honest compliment to say to each person in their groups.
  • Then have each student think of a sincere and honest compliment about themselves to tell their group.

Activity 7: Listening

Watch the video about the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf:

 The Boy Who Cried Wolf Read Aloud - Fables and Stories for Children - YouTube


OR have the students read the story out loud together:

 “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf’” | Aesop's Fables | Aesop | Lit2Go ETC (usf.edu)

  • Why do you think nobody listened to the boy in the end? 
  • What can happen if we are not honest with ourselves and others?
  • Interpret the quote: “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.”


Keep an honesty journal for every day this week. Answer these questions for each day:

  • How are you honestly doing today? How do you feel?
  • What’s a mistake you made today that you want to change?
  • What is something you did today that you are proud of?
  • What do you like about yourself today? Give yourself an honest compliment. 



April Fool’s Day vs. Honesty Day

 Honesty Day (nationaltoday.com) Scroll through some of the statistics and infographics on the website. 

  • What is a white lie? Do you think white lies are okay?


Ask the students: 

  • Would you rather: always have to tell the truth no matter the situation? Or always have to create a white lie?
    • Use the character of Pinocchio as an example. Who is Pinocchio? What happens to him if he lies? What challenges does Pinocchio face because of this?


 Introduce and interpret the following quote: “We are what we repeatedly do.” 

  • How does this apply to being honest? If we are not authentic we will become what we pretend to be. Refer back to the story “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” as an example of how the end result can be negative. 

Follow-up with the students' homework. How are they doing with their honesty journals?

This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.

Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/PositivePsychologyintheClassroom/honesty_intermediate_high.