Ethics discussion guide
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INTRODUCTION

This discussion guide will enhance students’ study of the student's Ethics section of this website so that they better understand the importance of ethics and how to incorporate ethical behavior into their lives. Included are relevant academic content standards by state, an objective for each page, ideas for classroom discussion, puzzle answers, literature connections, and social studies connections. Review the objectives and conduct a classroom discussion for each component to help students make personal connections to the ideas presented on the site.

Understanding Ethics

Objective: To introduce students to the idea of ethical decision-making, and to terms and concepts pertaining to ethics and character.

Discussion: Good (a.k.a. ethical) decisions are not always popular. Because of this, the right thing to do is not always obvious. In order to learn how to “do the right thing,” we need to think about the consequences of our decisions on the health and safety of ourselves and others, our environment, and our peer group or community. Considering these things will help us know whether we are being ethical or unethical.

Invite students to share any personal examples of a choice they had to make where it was not black and white (obvious), but where there was a “gray area.” Tell them a good way to tell if they’re struggling with a gray area is when a big “BUT” comes into play in the decision-making process. (I could tell Ms. Thomas what the kids were doing to Sam during recess, BUT…)