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Values Lesson on Honesty

Updated on February 6, 2018

This lesson focuses on the importance of teaching children not to steal. Honesty is a very important part of life, and all children should be aware of the consequences involved if one steals. The book “Anansi and the Magic Trick” by Eric A. Kimmel is a very good way of teaching this value. In this book, the main character, Anansi, steals a magic housekeeping stick from Hyena. Because of him stealing, the town begins to flood. He has to tell Hyena he stole the stick in order to save the town. This story allows many responses to literature to be made. Because of this, the book can be used as a creative way to teach about letter writing.

General Goal

1. Goal – Students will learn to write a letter while responding to a situation in the book “Anansi and the Magic Trick”.

2. Previous work – Students will have a basic understanding of what a letter is and what components should be included when writing a letter.

3. Future work – Students will work on writing more formal letters.

4. Expected time – One hour.

5. Assessment of prior knowledge – Show the students a letter and ask them to tell what kinds of things make up a letter and what they are called (greeting, etc.).

Specific Goals and Assessment

1. Knowledge – Students will understand how to write a correct basic letter.

2. Skills – Students will write a letter from the viewpoint of a town’s person to Anansi.

3. Disposition – Students will show an understanding that stealing is not acceptable and they will show an appreciation for the work of other students.


1. Students with special needs – Students with special needs may have the option of reading the book on the computer or using a book on tape to review the story. They can also be given a sheet with the letter format already shown, so that they just fill in the relevant information.

2. Students who finish quickly – Students who finish quickly can be encourage to read other Anansi books, which will be available to them. They can also be encouraged to help other students with their work if it is needed.

3. Students who need support – Students who need support may have the option of using a sheet with the letter formant already given to them. They may then fill in the relevant information.

4. ESL Students – ESL students may use a translating dictionary for help with vocabulary or work with a fellow classmate.

Summative Assessment

1. Observe the students as they discuss the subject of stealing.

2. Observe the students while the book is read.

3. Observe as the students write a letter and incorporate its components.

4. Rubric for assessment. See attached sheet.


1. Materials – “Anansi and the Magic Trick” by Eric A. Kimmel, paper, pencil, examples of letter, book on tape or computer version, and chalkboard.

2. Motivation and Preparation – “How many of you have ever taken something or did something that you were not supposed to? I think we all have, haven’t we? Taking things from other people is not a good thing. It can end up hurting other people’s feelings or cause bad things to happen, even if we did not mean for them to happen. Today we are going to read a book that tells us about a spider that stole something he wasn’t supposed to steal. Let’s see what happens to him.”

3. Activities and Timing

A. Modeling – Read the book aloud. After the book has been read, have a discussion with the class about what Anansi stole. “What did he steal? Why did he steal it? What happened in the end?”

B. Guided Practice – Next, talk about writing letters. Go over each part of writing a letter by showing the students very simple examples of what they must do. Write some examples on the board, using comments and ideas from the students concerning the Anansi story.

C.Independant Practice – Discuss how the people who lived in Anansi’s town must have felt when the town began to flood. Explain to the class that they will write a letter toAnansi explaining what they think of what he did, and how they think he should correctthe problem.

D.Assessment – Students will turn in their finished letter for assessment. See attached rubric.

4. Connections – The book deals with the subject of stealing. This will be used to have the students react and write what they would feel if they lived in Anansi’s town. The reaction will be written in letter format.

Rubric Scoring


4 - Has all five requirements of a friendly letter.

3- Has three or four requirements of a friendly letter

2- Has two requirements of a friendly letter

1- Has one or less requirements of a friendly letter.

Value (honesty)

4- The idea of honesty was expressed in a clear and organized fashion. It was easy to figure out message of letter.

3- The idea of honesty was expressed, but it was not clear. It took more than one reading to understand message.

2- The idea of honesty is expressed, but the message cannot be understood.

1- The idea of honesty is not expressed. The message cannot be understood.

Sentences and Paragraphs

4- Sentences and paragraphs are complete, well constructed, and of many types.

3- Sentences and paragraphs are complete, and are well constructed but do not have many types.

2- Sentences and paragraphs are complete, but are not well constructed or of many types.

1- Sentences and paragraphs are not complete, are not well constructed, and are not of many types.

Grammar and Spelling

4- No mistakes in grammar and spelling.

3- One to two mistakes in grammar and spelling.

2- Three to four mistakes in grammar and spelling.

1- Five or more mistakes in grammar and spelling.


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