Integrity is an essential and valuable skill that students must possess if they want to flourish in life going ahead. It is a combination of values such as honesty, trustworthiness, respectfulness, fairness, being responsible, and the ability to demonstrate courage. Be it higher education or the workplace, students must show integrity to lead a good personal and civic life. Students must be aware to understand and evaluate integrity in day-to-day life. It is essential to teach students the difference between right and wrong and how to always choose to do the right thing no matter how difficult the situation is.
Being morally right and standing and abiding by one’s own principles is well appreciated but may be difficult to follow at times. At thehighschooler, we aim to teach kids without compromising on the ‘fun’ factor which is why, we bring to you a list of 8 activities that you can conduct in your classroom to educate your students about the need for integrity. Most of these activities revolve around the rules of high school classrooms such as being polite to one another, being respectful, and more.
Teach integrity with these cool activities!
Given the ethical scenarios, we shall thrive to help students build up their integrity. In our effort to help them through fun activities, we will ensure we start from the very basic – which is what integrity is.
Here is a list of 8 awesome activities that you can conduct within your classroom. These activities will not only cultivate integrity but will also ensure that the students enjoy and get to know their peers better.
1. The ‘Reflect-o-paper’ activity
In this activity, ask each student to bring out newspaper cuttings or clippings from magazines depicting some incidents involving people that showed integrity. You can ask the students to describe the incidents they have picked to the rest of the class and also give reasons as to why and how they think the incidents involve integrity.
Besides, you can divide the class into two groups wherein the students from one group must bring in newspaper cuttings or clippings of incidents that demonstrate integrity while the other group brings in information about incidents that depict a lack of integrity.
In this activity, ask students to maintain a journal for a week/month. Ask them to note down and keep a record of day-to-day activities that they observe and categorize them into integrity-based and non-integrity based.
In this way, students will keenly observe their surroundings day-to-day and learn better about integrity through real-life scenarios. If you want to keep a tab on whether or not they are doing it daily, you can pick one or two students random and ask them to narrate any of the events they have seen so far.
3. Integrity bingo
Who doesn’t love bingo? Since bingo counts as a popular game for everyone irrespective of their age, we could not miss it out here while trying to educate our young students. This is going to be quite a time-consuming activity, so you will need a good couple of hours to conduct this activity! Firstly, ask students to take a piece of paper and write down some incidents that they have witnessed in their life. In the end, ask them to highlight the integrity-based emotion associated with the incident.
Now, based on the emotions highlighted, make a classic bingo grid but instead of numbers, write down the emotions. Pass on the bingo grids to the students and toss the piece of paper consisting of the emotions into a jar. Now pick one chit at a time and call out the emotion. Students must cross out the emotion if it is present in their chit. You can follow the rules of Bingo for this game as well. The student that wins must narrate an incident related to the emotion he or she resonated the most with.
4. The ‘Random Appreciation’ activity
Not sure how many of you are aware but once upon a time, social media was fluttered with posts like ‘Random Appreciation Post’ where the Gen-Z posted pictures with cute appreciation for people they really wanted to take a moment to appreciate.
We might be a little late to the trend but better late than never, because following something similar, in this activity, we will give each student a minute or two (or a little more based on convenience) to appreciate someone from their class or school, whom they genuinely want to thank for their integrity. These students must describe the incident that led them to think this. You can impose some boundary conditions such as the students can only talk about one of their classmates, senior, or junior, etc.
5. The ‘Skit-o-mania’ activity
Role Plays or skits have often been regarded as one of the best ways to showcase a message to the general public. Implementing this into the formulation, you can divide the students into groups and ask them to pick up any story or incident – be it from movies, books, or their personal lives, which must depict integrity.
To make things a little more challenging, you can give all the groups this particular scenario.
- What happens when someone who is trying to be honest and lead a life with integrity and dignity is pressured by a group that wants him or her to go against his own moral principles for a dangerous outcome that harms society?
This will leave the outcome very open-ended and it may happen that different groups may come up with different solutions for the same problem. All the students will get an idea on what could be the possible ways to deal with a scenario like this.
6. Demographic Democratic
All of us love being in power, isn’t it? Sprinkling a little dosage of momentary reality into this, give students the scenario wherein they get elected into power and they decide the rules and reforms that govern the country that they have to run. This can be a group activity and will require students to brainstorm quite a lot. You can present the following scenario to them:
- You are elected as the government/ruling party of country X. As you have come to power, you have to reform or introduce some policies that you think are of utmost importance for the citizens of X.
Give the groups some time to come up with policies. Once they have, ask them to take turns and narrate the policies. While one group is narrating the policy, the other groups are allowed to pose questions to check the integrity behind imposing such a policy.
7. The classic scavenger hunt but with a twist
Who doesn’t enjoy a scavenger hunt? Finding and decoding hidden clues with time running out really gets the adrenaline hitting the roof. Keeping the fun alive but subjecting the students to some more challenges, here is a fun-filled scavenger hunt that also gives them a lesson or two about integrity.
Hide some items within the classroom/school premises and mark each item with an identification mark. Now, divide the students into groups and tell them to find the items and set boundary conditions to limit them such as ‘You can only search within the cafeteria or within the library’ but hide the objects outside these areas. Now also tell them that whatever they find must have an identification mark on it else they will be disqualified.
Tell them the group that finds the most number of objects wins and set a reward for them. Now, many will search and come up with nothing while some will go out of the said boundary and get you the hidden object. The students or group that brings in nothing is the winner because they obeyed the rules. There can be more than one group that is the winner, and you can split the reward. Once you have declared the winner(s) it is important to reason why they are the winners.
8. The ‘write your heart out’ activity
In other words, this activity is as simple as essay writing. Unleash the creative bee within students by asking students to write whatever they think comes to their mind when they think about integrity.
If you do not want to limit their creative ability, you can give them the freedom to come up with fictional stories with morals that relate to integrity. If you want to keep it specific, then give them a topic to write their essay. One of the topics that we can think of is: ‘What happens when one does not live with integrity in society? What are the consequences he or she faces?’
Some more tips on academic integrity for high schoolers
Here is a list of some pointers that students can use as a checklist to kick in the ability to display integrity in day-to-day life.
- Being honest in friendships.
- Living up to promises.
- Standing up for what is right no matter how difficult
- Accepting your mistakes and apologizing for them
- Staying out of the blame game
- Avoiding gossipping.
- Not bullying yet not getting bullied as well.
- Being polite with everyone irrespective of their social status.
- Not cheating in tests and exams.
- Always speaking the truth
- Not breaking anybody’s trust
- Keeping secrets.
Tips to encourage integrity in the classroom
Here are four tips that teachers can implement to cultivate integrity among high schoolers.
- Be their role model
No other way than to be a practical example of what you are preaching. It is a well-known fact that children tend to pick up a lot of things by observing their surroundings. The same goes for integrity and ethics. Be honest, be polite, be encouraging, and be everything that you urge your students to be.
- Use quotations
Display quotations within the classroom or write one positive quote each day. They are great writing prompts and icebreakers for conversations. Quotes will help bring in positivity and cultivate a positive classroom environment. They also have the potential to promote the positive and healthy emotional well-being of each student by suggesting to them to make the right decisions and be on the right path.
- Organize a movie premier
What is better than giving the students a break by showing them movies? Organize movie day for the students and showcase movies that have great morals related to integrity and the values associated with it.
- Turn library hours into ‘integrity-specific learning’ hours
Encourage students to read books and novels based on integrity during library hours. You can also ask them to write book reviews later.
Wrapping things up!
Keeping self-integrity in check is essential because it lets students be mindful of their behavior and keep their interpersonal skills in check. Considering the same, we curated a list of 8 unique activities to help you out! We hope with the aforementioned activities, you can successfully inculcate integrity in high schoolers.