Honesty is one of the most important character traits that children should learn and be able to grasp at an early age. Although any time is a good time to teach honesty, Presidents’ Day is a perfect opportunity since Abe Lincoln is best known for being an honest man. Abe lived his life by practicing honesty, integrity, and fairness in his career and personal relationships, which is why he is the ideal symbol for teaching this valuable lesson. This post will explore the meaning of HONESTY, provide related books and songs, and suggest what parents or teachers can do to encourage the honest behavior.

The definition of HONESTY is the quality or fact of being truthful, sincere, and fair. Honesty requires several other character traits such as good judgment, responsibility, loyalty, and courage. Teaching your students the importance of practicing honesty on a daily basis not only sets the dynamic of your classroom for the year, but it sets each student up for success in their future endeavors. It is a huge part of our job to begin molding our students into outstanding and trustworthy citizens, which is why teaching honesty is an essential piece of the big picture.

What Parents or Teachers Can Do

  1. Explain the meaning of honesty.
  2. Share your experiences with them. Let them know that you aren’t perfect. Explain a time when it was difficult for you to tell the truth and how honesty helped you.
  3. Explain that there are consequences of dishonesty, such as losing the trust and respect of others, covering up a lie leads to more lies, and often times will result in embarrassment or punishment.
  4. Use mentor text to show examples of different characters.
  5. Use songs about honesty to add a fun twist. Analyze the lyrics and/or sing along!
  6. Plan some hands-on activities with your child/children.
  7. Praise and/or reward them when they display the trait of honesty.

See below for some suggestions!

Examples of Honesty

What are some examples of honesty that children can comprehend? This list comes from our February Door Decor for Character Education.


Mentor Texts

Mentor text is always an effective way to introduce a character trait. For the character trait for honesty, here are some suggestions!

The Empty Pot by Demi

Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Doreen Rappaport

The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Simon and Schuster Books



Songs are a fun way to introduce or reinforce the character trait of honesty. Have students analyze the lyrics and/or sing along!

Honesty by Billy Joel

Truth and Honesty by Aretha Franklin

The Truth Song by Have Fun Teaching


Lying and an Honesty Game: “Button, Button” by Mary Kate

Fun Activities for Kids on Telling the Truth by Zora Hughes

Daisy Girl Scout Activities for Earning the Honest and Fair Petal by Tracie Bruno


I hope you found some useful ideas on the character trait honesty! Character education is so important. Children need to learn ways to build each other up as well as ideas for self-motivation and improvement. Rockin Resources offers monthly door decor that encourages character education. The February packet focuses on honesty – HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY!