Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaching Trustworthiness with Chocolate

This is my first time joining a linky part.  I still feel really new to blogging, and do not know all the ins and outs so bear with me and cross your fingers that it will work.  I couldn't pass up the chance to join Maria Dismondy's monthly Let's Make A Difference link party since the topic this month is trustworthiness.  This is one of my most successful lessons I have done so far. I did this lesson with 5th graders my first year as a counselor when I was teaching Character Counts.

I did not tell the students we were discussing Trustworthiness, because I did not want to give anything away. I began by telling the students that over the weekend I went to this amazing specialty candy shop out of town and brought them each back a little piece of chocolate because it was so good.  I handed every student a little piece of the chocolate and asked them to please wait and not eat it until I said it was okay. I just said I want to be fair and have it all at the same time.  I really built up the hype for how good this chocolate was and they were so excited that I brought them some. (Here is the kicker: the chocolate is NOT from a specialty shop; it's UNSWEETENED baking chocolate) When I give them the okay, all the kids eat their piece of chocolate.  They immediately start gagging and wanting to spit out the chocolate; its hilarious!!  The best part is they start saying, "Hey, you lied" or "you tricked us."  And I say, that's right I lied to you.  Then to make amends I tried to offer them a wrapped up Reese's cup and they don't even want to take it, because they think I'm lying again.  It is a perfect message: It only takes one lie to lose someone's trust, and it takes a lot of effort to gain it back.  They say after that, they will never trust me again. It's so funny.

This fun idea is a great intro to any lesson on trust.  It fits well with the Wall of Turst activity, because its the same message of building someone's trust and tearing it down with one lie.


  1. LOVE this idea! I am definitely going to try it with my kids this year. I did a similar thing last year regarding feeling left out. The lesson happened to fall on Valentines Day, so I made quick Valentines for each of the 2nd grade classes. Then, at the beginning of the lesson, I told everyone wearing pink to stand up and they got a Valentine. Then, I chose one person to get an extra big Valentine, and had them all sit down. Then, I talked to them about how they felt to get a Valentine, and how the others felt who did not get one -- disappointed, sad, confused, left out, etc. (After we processed this, I gave everyone a Valentine, of course). I think that sometimes lessons that provoke an authentic reaction from the kids are the most memorable and meaningful.

  2. Hey Alison - Happy First Linky Party! And thanks for sharing that wonderful lesson. Michael Josephson says that we are remembered by our last worst act . . .and unfortunately it's SO true. The feeling that they couldn't ever trust you again validates that claim!

    Happy new year,

    The Corner On Character

  3. Hi Alison, thank you so much for linking up! I love all the ideas I am learning from the Make A Difference Monthly party. I look forward to reading your blog! :) Maria Dismondy

  4. Great idea! Filing it away for later use! Thanks for sharing!