Responsibility Lesson I Taught in 2nd Grade

As we’re nearing the end of the year, I’ve started talking with students about growing responsibilities as they move up! In this responsibility counseling lesson, students unpack not only what responsibility is but what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like. We also dive into one way to show responsibility, which is giving our best effort!

Looking for a fun responsibility counseling lesson? Use this one to help students understand what responsibility is and looks like.

Responsibility Counseling Lesson

Story: Pigsty

We start the lesson by reading Pigsty by Adam Teague. It’s a silly story to introduce the concept of taking care of your own things and taking responsibility for your actions.


Defining Responsibility

After reading the story, I have students share the definition of responsibility in their own words. They shared things like:

  • taking care of your things
  • doing what you say you’ll do
  • getting your stuff done

Then, we make an anchor chart describing what responsibility looks like, sounds like, and feels like!

Looking for a fun responsibility counseling lesson? Use this one to help students understand what responsibility is and looks like.

Best Effort vs. Good Enough Effort

In the first lesson on this topic (we’ll keep discussing it later!), we talk about giving your best effort as a way to be responsible. To illustrate best effort vs. good enough effort, I do 2 things:

  1. Have a student volunteer stand about 2 feet away from me. I casually underhand toss a ball to them and then say, “That was the best throw ever! I am amazing!” The kids laugh and point out that it wasn’t hard. Then, I explain that I was just giving a good enough effort, and it really wasn’t my best effort or the best I could do.
  2. I ask students to raise their arms up in the arm. Then I say, “Okay, raise them 2 inches higher!” They can all do it! We point out that raising their arms was a good enough effort (afterall, that’s what I asked them to do), but there was room for a best effort of raising their arms 2 inches higher.

Goal Setting

Next, I have students think about something they are working on or working toward this week. A few students shared, and some named things in school and some named things outside of school, which is totally fine! I use one student’s example to again point out the difference in best effort vs. good enough effort. For example, if you show up to soccer practice and give a good enough effort, you might be playing and running around, but not trying your hardest, not running your fastest, not kicking your hardest, not following the plays, etc. But if you give your best effort, you’re doing all of those things!

I ask students to picture themselves doing the thing they are working toward this week. Then I ask them to picture what their best effort would look like in this task. Students share and record this on a handout. We’ll check in next week about their best effort in the task!

Want more resources for your responsibility counseling lesson?

Looking for a fun responsibility counseling lesson? Use this one to help students understand what responsibility is and looks like.

Keep Reading:

Looking for a fun responsibility counseling lesson? Use this one to help students understand what responsibility is and looks like. Great for responsibility lessons, responsibility counseling activities, responsibility small group counseling activities, and more.

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