M. Hirsh Goldberg, former press secretary to a governor of Maryland and author of five books, created National Honesty Day in the early 1990s after spending four years researching and writing The Book of Lies. Goldberg felt that the month of April, which begins with a big day of lying (April Fools Day), should end on a higher moral note.
On honesty day, people are encouraged to be more honest. Honesty Day often includes celebrating the honesty of past presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Honesty Day is also considered a day to increase awareness about the honesty, or lack thereof, of current government officials.
Storytelling is a great way to teach the concept of honesty. Remember the boy who cried wolf? When a wolf actually appeared, no one believed him. Whatever grade you’re teaching, honesty lessons and units are an important part of a child’s education. Click here for honesty lesson plans, worksheets, and activities.
Ethics: An Early American Handbook – This book contains the lessons that parents once used to instill moral principles in the hearts and minds of their children – in the days when Americans were renowned worldwide for their honesty and trustworthiness. Ethics: An Early American Handbook provides a series of thoughtful lessons on character traits as taught in previous centuries, followed by discussion questions. Chapter titles include: Truth – in which you will find out five ways people lie, and why each should be avoided. Profanity – why it is not only offensive, but dangerous. Obedience – why this unpopular virtue is so necessary. Conscience – why you will never be happy if you have a troubled conscience. Conscientiousness – why it’s vital to do the best job you possibly can. Forgiveness – the three reactions you can have to being wronged, and why it’s so important to forgive. Additional chapters focus on the topics of industry, honesty, fidelity, justice, politeness, gratitude, benevolence, purity, repentance, treatment of enemies, and duty. Although some of the specific examples are quaint and old-fashioned, the ethical principles are timeless, and you can make up your own modern-day hypothetical scenarios.