Responsibility Rather than Excuses
Shades Cahaba Elementary School

Through group discussions, students will learn the difference between making excuses and being responsible. Students will learn the difference and then give examples and find ways to convert excuses to statements of responsibility.

Students will learn the difference between being responsible and making excuses. Students will learn about taking responsibility.
Paper
Pencils
possibly crayons/colored pencils/markers
Start by discussing why giving excuses is a way that we deny our own responsibility and try to blame others. Make sure to discuss how frequent excuses may affect someone.

Give the students some examples of an excuse and how to make it into a statement of responsibility:
Excuse: It broke.
Taking Responsibility: I broke it. How can I fix it?

Excuse: I can’t find it.
Taking Responsibility: I haven’t found it yet. I need to look harder.

Excuse: She was doing it, so I did it, too.
Taking Responsibility: I won’t do it.

Ask students to write down several excuses they’ve made recently.

Ask students to rewrite their excuses as statements of responsibility.

Illustrating these different statements into a comic series where students can show the reactions of others would make the project more involved.

Give students a phrase such as, “When I am picked on, I…” Have students brainstorm different ways of handling the situation and which ways show the person taking responsibility and which ones do not.
Informally assess the students through a class discussion. Students will answer questions, such as:
Why do we use excuses?
When you use a responsible statement, who is in control?
Is it easier to make excuses or responsible statements?