Lesson Plan

What are Truth Teller Characteristics?

Help students identify characteristics of a truth teller and create community portrait subject list.


Discover Truth Teller Characteristics and Create Community Portrait Subject List

Reading Assignment:

Biography of Lily Yeh


Essential Question:

What makes someone a truth teller?

Lesson Description:

After discussing what qualities allowed Lily Yeh to build community, students will identify the qualities of a truth teller and select people from their own community who are truth-telling and courageous citizens.


Brainstorming and Creating List of Truth Teller Qualities

  1. Each student creates a list of qualities s/he thinks are important for a truth teller, e.g. moral courage, honesty, integrity.  (Remember, brainstorming is just that, no comments, just list the qualities.)
  1. Share the list with the class — list duplicate characteristics only once. 
  2. Allow each student to vote for six (6) qualities using either a marker or colored dot stickers or virtual checkmarks.
  1. Tally votes.
  2. Students will use these qualities as a guide in selecting their own community truth tellers.

Brainstorming and Identifying Community/Local Truth Tellers

  1. One person at a time suggest people who are American Truth Tellers in their state or community.
  1. Record list on chart paper.
  2. After the brainstorming is finished, ask each student to explain or write a brief essay about why s/he nominated the truth teller – use qualities and actions and beliefs as evidence.

Discussion/Suggested Lesson Expansion:
• Ask students to research their chosen truth tellers, e.g. local newspaper articles, online posts, or interviews with the truth teller.

Use the creative arts to present this person to the class, school, or community, e.g. portrait, piece of music, spoken word, collage, dramatic piece

Bring Americans Who Tell the Truth (AWTT) original portraits to your community.