13 Important Obstacles to Becoming a Better Person

Thirteen Obstacles to Becoming a Better Person is a single lesson that may be a cumulative activity within a character unit or an emergency lesson plan for a substitute that will keep students thinking and writing for one to two days.  Students will have an opportunity to think through the issue of why it is so hard to become a better person?

Learning Targets:

  • Students will examine how obstacles can hinder healthy decision making.
  • Students will accomplish this by completing an assignment entitled Thirteen Obstacles to Becoming a Better Person.
  • Students will be assessed by the completion of the assignment.

Work Session -- (this assignment may take two days to complete; thoughtful written paragraphs require time.  Students will be comparing their thoughts based on their life experiences with an article that may expose them to a different point of view.)  

1.     Imagine you are a parent who desires for your children to become happy adults.  What would be the one character trait you would instill in your children as important for their personal happiness?  How would that character tract lead to your child’s happiness?    

 Examples of Character Traits

·       Goodness — is all about character — integrity, honest, kindness, generosity, moral courage.

·       Attitude — Abraham Lincoln — people are as happy as they want to be.

·       Think before you speak — will this increase my happiness or create a problem that will cause uncalled for pain?

·       Decide to be happy rather than right. (Or don’t be dead right)

2.     Google:  Thirteen Obstacles to Becoming a Better Person or http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2011/10/04/thirteen_obstacles_to_becoming_a_better_person/page/full         (You can copy and paste into your browser.)

3.     Provide a copy of the article for each student, if you school allows students to bring tech devices to class, the students can view the article on their device.

4.     Students respond to 13 statements regarding Obstacles to Becoming a Better Person.  Students will explain why they believe what they believe with a 3 to 5 sentence paragraph.

Students will read the article Thirteen Obstacles to Becoming a Better Person; then return to their worksheet and complete the Reflections column where they express their opinion as the same or different because…  Looking for well thought out paragraph with details.

What are the reasons goodness leads to happiness?

·       There are rewards to goodness

·       Good people have inner peace

·       Good people trust other people.  People who cheat, lie, steal never trusts other people; they think that everyone is like them

·       Good people are liked by other people; good people are respected

·       Good people are attractive to other good people—people find people.

·       God will reward you in the afterlife—-if there is a just God, there is ultimate justice.


Some students may need extra time and/or may need to sit with a person to first discuss quietly each statement before writing their answer.


3 sentences                                          Possible C

3 to 4 sentences                                  Possible C, B or A, depending upon the quality of the expressed thoughts and reasoning.

5 or more sentences                             B or A, depending upon the quality of the                                                                       expressed thought and reasoning

To get a copy of the Student Worksheet, please click on the link below to get a copy of the Google Docs document.


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