Personhood Curriculum
8th Grade
What is a Gentleman?
Lesson Plan

Teaching Goals

Provide insight to students, both boys and girls, to help them during dating in the years ahead, and all through life.

Special Comments to Teachers

This lesson is intended for 8th graders (or older). Do not give it before then.

You should talk this lesson plan over with school administration before using it. They may disallow it, or require that permission from individual parents be obtain prior to using it. If permission is required, then I suggest sending a copy of the lesson plan and the essay home, with a permission slip to be returned. I expect that nearly all parents would give permission.

Teacher Prep
Print the essay "What is a Gentleman?"
Make copies for each student.

Class Time


This class time we look at "What is a Gentleman?"


Today's subject covers an aspect of how to live your life with less friction and in a way that gains you great respect from good people.

This lesson is written particularly from the boy's perspective, but is important to girls also. I am hoping that some of you girls will be able to make a special contribution when we get into the discussion.

It would be a much better world if it were filled with people who were genuine Ladies and Gentlemen.


I am going to read an essay to you. I want to read it, so I can give it clear emphasis at the right points. You will then be given a copy, and we will have an open discussion. Save up your questions until then. Write them down. Later you can reread the essay whenever you want. I encourage you to show it to your parents. I think they would like to see it.

Read the essay "What is a Gentleman?"

Hand out the essay.

OK. First I will open the floor for any questions or comments.

If appropriate, try to draw other students into the discussion by asking nonparticipating individuals specific questions about what another student has just said. Try to focus these on the top students. The reason for this is they are likely to be more mature, and the least embarrassed. I want them to express themselves, so those less mature students will hear the comments of their more mature peers.

When there are no more questions from the floor, try to stimulate further discussion by asking questions.


Here are some discussion starter questions. Try to get response from several students on each one. Follow up as appropriate.

Girls, can you tell us about a time a male acted towards you like a gentleman?

Girls, can you tell us about a time a male acted towards you the opposite of how a gentleman would?

Girls, do you wish all males always acted like gentlemen? HANDS!

Girls, did you respond to that gentlemanly act in a Ladylike way?

Boys, Have you ever acted in a Gentlemanly way towards another person?

Girls, have you ever acted like a Lady towards a man or boy, say by holding the door open after you have gone through it, so he didn't have to open it himself?  (It works both ways!)

Does acting like a Lady or Gentleman mean the action has to be between opposite genders?

If you never act like a Lady or Gentleman, is it less likely, or more likely that other people will act towards you as Ladies or Gentlemen?

Student Work

None defined at this time.

Teacher Follow-up

Page TOP
Advanced Personhood Sequence. Links to grade 8 Lesson Plans.
Return to Advanced Personhood Lesson Sequence - - - Master Contents

As of: 1 Oct '03