Citizenship in Action

Duncan Elementary School

Citizenship is doing your share to make your school and community a better place. Instructor should begin lesson with discussion questions that lead each class to create its own citizenship poster. The poster should include a class definition for citizenship along with an illustration.

The student will explore and develop an understanding of the concept of citizenship.
The student will identify the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship.
The student will demonstrate that being a good citizen includes:
  • Taking responsibility for certain classroom chores
  • Taking care of personal belongings
  • Respecting the property of others
  • Following the rules at home, school, and in the community
  • Citizenship: Everyday Character Education by Janet Riehecky (Capstone Press [MN], 2006)
    Poster board or white butcher paper
    Markers or crayons
    Citizenship in Action handout
    Day 1
    1. Tell students that our topic for today’s lesson is citizenship
    2. Ask students to give their own definitions for citizenship.
    3. Write the student definitions on white board
    4. Follow up discussion with these questions
    a. Ask students what they like most about living in their town, state, and country
    b. Ask students what they like most about their school
    c. Ask students to tell about a time when they were good citizens
    5. Conclude discussion by emphasizing that citizenship means making our community a better place and obeying the rules.
    6. Read Citizenship by Janet Riehecky
    a. Follow-up story by asking students to describe how the characters in the story showed good citizenship.

    Day 2
    1. Review definitions given for citizenship
    2. Ask students to share examples of good and poor citizenship
    3. Read list of examples of citizenship listed on the Citizenship in Action handout with students. As the examples are read, ask students to mentally select the action that they will commit to put in place immediately.
    4. Divide students into groups of 4 or 5. Have each group select one of the actions from the Citizenship in Action handout. Each group will create citizenship poster. Each group will present their citizenship poster in class and display in the hallways.
    End of class discussion and review
    Quality of citizenship poster
    Parents play a very important role in helping to make our school and community a better place. The following are ways that parents can help to extend the character
    education initiative at home.

    Here is an example of a character education communication for the parent newsletter.



    What Parents Can Do At Home

    Practice citizenship in action:
    Model how to “stay up” on current events
    Read the newspaper
    Watch television news with your child(ren)
    Attend community events
    Have a family plan to regularly protect and conserve natural resources
    Recycle, plant trees and flowers, and don’t litter
    Have each family member complete the following sentence and put it where it will serve as a reminder: “I will be a good citizen by _____________________________”
    This lesson was submitted by Cindy Benton, Guidance Counselor, Duncan Elementary School