Lesson Plan - Get It!
Good citizenship is like a garden. Your seeds in a garden will grow with water, sun, and care. Good citizenship can help you plant seeds in life that allow for goodness to grow and spread throughout your community. But to really understand good citizenship you should start asking some questions!
- What is the difference between good and bad citizenship?
- What does it mean to be a good citizen when you are young?
- How can you plant seeds of good citizenship that will affect others?
Being a good citizen can involve different responsibilities at different times throughout your life. The exciting part about good citizenship skills is that you can start working on these skills at a very young age and continue to learn and improve as you grow. It's never too early to start, so let's learn how to plant our seeds of good citizenship!
The words "good citizenship" can be a little confusing.
- What does citizenship mean?
The U.S. Department of Education gives this explanation on its Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen pamphlet:
"Citizenship requires doing our share for our community and our country. Being a good citizen means caring about the good of society and participating actively to make things better."
There are many more responsibilities that go along with good citizenship as you get older. But for now, your main duty is to build your character, which is basically building your everyday superhero powers. When you see examples of good citizenship in action, think about where you could fit it into your daily life. When a student shows good citizenship, that student is being helpful, caring, respectful, and honest.
- What other characteristics can you come up with to identify good citizenship in your life?
Let's take a look at an example to better understand good citizenship.
Now that you have seen an example of good citizenship in action, continue to think about creative ways to practice this behavior in your own community.
- When you wrote down your good citizenship opportunities above, did you feel excited to start practicing good citizenship right away?
- Would you react the way George did when Julie needed help?
You might still be asking what you can do to practice good citizenship and make an impact in your own community. Sometimes it helps to see good citizenship in action by kids just like you!
Watch 10 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids from The Cohen Show to see two young siblings plant seeds of good citizenship as they spread kindness throughout their community.
- Can you think of two acts of kindness that you and your parent or teacher could do together?
Good citizenship can sound confusing or overwhelming at first because you may not understand how you can practice these skills at a young age; however, the video shows that there is no activity too big or too small and you can do them at almost any age. Everyday superheroes take advantage of big and small opportunities to make a positive difference in their communities.
As you notice simple examples of good citizenship, you should see a common theme.
- Good citizenship starts with helping to meet a need.
You can notice needs in your own home, in your own neighborhood, and in your own community. You may even be able to look at these needs and come up with creative ideas that the adults do not even notice!
Good citizenship is also focused on making good choices! Print out the Choices, Choices Everywhere! worksheet found under Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Cut out the choices that represent bad and good citizenship behaviors and paste them into the correct columns.
- Remember: Good and bad citizenship involves choices, and these choices are all around you everyday.
You are ready to move onto the Got It? section to learn more about citizenship.