March 6, 2018

Good Citizens

I love teaching kids that their behaviors can have an effect on others and the world around them. It is fun showing them that they are a part of something bigger than just themselves. I enjoy opening them up to the idea that their actions can leave huge impacts on others and their community. Whether that impact is positive or if that impact is negative, is up to them.

This month the character word is citizenship. I decided to focus my guidance lesson on the differences between good citizens and citizens that need to try harder to help others and their community.

I start the lesson by asking what the word citizen even means. I use these posters as teaching tools to help guide the discussion.
Once everyone understands what a citizen even is, I like to read, “What if Everyone Did That?” I take every opportunity to discuss if the situations describe good citizens or citizens who need to try a little bit harder. After we read the story, I have students do the card sort game.
To make it, I use two brown paper bags as the sorting containers. They are super cheap to make and super easy to use. You could use any containers you have available. Simply print and attach the labels to the front of your containers.
I print all of the items in color and then laminate everything so that it is durable and I do not have to remake it frequently. There are fifty four cards included; I narrow it down a bit and pick out the key situations I know I want to talk about to save some time.
I let each student pick a card, either read it out loud to the class or read it to me quietly and I will repeat it to the class. They then decide if they think the situation describes a good citizen or a citizen who needs to try harder. Once the decision is made, they drop it into the corresponding container.

When that activity is complete, I like to follow up with a worksheet. I like for them to have something tangible to take home and something they can look at to reinforce the concepts. The activity is designed to challenge student's ability to describe good citizens while thinking about their own actions and behavior. 
The kids also like the time to work together and the free time at the end to color. You’d be amazed at how hard a kid will work on an activity sheet if they know they are going to be able to color when it is over.

For students who may need one-on-one or small group instruction in order to fully understand these concepts, I pull them and we work together (or as a group) to complete the cut and glue activity.

Sometimes the reinforcement and more individualized attention is all a student needs in order to excel. We work together to decide if each of the twenty-four situations describes good citizens or people who need to try harder. Once all situations are sorted and discussed, we glue them to the page. Students can decorate and keep this as an awesome reminder of how great of citizens they can be!


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