Citizenship in the Community
This program examines the responsibilities of all citizens to make each community the best it can be through community involvement. Students learn the ins and outs of what a citizen is and find out what it takes to be a good one. They will also get tips on how they can get involved as good citizens at home and in their community, and they will explore one of the most valued rights of an American citizen—the right to vote!
Find out what being a citizen means and our duties as citizens. Being an American guarantees us certain rights that other countries don't allow.
- Students will understand that being a good citizen is an important aspect of making a community a good place in which to live.
- Students will realize that there are many ways to be a good citizen and help the community.
- One way for a person to be a good citizen is to volunteer his or her time and abilities. A volunteer can donate and collect food for a food bank, help to provide opportunities for others, donate blood, help clean up a park, or even build a house for an indigent family.
- Another way for a citizen to be a valuable part of the community is to be obedient to all laws. Most laws are designed to help keep people safe; for example, speed limit laws help to keep traffic moving at a speed that is safe for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Other laws are made to protect the environment. Being a good citizen means following the laws.
- Voting is an excellent way for a person to be a good citizen. By voting, people are able to elect those who they feel will do the best job in making laws for the country, state, and community. Voting also allows people to choose some of the laws that they believe are best for their community to thrive. To ensure that everyone is able to vote, a person can vote by absentee ballot if the person cannot make it to the polling place.
- Other ways to be an upstanding citizen include reporting emergencies to the proper authorities and recycling certain items to reduce the amount of garbage that the community has.
- Before viewing the video
- Ask for a volunteer to take a note to the office. Request a student to define "volunteer" (one who gives his/her time and ability to help others). Dramatize kinds of classroom volunteers: take a new student to the office, close a window, and play with a new student at recess. Have students name other types of volunteer jobs in the classroom. These students are being good citizens in the community.
- After viewing the video
- Compare a good citizen and a volunteer. They both give their time and ability to help people and the community. List as many of the good citizen volunteers as can be remembered from the video. A second viewing might be beneficial. Volunteers included in the video are: Americore volunteers, a police officer who is also a volunteer firefighter and football coach, blood donors, people who look after stray animals, home builders for the financially less fortunate, those who report fires and accidents, and those who recycle. Have each student decide what kind of good citizen volunteer in the community he or she would like to be. The student draws a picture of his or her volunteer and labels it. Older children can write a brief paragraph about it. Some of the good citizens might volunteer to go to another classroom to present their reports. Encourage awareness of good citizenship throughout the year.
- Good Citizenship Club: Give each student a small notebook (several sheets folded in half and stapled in the middle with a construction paper cover). The books are labeled: Good Citizenship Club with the students' names. Each time a good deed is observed, it goes in the book. Once every two weeks, the class meets and the good citizens are praised. The teacher might make blue ribbons or badges for those who deserve them and special recognition in an assembly would be nice.
- What is a Community
- Citizens Have Rights
- Citizens Have Responsibilities
- Citizens Follow the Laws
- A Good Citizen
- Citizens are Patriotic
- Citizens Volunteer