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Vermilion Parish Schools

Activity 6: Create a Classroom Government (GLEs: 16, 17, 18, 19, 43)

Materials List: chart paper, construction paper  

Discuss with students how government helps meet the basic needs of our society.  Discuss with students the responsibilities of community leaders.  After the discussion, tell students to pretend they are local lawmakers.  Then introduce and discuss the following representative committees on which they will serve:

     Lawmaking Committee: makes classroom rules and posts them for everyone to follow

     Executive Committee: oversees classroom rules and encourages good citizenship

     Law and Order Committee: mediates conflicts and keeps a discipline journal

     Postal Service Committee: delivers daily attendance record to the principalís office

     Environment Committee: cleans the learning centers and cares for classroom plants and pets

     Public Relations Committee: produces a class newsletter and writes thank-you notes to parent volunteers

     History Committee: records class activities and compiles them for a presentation.

Discuss as a group how the members of each committee will function. Lead the students to the following suggestions:

     the responsibilities of membership on the committee

     how to choose a chairperson

     how to give and follow directions

     what the committee will do each week.

The whole class will first serve on the Lawmaking Committee to create and post classroom rules. Introduce a new committee every two or three days or as time permits, and assign the entire class to perform the responsibilities of that committee. As each committee is studied, a chart explaining the committee and its function should be posted in the classroom.

Suggested charts to be displayed in the classroom might include the following: 

Lawmaking Committee

Makes classroom rules

Posts rules for everyone to follow

 

Executive Committee

Oversees classroom rules, ensuring that they are followed

Encourages good citizenship

 

Law and Order Committee

Mediates conflicts among students

Keeps a journal of rules broken

Postal Service Committee

Delivers daily attendance record to the principalís office

 

Environment Committee

Cleans learning centers

Cares for class plants and pets

 

Public Relations Committee

Produces a class newsletter

Writes thank-you notes

 

History Committee

Compiles class activity records

Keeps a classroom timeline

After students have gained an understanding of the function of each committee, have them compare what these committees do to what city/parish committees do. Create a comparative chart placing classroom committees next to local government agencies that have similar functions and the limits on their powers. (See chart below.)  Have students identify goods and services provided by the local government and explain how the government helps to meet the basic needs of society (e.g., jobs, food, basic services).

Comparison of Classroom Committees with Local Government Agencies

Classroom

City/Parish

Lawmaking Committee

Council or Board

Executive Committee

Mayor/Parish President and Staff

Law and Order Committee

Police/Court/Attorneys

Postal Service Committee

(Not a parish service)

Environment Committee

Recreation/forestry/recycling

Public Relations Committee

Public Relations Staff

History Committee

Recorders in City/Parish Center

After each committee has been studied, actual classroom committees can be formed, begin operating, and continue to perform their responsibilities throughout the year. Each classroom committee should have four to five members, and students should rotate onto different committees several times throughout the year. Committee hats or badges (made using construction paper) can be worn to identify membership.

Lesson Plans/Resources:

Interactive Links:

Websites:

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Vermilion Parish Curriculum Site (Correlates with 2008 Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum)


Vermilion Parish Schools (Louisiana)

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