Materials List: student journal, construction paper, books focusing on good citizenship
Using prior activities and background knowledge have students define the term community citizen in their student journals. Discuss the meaning of the term, making sure students have a good understanding of the concept. Discuss with students local and national heroes who are good citizens. Together with the students, make a list of these heroes and tell why they are good citizens. Help students understand that good citizens help solve problems in the community and take actions to improve their community. Then assign students stories and books that focus on good citizenship. Set aside time during each day to discuss events and story lines in one or more books. Ask students to write about the characters and to identify the traits and deeds that relate to good citizenship. Post positive character traits, such as honesty, self-discipline, and responsibility, on the bulletin board. During class discussions, ask students to identify those traits and to share with classmates ways that they can practice good citizenship. This activity should be repeated throughout the year.
Then have students construct a paper tree for a bulletin board or wall display. Have students label each branch with one of the traits listed in the first part of this activity. Ask them to draw pictures of characters from the stories that exemplify these traits and then tape their pictures on the appropriate tree branches. Have students add leaves to the branches as they observe a good citizen behavior, such as following rules, playing fairly, exhibiting good sportsmanship, helping others, and keeping an area clean. Each leaf should be labeled with the behavior and who exhibited it. Explain to students that sharing and supporting others make them good community citizens. Ask them to share other ways that they are good citizens.
Suggested Stories: Being a Good Citizen by Mary Small, I am a Good Citizen by Mary Small, The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst, The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward, Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss, The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Aesop, Harry in Trouble by Yossi Abolafia, and Stone Fox by John Gardiner,
Being a Good Citizen (www.gaston.k12.nc.us)
Kids Next Door - Learn about being a Citizen
Good Citizen Award (Microsoft.com)