Teaching Guide:
CITIZENSHIP
for grades 4-8

This material is from the teaching guide for the video
"The Citizenship Connection" in the series "The Character Chronicles"
produced in association with CHARACTER COUNTS!
®

Are You a Good Citizen?
(Take this self-evaluation and decide for yourself.)

True False  
I do my part for the common good.
     
I do my share to make my school, my community, and the world a better place.
     
I take responsibility for what goes on around me.
     
I participate in community service.
     
I do what I can to take care of the environment.
     
I obey the law.
     
I think I am/am not a good citizen because: ___________________

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"The Citizenship Connection"
The Video

In this video, Malik, a thirteen year old middle school student, is presenting his classroom video blog on Citizenship as a character virtue. Through a combination of skits, group discussions, commentaries and short documentaries, Malik's blog takes us on a quest to find out what makes someone a good citizen, and specifically, what kids can do to be good citizens.  more . . .

 

Click play for a sampling of
"The Character Chronicles"


"The Character Chronicles"
The Series
This award-winning six-part video series brings character education alive for upper elementary and middle school students. Presented from the point of view of a middle school video blogger, this series explores the Six Pillars of Character through the thoughts and personal experiences of young people throughout the U.S.
more . . .

For more information about individual videos in this series, click on the title below.

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.

 

 

 

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

If you are using the video, ask the first question before viewing.

  1. What makes someone a good citizen?

  2. How did Michelle's story (lead in toys) make you feel? What did you learn from it? What motivated her to do what she did? Is it realistic to think that the average kid could do something like that, or is Michelle just a special case?

  3. Do you know people in your life who you think are good citizens? What things do they do that make you see them that way?

  4. In the video the kids talk about doing your share for the common good. What is "the common good"? Who is responsible for it? Why, or in what ways?

  5. Several young people said they feel it is their responsibility to get involved in the affairs of their community. Do you agree? Why, or why not?

  6. Malik and others say that you don't necessarily have to do big things in order to be a good citizen. They mention some little things. What are some more examples of little things kids can do to contribute to the common good and make the world a better place?

  7. How did the Teens with Character story make you feel? What did you learn from it?

  8. Do you know of any groups like Carrie and Katie's Teens with Character group? How do you think they are making a difference?

  9. What do you think Carrie and Katie meant when they said, "With one small step, it can grow and grow and grow."? Can you think of other examples where that saying might be true?

  10. Some of the kids in the video suggested that helping needy people is an important part of being a good citizen. Do you agree? Why, or why not?

  11. What sorts of things have you done that make the world a little bit better?

  12. Do you think you are a good citizen? In what ways?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

To find teaching guides on Citizenship and related topics for other grade levels
click here.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

  1. What does it mean to be a good citizen? In what ways are you a good citizen? Give some examples of things you've done that show good citizenship. What things could you do to be a better citizen?

  2. Write about someone in your life who you feel is a good citizen. What qualities does this person have that make you see him or her that way? Which of those qualities do you have?

  3. Research a person or group of people that are working for the common good and making the world a better place. Describe what they are doing and how they are making a difference.

  4. Come up with a list of some things you might do in the next year that would demonstrate good citizenship. Pick one and describe the steps you would take to carry it out.

  5. Think of some kind of volunteer work you might like to do. Describe it and tell why you think you would like it. If you have done volunteer work in the past, describe what it was like and what you got out of it.

  6. Write a story about a young person who came up with a way to make the world a better place.

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

Other teaching guides in this series:

  •  Trustworthiness
•  Respect
•  Responsibility

•  Fairness
•  Caring
•  Citizenship

 

STUDENT ACTIVITIES

  1. What does it mean to be a good citizen? Have your class brainstorm a list of dos and don'ts for citizenship. Ask for specific examples of each behavior they identify. Compare their list with the "Are You A Good Citizen?" quiz above.

  2. Do a group research project on an individual or group in your community that is working to improve the lives of others. Interview this person. Come up with a list of questions to ask ahead of time. Report back to your class or invite that person to come to speak to you and your peers.

  3. Bring in on-line articles or newspaper articles about people who demonstrate good citizenship. Share them with your class.

  4. Start your own volunteer group. Come up with a name and elect some leaders to help coordinate it. Find an adult to help you with your group.

  5. Volunteer at a local shelter, food bank, or senior center. Report back to your group on what you feel you contributed and what you received in return.

  6. Have someone from your local government come to your class or group to talk about their job and what it has to do with serving the common good.

  7. Visit the Opportunities for Action or Service Learning pages to find opportunities to become involved in activities and issues relating to citizenship. Have each member of a group choose a non-profit listed and research what the mission statement is of that organization. How does that mission contribute to the common good?

  8. Choose a service-learning project from this site and work on it as a group. Present a reflection that addresses how your actions worked toward making the world a better place.

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