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Applying Principles of Civic Responsibility

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 3rd Grade
Standard 3 Objective 3

Group Size

Large Groups


John C. Clark
DeAnna Mower


  1. Students will know their personal responsibilities within the classroom, school, and community.
  2. Students will understand that there are diverse views within a community and respect the opinions, backgrounds, and cultures of others.

Background for Teachers

Teachers should be able to identify or have access to current events in the community they teach. Also helpful, to the teacher, is knowing historical controversies in the community such as zoning issues and how the community shares their land and resources.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students should be aware of the resources available in their community.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will answer the following questions:

  1. What are my responsibilities within the classroom, the school, and my community?
  2. What are the current events in my community and/or school that may have differing perspectives?
  3. How can I show respect for the opinions, background, and culture of others?

Instructional Procedures

  • Review class rules and compare them with school and community rules using a Venn Diagram.
  • Determine whether or not everyone benefits from these rules and why.
  • Have students brainstorm other rules or laws that would benefit them as a third grade group such as third graders having more of the resources at school like long PE/Computer times, being able to have their own play ground, etc.
  • Discuss how the other grades would not have access to the same resources and amount of time with those resources.
  • Now have the students think about their community. Does everyone have equal access and time to use the community resources? Are community resources equally divided for age groups, special needs groups, language diverse groups, economic groups?
  • Use an example such as the local library. Should the books be mostly for children? Adults? Bilingual? Books on tape? how should the community decide what books are in the library? Does the community decide that? Who does? How about the books in their own school library?
  • Other examples could be handicap spaces at local businesses. Should there be equal spaces available for the elderly, parents with small children? Why or why not?
  • Have student consider community services that they use such as a local community pool or park. If this service requires money to enter and they have a friend that cannot go with them to the pool/park because they cannot afford it, should the community consider making the entry fee free since all members of the community can be taxed to accommodate the cost of the pool? Why or why not?

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Students new to the community can reflect upon the community they came from and share information about how their community needs were similar or different.


    Students could send pen pal letters to another community to determine the services available in other areas of the state or country.

    Assessment Plan

    Have students determine a current event in their school or community that is controversial about resource use. Have the students take a literal stand on each side of the room according to their position on the issue. Then as a group, they can discuss their reasoning for choosing that position and then create a debate where students can share their opinions or have students write letters to their principal or local paper about their positions. Can they reach a compromise?

Created: 06/26/2009
Updated: 02/05/2018