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Rules and Laws

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 1st Grade
Standard 2 Objective 2

Time Frame

3 class periods of 30 minutes each

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Character
  • Social & Civic Responsibility


Calbert Beck
Kristen Cottrell
Stephanie Seely


During this lesson students will participate in activities to help them know what rules and laws are, recognize rules and laws they have to follow, and understand why rules and laws are important.



  • David Goes to School, by David Shannon
  • Rules and Laws, by Ann-Marie Kishel
    (another book that talks about rules and laws can be substituted)
  • Index cards with a different classroom or school rule written on each one
    (there should be enough cards that each group of 4 students could have one card).
  • Rules and Laws foldable (see attachments)

Background for Teachers

To prepare for this lesson you will need to write classroom and school rules on index cards, one rule per card.

If you are not familiar with foldables you may want to try making one first so that you can demonstrate to your students how to cut the flaps without cutting apart your paper.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to explain why schools, homes and communities have rules and why they are important to follow.

Instructional Procedures

Day 1:
Begin by reading the book David Goes to School, by David Shannon. After reading the book discuss with the students why David got into trouble at school. What did he do wrong? How could David have made better choices?

Break the students into groups of four. Pass out a card with one of your classroom rules written on it to each group. Have the students work together to create a short skit demonstrating how to follow this particular rule at school.

Day 2:
Remind students about the skits they performed the day before. Ask the questions: What rules do we have to follow at school? Why are rules important? What would happen if there were no rules? Which rule at school is the most important?

Continue the discussion by explaining that most rules are created either to help establish and maintain order or to provide safety and security. Refer back to your own classroom rules and have students decide whether the rule is set-up for order or for safety.

Read the book Rules and Laws, by Ann-Marie Kishel (or a similar book that talks about the importance of rules and laws.)

Have the students share with the class some of the rules that they have to follow at home. As the students are sharing rules they have to follow write their ideas on the board or a piece of chart paper so that they can refer back to them later. Ask the students to go home that night and ask their parents what rules (laws) they have to follow in the community.

Day 3:
Have the students share what they learned from their parents about following laws in the community. List their ideas on the board or chart paper.

Give students the Rules and Laws Foldable. They will fold it in half the long way and then unfold the paper and cut along the dotted lines to the fold. They should now have a three flap book. Have students refer to the classroom rules and the board or charts that you have kept track of their ideas on so that they can draw or write 3 rules or laws that they have to follow for each area (home, school, community).


As an extension, Utah educators can download the following video from UEN's eMedia service which can be access via Pioneer Online Library

  • Safety First - Rules Have a Reason

Note: Enter the title of the video in the basic search box when you are on the eMedia site. This video is about 16 minutes long and shows students the reasons why we have some of the safety rules they are asked to follow.

Assessment Plan

As a "pass to recess" or a "ticket out the door" to go home have students respond orally to the following questions:

  • Why do rules and laws exist?
  • Why can't we just do whatever we want?


Some ideas adapted from Why Do We Need Rules?

Created: 06/17/2010
Updated: 02/05/2018