Democratic Ideals Writing Assignment On Respect

Teaching Children Democratic Citizenship


The Importance of Democratic Citizenship

Free agency is at the center of the plan of salvation. Individuals cannot develop toward their eternal potential unless they are free to choose how they think, speak, and behave. When governments limit -- or bar -- citizens from participating in their own governance and when they infringe on the basic human rights of freedom of speech, action, and religious worship, they thwart optimal individual development.

Prophets and scripture warn that political violence and corruption will increase in the latter-days. It's thus important that Latter-day Saints stay vigilant in protecting the political freedoms essential to practicing the gospel and sharing it with others (May, 1976, p. 48). The Church calls upon its members who live in democratic countries to be good democratic citizens. That means becoming knowledgeable about community and national problems, participating in solving them, working to protect freedom, and exercising the privilege of voting.

The Responsibility of Parents to Teach Democratic Citizenship

Because democratic citizenship is so important, parents need to teach their children about it from an early age. Elder Russell M. Ballard recently said, "Parents bear the first and greatest responsibility to teach their children principles of gospel living and good citizenship" (1997, p. 38).

Below are suggestions for helping you teach your children democratic citizenship.

Set aside regular Family Home Evening lessons for teaching democratic citizenship.

Read scriptures together that emphasize free agency and the blessings obtained by personal righteousness.

Help history come alive for your children by telling stories that show what life can be like when people are not able to live in freedom.

Consult resources for lessons and activities, such as those listed in the Teaching Children Democratic Citizenship (Main) article.

Watch for your children around baptismal age to become especially receptive to teachings about democratic citizenship. Age 8 to 12 is an ideal time to teach them about citizenship and personal responsibility.

Recommended Readings

References

Ballard, M. R. (1997, November). Standing for truth and right. Ensign, 37- 40. 

Flinders, N. J. (1975, March). Principles of parenting, part 1. Ensign, 51-55. 

Hales, R. D. (2001, November). Fulfilling our duty to God. Ensign, 38–41. 

May, C. L. (1976, June). Beyond voting: Some duties of the LDS citizen. Ensign, 46-48. 

Thomas, S. W. & Thomas, R. K. (1976, June). Declaration of dependence: Teaching patriotism in the home. Ensign, 39-41.

Elementary School Grade Level Lesson Plans

Exploring Our Cultural Customs

Students will inform classmates about their cultural customs and family traditions through research and formal presentations.

Grade Level: Grade 5

The Hundred Dresses

Students will be able to analyze the words and actions of fictional characters in order to determine if the individual (s) showed good character.

Grade Level: 3-5

Ethical Entrepreneurs

Second grade businesses at Hagemann Elementary promote ethical values as a foundation for good character.

Grade Level: Second Grade (easily adapted for other grades)

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

The lesson’s purpose is to give students an awareness of how their choices (words & actions) can make a difference in their lives as well as those of others.

Grade Level: Grades 2-5

Keith Haring/Bully Prevention

This lesson introduces students to the life work of Keith Haring, an artist who used a very simple playful style to carry a message of love, peace, and equality.

Grade Level: Fourth Grade

Character Education - Character Plays

Students will read Stories to Light Our Way: Journey to the World of Good Volume 1, identify the theme or moral, and create/perform a play while the remaining students evaluate their performance

Grade Level: Grades 3-12

Who Wants to Be President?

In this lesson, students use their knowledge of democratic principles to create a fictional presidential candidate, run a campaign for election, participate in a political convention and presidential debate, and vote for president.

Grade Level: 4th grade

Trash vs. Recycling

The purpose of the lesson is for students to learn how to cope with negative thoughts and actions.

Grade Level: K-5

Practicing Patience

Teachers and students will discuss what Patience means, when we demonstrate it, and share how difficult it can be at times.

Grade Level: K-5th grade

Kindness Acrostic Poems

This character education on "kindness" will involve students understanding the definition of kindness & writing acrostic poems.

Grade Level: K-5

Targeting Hunger

Students will identify and partner with a charity to provide food items within their community.

Grade Level: K-5

Zero

After reading the book Zero by Kathryn Otoshi (KO Kids Books, 2010), students will discuss what it means to be valued.

Grade Level: K-2

The Best Me I Can Be!

Students will work with peers and teacher to set goals for greater character development throughout the school year.

Grade Level: K-5

Student Driven Service Learning

Students will research and discuss the chosen issue, finding a way that they believe they can make a difference.

Grade Level: 3-6

The Golden Rule: Do Unto Otters

To help students understand the need to treat others they way they would like to be treated, students will listen to the read aloud Do Unto Otters.

Grade Level: K-3

Fishy Friends

Students will evaluate traits that make good friends and write how he or she can be a better friend.

Grade Level: K-2

Parent Tutors: A Community Approach

An invaluable bond is formed between tutors and students, thus fostering the community spirit upon which our school is based.

Grade Level: K-5

Social Skills Role Playing

Students will be able to demonstrate role playing and the ability to cooperatively discuss solutions.

Grade Level: 1

Science Discovery Day

Science Discovery Day is a ‘Buddy’ activity. Fifth grade tribes (teams of students working together) have the opportunity to develop a science lesson for their third grade buddies targeting a simple science concept. Tribes are required to prepare a lesson outline, a hands-on activity, worksheets, and assessments.

Grade Level: 5

Character Counting

After reflecting on the many ways students have helped around their home, students will create individual number stories. Stories will be created, illustrated, and shared.

Grade Level: 1-3

Creating Caring with Project Linus

Project Linus is an organization that provides comfort to children who are sick and in the hospital through collecting blankets from “blanketeers.” Students act as “blanketeers” by creating blankets to donate through Project Linus.

Grade Level: K-5

The Power of Words

The children’s classic The Ugly Duckling is an excellent read aloud to prompt discussions on caring, empathy, tolerance, and respect.

Grade Level: K-5

Citizenship in Action

The student will demonstrate that being a good citizen includes taking responsibility for certain classroom chores, taking care of personal belongings, respecting the property of others, following the rules at home, school, and in the community

Grade Level: 4-5

Amazing Grace

Students will discuss a story about a girl who had a goal, realized she had some obstacles that might prevent her from reaching it, and found a way to achieve her goal anyway.

Grade Level: K-5

Manners and Morals

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals: respect for others guides our manners.” Lawrence Sterne

Grade Level: K-3

The Places You’ll Go!

Students will discuss story setting, character traits, and goal setting.

Grade Level: K-5

Stand Up to Bullies Week

Students and teachers will learn more about bullying and how to stop it in their schools.

Grade Level: 2

My Hands Can...

In this lesson students learn about and practice good choices they can make, using the book 26 Big Things Small Hands Do.

Grade Level: PreK

It’s Hard to Be Honest

This lesson is the first grade’s kick-off activity for the Pillar of Honesty. Children need to understand that being honest does not come easy; it is hard work.

Grade Level: 1

Be an Upstander and Say Something!

In this lesson each student will think about what they can do when they observe or witness an incident of name-calling or bullying, but are not being called names or bullied themselves.

Grade Level: 4

Wrinkle on My Heart

Students will learn about empathy. Students will learn to take responsibility for their mistakes when they happen and to learn from them. Students will learn to think before they speak and act.

Grade Level: Elementary

Flat Tiger Brings Back Kindness

The goal of this project is to have Flat Tiger travel all over the country and report back to us on how other children and their families “Walk the Talk.”

Grade Level: Elementary

Caring for Our School's Family

As a family, students write a caring letter or thank you note to a selected support staff person. The note or letter will be displayed in the school.

Grade Level: Mixed grades

PAW-SOME Readers

Students have a reading incentive during March - Reading Month. Also, they discuss core values with their families, making the values more widely known.

Grade Level: Elementary

Stand up for Your Beliefs

Using Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an example, students will learn about bullying and how to prevent it.

Grade Level: Elementary/Middle

Showing Courage

Students will investigate and illustrate the definition of courage as being brave enough to do what you should, even when you are afraid.

Grade Level: 3

The Kindness Quilt

Students will perform an act of kindness, then draw a picture and write a sentence about that act for the class quilt.

Grade Level: K-3

Celebration of Character Family Picnic

Each student will serve his or her parent lunch, using the pre-determined language appropriate for a server, as a thank you for all their support for the school year.

Grade Level: K-5

Fundraiser for Japan

Students will find relevant facts about Japan and the earthquake that took place in March 2011 to share with the entire school community.

Grade Level: 3-5

Enemy Pie

Students will create a recipe that summarizes the character traits that are needed to be a friend.

Grade Level: 1-3

Celebrating Diversity with Elmer

Students will discuss Elmer’s similarities and differences when compared with all of the other elephants. Students will discuss their own similarities and differences and will celebrate those differences together.

Grade Level: K-5

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully

Students will use a variety of anti-bullying strategies that may be practiced at some point in all areas of the school building.

Grade Level: Elementary

What's the Story of the American Flag?

This lesson is to teach children the history of the American Flag. They will have a deeper respect for the American Flag and for those who designed and sewed the Flag.

Grade Level: K-2

Caring Hearts

Students will understand the impact that hurtful words can have on their classmates’ feelings, and will instead use kind words and treat others’ hearts in a caring manner.

Grade Level: PreK-3

Mad Lib Service Learning Project

Students will use online resources and through class discussion, students will apply their knowledge of the parts of speech to develop a Mad Lib story.

Grade Level: Elementary

Blood Drive Donor Thank You Letters

Students will write a friendly letter to a family or community member thanking them for taking part in the community blood drive.

Grade Level: Elementary

Mini-Lesson for Tolerance

Students will understand that good readers can use key quotes and sayings to help them understand the thinking and get inside the mind of the main characters, which helps us to gain a deeper insight.

Grade Level: Elementary

Fill Buckets All Day: Be a Bucket Filler!

Through a story and some fun, meaningful activities students will learn about the concept of “bucket-filling” and will have the opportunity to practice it in the classroom. Overall, it will help to build unity among classmates and peers.

Grade Level: Elementary

How Many Are Homeless?

Fifth and second grade buddies learn about the number of homeless people in the surrounding community and the possible hardships they face. These students are empowered through knowledge to explore ways they can help the homeless in the community.

Grade Level: Elementary

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse and the Action Cycle

I use this lesson to set up expectations for reflective behavior in our classroom for the year. We then keep blank reflection sheets for the students to use when they must take a “time out.” Students must fill it out the sheet before they can return to the regular activity.

Grade Level: 2-3

The Right to Be Me

This activity will help students understand the right to be themselves, and others’ rights. Students will discuss differences and similarities, and why it is important to be accepting.

Grade Level: Elementary

Kindness is Contagious

To infuse values and cultural awareness into the curriculum, the principal and school staff developed “Kindness is Contagious.” The program promotes kindness, which leads to students developing respect for themselves and others.

Grade Level: Mixed Grades (K-8)

Friendship Letters

Every student writes a personalized letter and draws a picture for every child in his or her class and every child receives a personalized letter and picture from every student in his or her class. This is a great way to conclude the school year. The students truly know one another by year’s end, which adds depth and sincerity to each letter.

Grade Level: 2

Making Character Connections with Literature

By identifying what constitutes “virtuous” behavior and exploring it in the lives of others, in this lesson through characters in literature, students begin to examine their own actions and determine if they are behaving in a virtuous manner.

Grade Level: 5

Bucket Filling

The purpose of this lesson is to create a caring school community where students, parents, teachers, and guests at the school feel welcome, respected, appreciated and valued.

Grade Level: Elementary

The Torn Heart

Students listen to a story read aloud, thinking and reflecting about instances in the story where someone was wronged, was unfairly treated, or was not treated respectfully.

Grade Level: Elementary

Generational Singing

Students will reach out to the local community by performing holiday songs with movements at a local nursing home.

Grade Level: Mixed Grades (K-12)

Chinese Dragons

Students put both hands on the child’s shoulders ahead of them. If the music is fast, the group should move quickly; if slow, they move slowly. When the music stops, all freeze. If a “dragon” or group breaks, they must sit down quietly. If two “dragons” touch each other at any time, they both sit down.

Grade Level: 1-2

Character Report Card

Students are “trained” to look at characters through different eyes – eyes that can distinguish words and actions that promote good character and those that don’t. Through the character report card, core values become internalized as part of their education and part of their lives.

Grade Level: Elementary

Persons of Character Research Report and Wax Museum

Through this lesson, students will research a person of character and write a report on that person. Once the report is written, students will transform the information into a first-person speech. At the Wax Museum, each student will dress up as their chosen person of character and will “come to life” and speak to visitors as that person.

Grade Level: 4-6

A Fine Feathered Flock

Patricia Polacco’s Mr. Lincoln’s Way provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to introduce the topic of respect.

Grade Level: 2-4

Whoever You Are

This series of activities will help children to become familiar with other cultures and learn that people all over the world have things in common.

Grade Level: Elementary

Unique Monique: Building a Community of Unique Individuals

This purpose of this lesson is to build a caring community within a classroom. The lesson will encourage students to identify their unique talents, abilities, and strengths and thereby increase self-confidence.

Grade Level: Elementary

Special Sunflowers

Laurence Anholt’s Camille and the Sunflowers provides an excellent way to introduce a discussion about feelings and ways to care about others.

Grade Level: Elementary

Singing for the Animals

"Singing for the Animals" service project provided an opportunity for students to make a difference in their community by raising money to help the county's homeless animals.

Grade Level: Elementary

Sharing in the Classroom

Students should be aware of what the value of sharing means in the classroom.

Grade Level: Elementary

Responsibility and Jobs

The learner will name community jobs/helpers, define responsibility and identify responsible behavior.

Grade Level: Elementary

Respectful Riders

Respect, Helpful, Discussion, Unity, Improvement, responsibility.

Grade Level: Elementary

The Power of Words

The children’s classic The Ugly Duckling is an excellent read aloud to prompt discussions on caring, empathy, tolerance, and respect.

Grade Level: Elementary

Parent and Community Connections

Students will learn about civility and compassion by creating a poster to spread inspiration about kindness with their community.

Grade Level: Elementary

Ornaments for Nursing Home Tree

DENS (developing, educating and nurturing students) are cross-grade-level community meetings. This den, advisory, or classroom activity becomes a service project.

Grade Level: Elementary

Introducing Recycling

In this lesson, students explore the environmental issue of excess garbage and how recycling can help reduce the amounts of garbage in landfills.

Grade Level: Elementary

Holiday Cookie Exchange

In this lesson, students will discuss jobs adults do at their school and why it is important to show respect to all workers.

Grade Level: Elementary

Fifth Grade Service Project

By working with a local food pantry, students examine the essential question, “Are we more alike or more different than those who have less (or more) than us?”

Grade Level: Elementary

The Crayon Box that Talked

“The Crayon Box that Talked” is a profound poem by Shane DeRolf that conveys the simple message that differences should not only be tolerated and accepted but embraced.

Grade Level: Elementary

Character-Go-Round

Character-Go-Round is a lesson designed to help students recognize the relationship between words, actions, and character traits.

Grade Level: Elementary

Celebrating Caring & Kindness

This is a three-part lesson that helps students become aware of being caring and kind citizens in their school, home, and community.

Grade Level: Elementary

Bully Prevention

Before beginning, students should be aware of the term, “bully,” and the expression “fooling around.”

Grade Level: Elementary

Being Kind to Yourself

Students will understand that kindness begins with being kind to yourself.

Grade Level: Elementary

Be a “Bucket Filler”

Students will understand that the positive things they do for others show respect and will no doubt come back to them.

Grade Level: Elementary

Adding “Homeside” to “Schoolside” Learning

"Homeside activities" are designed as an extension of "Schoolside" activities. They further promote the development of a "Caring Schools Community."

Grade Level: Elementary

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