Today is the day that a new president is sworn in and yet our country is greatly divided. As teachers, we have a great task ahead of not only doing our best to teach unity and tolerance, but also of teaching about civic duties! It is never too early to start instilling a love of country and duty to protect, serve and vote. The voter turnout was at a 20 year low this past November, so we have lots of work to do to ensure that our students know how to make their voices heard.
Don’t you love this opportunity as teachers? Celebrating differences, teaching young people that their opinion matters, and showing them what a great country they live in are some of the best parts of being a teacher.
In his farewell speech, President Obama gave a call to action when he said citizenship is our duty. It is our duty as teachers and parents to uphold (as we always have) justice and equality. The most important thing in a democracy is our citizens. So it falls on us to raise up a generation of proud and active citizens. Our upper elementary students can learn about 5 levels of citizenship: country, state, city, school, and home. Students already have rights and responsibilities in each of these entities. Let’s empower them to become responsible citizens that fulfill their civic duties.
CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO FIND A PLETHORA OF FREE RESOURCES!
I have created 3 resources to help you get started teaching about citizenship, first is a free PowerPoint to teach students about their rights and responsibilities to each of the 5 levels of citizenship. The second and third resources are flipbooks that coordinate with the PowerPoint. There is a FREE paper-based version you can get here. There is also a very modestly priced DIGITAL VERSION here.
I hope that you can take time today to honor the most important role your students will ever hold: CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
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