CDVs at Home and School

3, 4, 5

Students compare and contrast rules they have in their homes and in the classroom and decide whether good rules must reflect the Core Democratic Values.

Lesson Rating 
PrintDuration: Two Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify rules at home and relate to rules of other families.
  • list family rules under categories in a chart of Core Democratic Values.
  • connect classroom rules to Core Democratic Values using a chart.
  • discuss whether all rules must be linked to the CDVs.
  • compose or rewrite rules to include CDVs not reflected in current rules.
  • create a mural illustrating students following the all-school rules and connecting them to the CDVs.
  • Completed homework from Lesson One: What Are Our Common Values? with list of family rules
  • Mini posters of Core Democratic Values from Lesson One for reference
  • Chart paper and markers (or overhead projector)
  • Printed copies of the rules for the entire school
  • Mural paper and art supplies
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework:None for this lesson.


None for this lesson.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Make a statement about rules and CDVs to challenge students to think about the connections. For example, tell the students that you think all rules in homes, classrooms and communities must be directly connected to the Core Democratic Values. If a rule does not support at least one of the CDVs, it is not a good rule. Ask the students what they think of your statement and encourage them to express their support or disagreement through a class discussion.

  2. Students should refer to the homework sheet completed in Lesson One: What Are Our Common Values? Attachment One: Core Democratic Values in Our Home. Ask each student volunteer to name one of the rules in his/her home. Label a chart with the title “Rules at Home.” List the rules down the left side of the chart. After each student names a rule, write a tally in the first column of the number of students who have that same rule at home. Continue until all the family rules are reflected on the chart.

  3. With the students’ help, write the Core Democratic Values in the columns of the chart. Discuss each of the family rules on the chart in relation to the CDVs. Place check marks in the boxes to show which CDVs are supported in which rules. For example, the first rule may be “Clean up after yourself.” The students may decide that this rule supports the CDVs of Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness and Common Good. See Attachment One: Rules and Core Democratic Values for format.

  4. On another chart paper, with the label “Rules in the Classroom,” list the CDVs as headings, then have the students write each classroom rule under all the CDVs it supports. For example, “keep your hands to yourself” may be written under the following categories: Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness and Justice. When all the classroom rules have been classified, discuss whether all of the CDVs are represented in the rules. If not, discuss whether you need to write additional rules to cover those. Discuss any rules that do not fit in any category and decide together whether those rules are good rules.

  5. As a class, make changes to the classroom rules, as needed. Then as a class, write a statement about the importance of these rules and their willingness to follow them. Ask students to sign the statement saying that they understand the rules (similar to a signing of the declaration of independence).

  6. Day Two

  7. Divide the class into small working groups. Give each student group printed copies of the rules for the whole school. In each group, the students read through the rules and discuss their connections to the CDVs. Students use pencils to mark in the margins by each rule what CDV is supported by the rule (if any).

  8. Challenge the students to think about how they can illustrate on a mural students in the school following these rules. Tell the students that you want them to label each illustration with the Core Democratic Value it represents rather than the specific rule. They may illustrate students in the classroom, on the playground or working together on a community project. Let students decide which rules they will depict, but direct the dividing of responsibilities so all of the CDVs are represented in the final mural. Each student or student pair should have responsibility for one illustration. The final mural may be organized by Core Democratic Values or by location (classroom/playground/community).

  9. Provide time and materials for students to create the mural. Materials may include crayons, markers, paints, magazines, collage materials, etc. Label the mural with the heading “What Core Democratic Values Look Like in our School.”

  10. Look at the finished mural with the class. Ask students to point out illustrations that depict acts of philanthropy. Talk about why acting philanthropically is good for the school community.

  11. Display the finished mural in a high traffic area to raise awareness about the importance of Core Democratic Values in the school setting.


Observe student participation in whole-group and small-group discussions. Assess their illustrations and labels on the mural for understanding of the connection between school rules and CDVs.

Cross Curriculum 

Students analyze the all-school set of rules for connections to the Core Democratic Values. They use these connections to create a mural for the school hallway. The mural depicts students applying the rules and is labeled with the Core Democratic Values.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.10 Give an example of an action by an individual or a private organization that has helped to enhance a fundamental democratic principle.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Identify why rules are important and how not all behaviors are addressed by rules.
      3. Benchmark E.6 Identify and describe fundamental democratic principles.
      4. Benchmark E.8 Describe classroom behaviors that help the students learn.