Putting Citizenship into Practice

Grades: 
9, 10, 11, 12

The students will put their personal mission statements on responsible citizenship into practice by influencing public policy.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo or Three Sixty-Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • define and identify the four sectors of the economy.
  • design and execute a plan for responsible citizenship.
  • take a stand on a public policy issue and share it with policy-makers.
Materials 
  • Mission Statements ( Attachment One )
  • Circular Flow of Economic Activity ( Attachment Two )
  • The Four Sectors of Economic Activity ( Attachment Three )
  • Journal Evaluation Rubric ( Attachment Four )
  • Journal

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the class to identify the school's mission statement. Ask their opinion on whether or not it is a “good” (clear) one.

  2. Distribute Mission Statements ( Attachment One ) from three sectors of the economy: nonprofit, business and government. Ask students to compare and contrast the main ideas of each. Divide the students into pairs, and have one of each pair share any similarities they have found and the other partner share the differences. Then, lead a class discussion on what they have discovered. List these on the board or a sheet of paper. Have students list the main points of their comparisons. Students should draw conclusions regarding whom each serves and what community needs are being met.

    • Go over the four economic sectors of society (nonprofit, business, government and households). Have the learners design a mission statement for the household sector. Discuss the interdependence of the four sectors using Circular Flow of Economic Activity ( Attachment Two ). In the circular flow, business is divided into for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

    • Give the learners The Four Sectors of Economic Activity ( Attachment Three ) and ask them to identify and discuss the various parts of the community including households, government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Have them identify the purposes of each group. In which group should schools be placed? Students may differ in opinions relating to public schools as government entities and parochial schools as nonprofit organizations.

    • Provide the learners with journals or have them create one from their own notebooks. The journal will be used as a tool throughout their project to measure their success in attaining the qualities of good citizenship. Students should place their own mission statements developed from the previous lesson on the first page of their journals. They should include what core democratic values they wish to develop during the Journal Project assignment to demonstrate responsible citizenship. Students should be reminded that they are looking for examples of evidence of civic virtues and philanthropy in everyday personal relations. For example, if students hear someone telling an ethnic offensive joke, did they laugh, walk away or speak out? Students should reflect on their daily actions in both the formal sectors of society and their interpersonal relationships. They should reflect on what parts of their community they will serve. In taking their philanthropic journey, they should consider what the best ways are to give of their time, talents and treasures for the common good.

    • Show the learners the following journal entry:

    “Monday, January 30, I went to the retirement community center for two hours. I played bingo with the residents and served them lemonade.”

    Ask students to generate questions they would like to ask the writer about what was not revealed in the journal entry, such as:

    • What was your thinking as you entered the facility?

    • What did you observe?

    • What types of communication skills did you use?

    • What did you learn from the residents?

    • What were your feelings about the experience?

    Students should decide what should be included in an entry to describe the experience fully and develop a guide/rubric for their classmates to follow.

    • Each journal entry should have two components: a descriptive and a reflective paragraph. Instruct the learners to record their experiences each week addressing:

    • What happened during the experience,

    • How it relates to the class content (citizenship tools) and how it relates to them personally (in their attitude, including their own personal thoughts and feelings regarding the experience). They should feel free to reflect in artistic, musical, poetic, photographic or other means to record their events.

    The teacher will determine the amount of time to be devoted to this project. One suggestion is for students to share at weekly or bi-weekly intervals with teacher prompts to be added to the journals at various points. For example, compare their thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the project to the various midpoints. How are they doing in their progress toward their goal?

    • At some time during the journal sharing activity, the learners will share who they are serving and what needs they are meeting in the community. Students will identify what sector of society is associated with their community experience.

    • Place the four sectors on the board. Tell the learners to record what they did as a citizen in the appropriate sector, then group the experiences evaluating what common needs or issues they have discovered. For example, if they cut the lawn for an elderly neighbor or helped an older person across the street, this would be grouped as an issue of aging. Aging becomes the public policy issue they use to write their position paper.

    • Either in groups or individually, students will write a position paper describing the area of the community they have served, the needs to be met and their viewpoint of what change is recommended to better serve this segment of society. Students will determine what sector of society would best be able to put this policy recommendation into practice. Students will present their position paper to appropriate public policy makers.

    • Give the learners time to discuss their role in society. How has this service-learning project caused them to think about society? What groups are available or should be available to improve society? What can they do as citizens to better serve the common good?
  3. Give the learners The Four Sectors of Economic Activity ( Attachment Three ) and ask them to identify and discuss the various parts of the community including households, government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Have them identify the purposes of each group. In which group should schools be placed? Students may differ in opinions relating to public schools as government entities and parochial schools as nonprofit organizations.

    • Provide the learners with journals or have them create one from their own notebooks. The journal will be used as a tool throughout their project to measure their success in attaining the qualities of good citizenship. Students should place their own mission statements developed from the previous lesson on the first page of their journals. They should include what core democratic values they wish to develop during the Journal Project assignment to demonstrate responsible citizenship. Students should be reminded that they are looking for examples of evidence of civic virtues and philanthropy in everyday personal relations. For example, if students hear someone telling an ethnic offensive joke, did they laugh, walk away or speak out? Students should reflect on their daily actions in both the formal sectors of society and their interpersonal relationships. They should reflect on what parts of their community they will serve. In taking their philanthropic journey, they should consider what the best ways are to give of their time, talents and treasures for the common good.

    • Show the learners the following journal entry:

    “Monday, January 30, I went to the retirement community center for two hours. I played bingo with the residents and served them lemonade.”

    Ask students to generate questions they would like to ask the writer about what was not revealed in the journal entry, such as:

    • What was your thinking as you entered the facility?

    • What did you observe?

    • What types of communication skills did you use?

    • What did you learn from the residents?

    • What were your feelings about the experience?

    Students should decide what should be included in an entry to describe the experience fully and develop a guide/rubric for their classmates to follow.

    • Each journal entry should have two components: a descriptive and a reflective paragraph. Instruct the learners to record their experiences each week addressing:

    • What happened during the experience,

    • How it relates to the class content (citizenship tools) and how it relates to them personally (in their attitude, including their own personal thoughts and feelings regarding the experience). They should feel free to reflect in artistic, musical, poetic, photographic or other means to record their events.

    The teacher will determine the amount of time to be devoted to this project. One suggestion is for students to share at weekly or bi-weekly intervals with teacher prompts to be added to the journals at various points. For example, compare their thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the project to the various midpoints. How are they doing in their progress toward their goal?

    • At some time during the journal sharing activity, the learners will share who they are serving and what needs they are meeting in the community. Students will identify what sector of society is associated with their community experience.

    • Place the four sectors on the board. Tell the learners to record what they did as a citizen in the appropriate sector, then group the experiences evaluating what common needs or issues they have discovered. For example, if they cut the lawn for an elderly neighbor or helped an older person across the street, this would be grouped as an issue of aging. Aging becomes the public policy issue they use to write their position paper.

    • Either in groups or individually, students will write a position paper describing the area of the community they have served, the needs to be met and their viewpoint of what change is recommended to better serve this segment of society. Students will determine what sector of society would best be able to put this policy recommendation into practice. Students will present their position paper to appropriate public policy makers.

    • Give the learners time to discuss their role in society. How has this service-learning project caused them to think about society? What groups are available or should be available to improve society? What can they do as citizens to better serve the common good?
  4. Show the learners the following journal entry:

  5. “Monday, January 30, I went to the retirement community center for two hours. I played bingo with the residents and served them lemonade.”

    Ask students to generate questions they would like to ask the writer about what was not revealed in the journal entry, such as:

  6. What was your thinking as you entered the facility?

    • What did you observe?

    • What types of communication skills did you use?

    • What did you learn from the residents?

    • What were your feelings about the experience?

    Students should decide what should be included in an entry to describe the experience fully and develop a guide/rubric for their classmates to follow.

    • Each journal entry should have two components: a descriptive and a reflective paragraph. Instruct the learners to record their experiences each week addressing:

    • What happened during the experience,

    • How it relates to the class content (citizenship tools) and how it relates to them personally (in their attitude, including their own personal thoughts and feelings regarding the experience). They should feel free to reflect in artistic, musical, poetic, photographic or other means to record their events.

    The teacher will determine the amount of time to be devoted to this project. One suggestion is for students to share at weekly or bi-weekly intervals with teacher prompts to be added to the journals at various points. For example, compare their thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the project to the various midpoints. How are they doing in their progress toward their goal?

    • At some time during the journal sharing activity, the learners will share who they are serving and what needs they are meeting in the community. Students will identify what sector of society is associated with their community experience.

    • Place the four sectors on the board. Tell the learners to record what they did as a citizen in the appropriate sector, then group the experiences evaluating what common needs or issues they have discovered. For example, if they cut the lawn for an elderly neighbor or helped an older person across the street, this would be grouped as an issue of aging. Aging becomes the public policy issue they use to write their position paper.

    • Either in groups or individually, students will write a position paper describing the area of the community they have served, the needs to be met and their viewpoint of what change is recommended to better serve this segment of society. Students will determine what sector of society would best be able to put this policy recommendation into practice. Students will present their position paper to appropriate public policy makers.

    • Give the learners time to discuss their role in society. How has this service-learning project caused them to think about society? What groups are available or should be available to improve society? What can they do as citizens to better serve the common good?
  7. Students should decide what should be included in an entry to describe the experience fully and develop a guide/rubric for their classmates to follow.

  8. Each journal entry should have two components: a descriptive and a reflective paragraph. Instruct the learners to record their experiences each week addressing:

    • What happened during the experience,

    • How it relates to the class content (citizenship tools) and how it relates to them personally (in their attitude, including their own personal thoughts and feelings regarding the experience). They should feel free to reflect in artistic, musical, poetic, photographic or other means to record their events.

    The teacher will determine the amount of time to be devoted to this project. One suggestion is for students to share at weekly or bi-weekly intervals with teacher prompts to be added to the journals at various points. For example, compare their thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the project to the various midpoints. How are they doing in their progress toward their goal?

    • At some time during the journal sharing activity, the learners will share who they are serving and what needs they are meeting in the community. Students will identify what sector of society is associated with their community experience.

    • Place the four sectors on the board. Tell the learners to record what they did as a citizen in the appropriate sector, then group the experiences evaluating what common needs or issues they have discovered. For example, if they cut the lawn for an elderly neighbor or helped an older person across the street, this would be grouped as an issue of aging. Aging becomes the public policy issue they use to write their position paper.

    • Either in groups or individually, students will write a position paper describing the area of the community they have served, the needs to be met and their viewpoint of what change is recommended to better serve this segment of society. Students will determine what sector of society would best be able to put this policy recommendation into practice. Students will present their position paper to appropriate public policy makers.

    • Give the learners time to discuss their role in society. How has this service-learning project caused them to think about society? What groups are available or should be available to improve society? What can they do as citizens to better serve the common good?
  9. The teacher will determine the amount of time to be devoted to this project. One suggestion is for students to share at weekly or bi-weekly intervals with teacher prompts to be added to the journals at various points. For example, compare their thoughts and feelings at the beginning of the project to the various midpoints. How are they doing in their progress toward their goal?

  10. At some time during the journal sharing activity, the learners will share who they are serving and what needs they are meeting in the community. Students will identify what sector of society is associated with their community experience.

    • Place the four sectors on the board. Tell the learners to record what they did as a citizen in the appropriate sector, then group the experiences evaluating what common needs or issues they have discovered. For example, if they cut the lawn for an elderly neighbor or helped an older person across the street, this would be grouped as an issue of aging. Aging becomes the public policy issue they use to write their position paper.

    • Either in groups or individually, students will write a position paper describing the area of the community they have served, the needs to be met and their viewpoint of what change is recommended to better serve this segment of society. Students will determine what sector of society would best be able to put this policy recommendation into practice. Students will present their position paper to appropriate public policy makers.

    • Give the learners time to discuss their role in society. How has this service-learning project caused them to think about society? What groups are available or should be available to improve society? What can they do as citizens to better serve the common good?
Assessment 

The learners will identify the four sectors of the community by completing The Four Sectors of Economic Activity ( Attachment Three ). Student journals shall be evaluated using Journal Evaluation Rubric ( Attachment Four ). Upon completion of the journal, the learners will write an essay demonstrating knowledge of what constitutes responsible citizenship. In the essay, the learners will cite at least three elements of responsible citizenship, as identified in previous class lessons and demonstrated through their community experience . The learners, either in groups or individually, will write a position paper describing the area of the community they have served, problem or problems identified and their recommendation for solving the problem(s) to better serve this segment of society. Learners will determine what sector of society would best be able to put this policy recommendation into practice.

Cross Curriculum 

The service learning component will consist of the students keeping a journal of ways that they live out their personal mission statements as responsible citizens, either through their personal actions in the community or in service to various individuals and groups. A follow-up to the journal will involve the students writing a position paper to public-policy makers on a topic of common interest.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Identify, from a given list of functions, which sector is usually responsible for a specific function in society.
    2. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and contrast the basic terms and operations of the for-profit, government, family, and civil society sectors.
    3. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and discuss the interaction of families, business, government, and the civil society sector in a democratic society.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark HS.9 Analyze a major social issue as a "commons problem" and suggest ways the civil society sector could help to resolve it.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.