What Is My Responsibility?
Children explore what it means to be responsible in school and in the community as a responsible citizen. They take action as responsible citizens to make the community healthier.
- define the words leader, citizen and responsible and define what it means to be a responsible citizen in a school community.
- select a focus for a service project.
- list project needs and components.
- carry out their service plan.
- reflect on what they learned.
- read-aloud copy of How Full Is Your Bucket? for Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer (also on YouTube)
- student copies of handout Service Project Ideas
- citizen: a member of a community, entitled to the rights and responsibilities of the community members
- responsible: can be counted on to do what is expected
- leader: someone who guides or inspires others
- tolerance: understanding of someone with different views than one’s own
Organize and hold a family night to share project reflections and what they learned about healthy bodies and healthy communities.
- Encourage reflection about the theme, Responsibility and Citizenship, by asking each child to think of one way that he or she can be a more responsible citizen at home and at school. (Answers may include: talk to parents about what kinds of healthy foods we should eat or exercise with my little sister.)
- Ask the children to summarize how they came to an agreement in a polite and respectful way. Discuss what “working cooperatively” does for a community. Would any community benefit from cooperation? Did everyone get their first choice? What will help the people who did not get their first choice feel better about the chosen project? What else that we do as a community will be better with more cooperation?
- Our Service Project – Discuss with children what they did and how it felt to work on a service project.
Introduce the vocabulary: citizen and responsible. Tell children they are all citizens of this class, this school, and this community. Explain that a member of a community is a citizen. Then cite examples of how they are responsible citizens of the class. For example, Jamal is responsible for watering the plants today. Kellie is responsible for cleaning up the blocks she played with. Then ask children to tell what responsible means (can be counted on to do what is expected, such as watering plants or putting blocks away). Tell children that responsible citizens can be trusted and relied on to do their work and to help the community.
Read aloud the book How Full Is Your Bucket? for Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. In this book, Felix learns to treat others kindly and to be aware of his feelings. The book uses a metaphor of an invisible bucket that fills when we feel good. We can fill our own buckets by acting kindly and responsibly. Ask the following discussion questions:
- Why did Grandpa tell Felix that he dipped from his sister’s bucket? (Felix wouldn't let Anna play with him. Anna got angry and knocked over Felix’s block tower.)
- What happened at breakfast? What happened to Felix’s bucket? (Felix dropped cereal all over the floor and made a mess. A drop spilled out of his bucket.)
- What does it mean when drops spill out of your bucket? (You feel bad.)
- What happened that made drops land in Felix’s bucket? (He got an A+ on a story, everyone clapped, he was team captain in gym, his painting was praised, and a friend admired his new backpack.)
- How did Felix act when he felt his bucket was full? (He helped others, he introduced himself to a new boy in school, and he played with Anna after school.)
- What did you do today that made drops land in your bucket? (Answers will vary.)
Have children think of ways they have been responsible citizens, helping to fill their own invisible buckets and the buckets of others. Remind them that when they share information about eating healthy and exercising with their families and friends, they are being good citizens.
Tell the children that the class will start planning a service project to improve the health of our community.
Brainstorm possible service projects for food or exercise based on observed needs. See Handout: Service Project Ideas, as well as ideas below.
- teach others about the journey of food from the farmer to our neighborhood
- taste testing healthy foods
- nutrition posters
- obesity awareness posters
- healthy snack non-bake off
- healthy pledge week (give up soda, one snack a day, try a new vegetable or fruit everyday)
- make healthy eating diaries to give to people in the community
- walk-a-mile challenge
- park clean-up
- playground repair
- stair climbing challenge
- healthy pledge week (walk 10 blocks a day)
- make exercise logs to give to people in the community.
Put children into groups of 3 or 4. Give one blank chart paper and markers to each group. Have the groups choose one project from the brainstormed list and work through the details of carrying out that project. They should write the pros and cons for carrying out this project and the questions they have, and the resources needed. Younger children will need a buddy from an older grade or a parent to facilitate this planning session.
Invite each group to show their chart and tell about the service project or projects they discussed. Display charts.
Review all the charts and then as a group, choose one project by discussion and vote. Have children raise their hands for their favorite project. Choose a service project by vote.
With children, brainstorm a list of materials needed for the chosen project. Collect the materials with the help of the children before the next session.
We know what our service project is going to be. We have all the materials we need. Now we need a plan for carrying it out. What are the steps and who will do what? Make a clear plan and take action to carry out the plan.
Ask the following reflection questions:
- What was your favorite part of the service project?
- What is your favorite thing you learned doing the service project?
- What could we do better next time?
The children plan and implement a service-learning project that promotes good health in the community. They choose an area of the community that needs support and brainstorm ways they can act to make the community healthier. They may create posters or mini-books. They may challenge people through a walk-a-thon or a pledge to eat better or exercise more regularly. The children make the choice and follow their passions and interests.
Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
Benchmark E.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
Benchmark E.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
Standard VS 03. Providing Service
Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
Benchmark E.3 Describe the task and the student role.
Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
Benchmark E.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.
Benchmark E.6 Describe the procedures and the importance of sensitivity to the people with whom students are working.