Responsibility and Jobs

K, 1, 2

Students respond to literature and name the jobs represented in the community. Students also identify responsibility and responsible behavior.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • name community jobs/helpers.
  • define responsibility and identify responsible behavior.
  • Read-aloud copy of Strega Nona or Strega Nona's Magic Lessons by Tomie dePaola
  • Chart paper
  • Paper and crayons
  • student copies of Handout One; What Is Responsibility? (in Spanish, Handout Two)
Home Connection 

Interactive Parent / Student Homework: Send home the homework that encourages families to talk about what it means to be responsible. See Handout One: What Is Responsibility?

  • dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona . Simon & Shuster, 1975. ISBN: 067166283X
  • dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona's Magic Lessons . Voyager books, 1984. ISBN: 0152817867


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Tell the students that you are going to read a story about Big Anthony and Strega Nona. Tell them that while you are reading, you want them to listen to the kind of work people do, not only what the job is, but how they do their work. Read the story of Strega Nona or Strega Nona's Magic Lessons .

  2. Ask the students to name the different jobs they observed (heard or saw in the pictures) in the story. Write their responses on chart paper.

  3. Ask the students whether Strega Nona is paid for the work she does (yes). Is Big Anthony paid for his work? (yes) Try to determine who pays them. Talk about why the work they do is important to the person who pays them.

  4. Ask the students to compare how Strega Nona (or Bambalona) and Big Anthony work. Who is a responsible worker? Who is not? What are Big Anthony's responsibilities? What does he do that is not responsible? Ask students if they think Big Anthony will make the same mistake(s) again.

  5. Discuss the meaning of responsible. Relate it to the meaning of the word responsibility. Ask the students what some of their responsibilities are at school and at home. Responsibilities may include expected tasks and expected behaviors. What are the benefits of being responsible? What are the problems with being irresponsible?

  6. Every member of a community has responsibilities. Some of our responsibilities are jobs that we get paid to do. Ask the students if it is possible to get paid for every responsibility. Why not? Make a list on chart paper of things that people must act responsibly about that they cannot be paid for. Examples include not interfering with the rights/needs of others, helping a neighbor, doing your best work at school and home, and bringing canned goods to school for hungry members of the community.


Have each student fold a paper in fourths and unfold it to make four sections in which to draw. Tell the students to draw themselves acting responsibly in four different situations. For example, the pictures may show the student cleaning his/her room, listening in class, sharing a toy and setting the table at home. Encourage the students to label or write a sentence describing each picture. Assess whether the student recognizes that responsibility includes helping, making good choices, completing tasks and being a good “citizen.”

Cross Curriculum 

None for this lesson.

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 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify examples of families supporting giving and sharing.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibility.
    3. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.11 Describe the difference between volunteer and paid labor.