Less Is Best
- cooperatively classify the list of rules.
- demonstrate one classroom rule.
- explain how a given rule serves the common good.
- List of rules from the previous lesson
- Chart paper
Say, "The Ten Commandments" and "Treat others the way you would like to be treated." Ask students how they are the same. (They are both rules people follow in getting along with others.) Explain that the activity they will do in class today will have the same purpose. (Teacher's Note: Feel free to substitute different examples.)
- Post the rules that the class produced in the previous lesson. Review why the rules were created and how they meet the needs of the common good (something that benefits everyone in the class). Ask what would happen if there were no rules.
- Add any additional rules that students' families contributed.
- Ask if there is anyone who feels he or she could recite every one of the rules without looking at our list. (The list could be turned over or removed.) Help the students to conclude that the list is too long to remember.
- Ask how we might be able to remember every rule. Do we need to remember every rule? Is there another way to list our rules? (Help students conclude that we can put the rules into categories or condense them.)
- With teacher assistance, work as a class to develop more general rules. An example might be: Instead of "Don't push," "Don't fight," or "Don't hit," the more general rule could be: "Keep your body to yourself," or even more general yet, "Be polite," or "Treat people the way you want to be treated." (The teacher may need to suggest specific wording, being careful to use positive wording.)
- After condensing the list of rules, make a neat list to display.
- Turn the list over and ask volunteers to remember one rule. As students share, list the rules on a clean sheet for everyone to see. Turn the original over and compare. Is a shorter list easier to remember? Did we include all of our original rules? Why is a shorter list helpful? (It is important that everyone be able to remember the rules.)
- Call on volunteers to act out a rule. After each volunteer demonstrates a rule, call on others to name the rule and explain how it serves the common good. Each child should have an opportunity to demonstrate or explain the purpose of a rule.
- Ask the class if these rules would work in any classroom. Would they work in our classroom? Would you like to use these as our class rules? (Hopefully the class will decide to use these as the rules for the classroom.)
- Thank the class for their participation and explain that by working together we were able to help each other remember and better understand the rules.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
Benchmark E.8 Describe classroom behaviors that help the students learn.