Kid-Friendly CDVs

3, 4, 5

Students analyze the essential qualities of the Core Democratic Values and how these values are evident in relationships and behavior at school and in the community/nation.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 45-Minute session, plus time to create posters

The learners will:

  • define and illustrate the Core Democratic Values.
  • define the Core Democratic Values in language that is kid-friendly.
  • student copies of handout Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy
  • group copies of handout CDV Figure 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Before class, choose one of the Core Democratic Values (from the handout below) to analyze with the whole group (as model for doing it on their own). Display the value over an outline of a gingerbread person. Start the lesson by asking the students to think/pair/share about what this value/principle looks in a country/community/classroom.

    • Together, come up with a simple description of that CDV (or what the value looks like). Write this description inside the gingerbread shape.
    • Decide on a symbol to represent the CDV. Draw it on the chest of the gingerbread shape.
    • Brainstorm actions and conditions that support that CDV (make it possible). Write these in bricks beneath the feet of the gingerbread person.
    • Write actions or conditions that harm or work against that value around the shape.
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a Core Democratic Value from the handout Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy. Give each group a copy of the CDV Figure handout that has directions for the group activity.

    Each group draws a gingerbread figure on a sheet of paper and follows the directions to analyze the given CDV. After 15 minutes, groups share their analysis of the CDV with the class.‚Äč

  3. Hang the completed CDV figures throughout the school building to teach others.


Use the rubric to evaluate student-created posters.

Cross Curriculum 

The students create posters that illustrate the meaning and importance of given Core Democratic Values. They share their finished posters with all grades and visitors by hanging the completed posters in high-traffic areas of the school.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Define stewardship and give examples.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark E.5 Give examples of actions students can take to improve the common good and list or describe responsibilities that go with those actions.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.