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    Unit 6: How Can a Citizen Affect a Community?

     

     

    Overarching Question: 
     
                                  How Can a Citizen Affect a Community?
     
    Previous Unit:
     
    How Do Communities  Change? 

     

     

    This Unit:
     
    How Can A Citizen Affect a Community?
    Next Unit:
     
    Grade 3
     Michigan Studies

     Big Picture Graphic 

    Questions to Focus Assessment and Instruction:
    1. What is a good citizen?
    2. How so people work together to solve community issues?

    Types of Thinking:

     Analysis 
     Cause and Effect
     Problem Solving 

     

     

    Unit Abstract:

    In this unit students synthesize what they have learned about communities throughout the year by exploring the role of citizens in a community and how people work together to solve public issues. The unit begins with an exploration of the qualities of a good citizen using the book Good Citizen Sarah. Students then examine ways citizens work together in a community to solve problems through the book, The Giant Jam Sandwich. The term ‘public issue’ is introduced as the class explores the idea that often people disagree about how to solve a community problem or issue.Using a decision making model, students are given a case study about a garage sale controversy in a mythical town. Students work in small groups to generate possible solutions to the garage sale problem and use the decision making model to evaluate these solutions. Given a local community issue, students are asked to generate solutions and take a position on a solution. In a final lesson that can be used at any appropriate time during the year, students participate in a project to improve their community.

    Focus Questions:
    1. What is a good citizen?
    2. How do people work together to solve community issues?

     

    Content Expectations:

    2 - C5.0.1: Identify ways citizens participate in community decisions.

    2 - C5.0.2: Distinguish between personal and civic responsibilities and explain why they are important in community life.

    2 - C5.0.3: Design and participate in community improvement projects that help or inform others.

    2 - P3.1.1: Identify public issues in the local community that influence the daily lives of its citizens.

    2 - P3.1.2: Use graphic data and other sources to analyze information about a public issue in the local community and evaluate alternative resolutions.

    2 - P3.1.3: Give examples of how conflicts over core democratic values lead people to differ on resolutions to a public policy issue in the local community.

    2 - P3.3.1: Compose a statement expressing a position on a public policy issue in the local community and justify the position with a reasoned argument.

    2 - P4.2.1: Develop and implement an action plan to address or inform others about a public issue.

    2 - P4.2.2: Participate in projects to help or inform others.

     

    Key Concepts:

    citizen
    citizen involvement
    civic responsibility
    decision making
    public issues
     
    I Can Statements:
     
    I can describe what a good citizen does.
     
    I can explain how to solve a problem peacefully.
     
    I can describe ways to make a difference in my community.
     
    I can explain why it is important to help in the community.
     
     

    Lesson Sequence:

    Lesson 1: What is a Good Citizen?

    Lesson 2: How Do People Work Together to Solve Problems in a Community?

    Lesson 3: Exploring a Public Issue in a Community

    Lesson 4: Exploring a Public Issue in Our Community?

    Lesson 5: Taking Part in a Community Project
     

    Student Resources:

     
    Burch, Regina. Working Together.  Creative Teaching Press, 2002
     
    Loewen, Nancy. We Live Here Too!: Kids Talk About Good Citizenship. Picture Window Books, 2005
     
    Stover, Jo Ann.  If Everybody Did. JourneyForth, 1990
     
    Teacher Resources:
     
    Hoffman, Mary Ann. I Am a Good Citizen (Kids of Character). Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2007
     
    Kroll, Virginia. Good Citizen Sarah. Albert Whitman & Company, 2007
     
    Loewen, Nancy. We Live Here Too! Kids Talk About Good Citizenship. Picture Window Books, 2006
     
    Vernon Lord, John. The Giant Jam Sandwich. Sandpiper Publications, 2007

     

    United Streaming Resources:

     
    Citizenship in the Community (17:00 min.)
     
    TLC Elementary School: Understanding Good Citizenship (24:15 min.)

     

    Lesson 1:  What is a Good Citizen? 
     
    Lesson 1 Supplemental Materials:
     
     

    Content Expectations

    2-C5.0.2:  Distinguish between personal and civic responsibilities and explain why they are important in community life
     

    Key Concepts: citizen, civic responsibility

     

    Abstract:

    In this lesson students explore the qualities of a good citizen. The lesson begins with a review of the characteristics of a community which have been developed throughout the year.These include people, location, history, government, natural and physical characteristics, productive resources, businesses and transportation. The teacher then leads a discussion of why people are the most important part of a community. Using the sentence stem, “A good citizen is someone who…” students complete the sentence and share their ideas. The teacher records student responses on one side of a T-Chart labeled “Before the story.” Next, the teacher reads the book Good Citizen Sarah, or a similar book to the class. The class discusses how Sarah is a good citizen in the book. Ideas are added to the T-chart during the discussion and students expand their own sentence definitions and illustrations. The teacher explains that a good citizen not only helps others in their community, but also works with others to solve problems. Students understand these actions represent civic responsibility.

    Lesson 2: How Do People Work Together to Solve Problems in a Community?
     
    Lesson 2 Supplemental Materials:
     
     
     
    Content Expectations:
    2-C5.0.1  Identify ways citizens partcipate in community decisions.
     
    Key Concepts: citizen, public issues
     
    Abstract: Using the book, The Giant Jam Sandwich or a similar book, the class discusses how the people in the story worked together to solve the problem of four million wasps in their town. Using a sequencing organizer, students organize the steps citizens took to solve their problem.The teacher then poses the following questions: Was this book fantasy or realistic fiction? How do you know? The teacher leads a discussion as students share their answers and support them with evidence.
     
    Lesson 3: Exploring a Public Issue in a community?
     
    Lesson 3 Supplemental Materials:
     
     

    Content Expectations:

    2 - P3.1.1: Identify public issues in the local community that influence the daily lives of its citizens.
    2 - P3.1.2: Use graphic data and other sources to analyze information about a public issue in the local community and evaluate alternative resolutions.
    2 - P3.1.3:  Give examples of how conflicts over core democratic values lead people to differ on resolutions to a public policy issue in the local community
     
    Key Concepts: citizen, public issues
     
    Abstract:  Referring back to book, The Giant Jam Sandwich, the teacher explains how the citizens in the story agreed on a way to solve their wasp problem and how this doesn’t always happen in a community. The teacher then writes the term ‘issue’ on a board or overhead transparency and explains that when people can’t agree on how to solve a problem, it becomes an issue. The teacher differentiates between personal and public issues using examples like bedtime and curfew. The teacher explains that a public issue is a problem that affects the community as a whole and one in which people disagree on the solution. Next, the teacher reads a short scenario describing a community problem with garage sales. Some people have been complaining about the largenumber of sales and how the sales have affected traffic, litter, noise, etc. They say that in order to protect the common good something has to be done about the garage sales. Other people who frequently have garage sales feel they should have the freedom to hold sales. Students thenexamine the issue by looking at both sides and analyzing two bar graphs, one showing an increasing number of complaints about garage sales over time and one showing an increasing number of garage sales over time. Working in small groups, students develop a solution to the garage sale issue. As the groups share their solutions, students identify positive and negativeconsequences of each alternative in a decision making model. The scenario continues as the teacher explains that the town council of the community is considering passing a law limiting the number of garage sales to four per year per household. Students explore the question, “Should the town council pass a law limiting the number of garage sales to four per year?” Students whoagree with the proposal line up on one side of the room and those disagree with the proposal lineup on the other side of the room. Each side of the room brainstorms reasons that support their position and share them with the class by completing the sentence; “We think the town council_________________pass the law because_______________.”
     
     
    Lesson 4: Exploring a Public Issue in Our Community.
     
    Lesson 4 Supplemental Materials:
     
     
    Content Expectations:

    2 - P3.1.1: Identify public issues in the local community that influence the daily lives of its citizens.

    2 - P3.1.2:  Use graphic data and other sources to analyze information about a public issue in the local community and evaluate alternative resolutions.

    2 - P3.3.1: Compose a statement expressing a position on a public policy issue in the local community and justify the position with a reasoned argument

    2 - P4.2.1: Develop and implement an action plan to address or inform others about a public issue.

    Key Concepts: decision making, public issues

    Abstract: In this lesson students identify, analyze, develop, and express a position on a public issue affecting their local community. The teacher uses the decision making model and reviews the process of making a public issue decision. Students are given information about a current public issue affecting the local community. This information has been gathered by the teacher using local resources such as newspapers, local officials, community website, etc. Students discuss the issue, generate solutions, and evaluate the solutions. The teacher presents the question, “Shouldthe community….” and students take part in the ‘take a side’ activity. Finally, they compose a written statement expressing their position on the issue and give a reason that supports their position.
     
    Lesson 5:  Taking Part in a Community Project
     
    Lesson 5 Supplemental Materials:
     
     
    Content Expectations:
     
    2 - C5.0.3:  Design and participate in community improvement projects that help or inform others.
     

    2 - P4.2.2: Participate in projects to help or inform others.
     
    Key Concepts:
     
    citizen involvement
     
    Abstract: This lesson, which can be used at any appropriate time during the year, involves students participating in a project to improve their community. This can include school wide service projects that are already established. The lesson is tied into the content based on the nature of the project. For example, if the project relates to an environmental issue, the appropriate geography content is connected to the lesson. If the project relates to community government, the appropriate civics content is connected to the lesson. If the project relates to historic preservation, the appropriate history content is connected to the lesson. If the project relates to the business community, the appropriate economics content is connected to the lesson. Regardless of what the project is, students share their experiences with classmates and analyze the impact their actions and contributions had on the community.
Last Modified on February 14, 2018