After I saw the AMAZING clipart from Melonheadz of so many amazing heroes from our country's past, I knew I wanted to make a citizenship unit. I wanted to first talk about how we can be good citizens and then move toward learning about good citizens from our country's past.
First we brainstormed ideas of what good citizens can, have and are. I wrote down the kids' ideas and they were able to use these or add their own to their own recording sheet:
On the back they filled in a web where they wrote (or drew) about what makes a good citizen:
The next day was Tuesday, September 17th or Constitution Day! It was perfect timing for talking about good citizens from our country's past. I got a wonderful ideas from Deanna Jump's blog on celebrating Constitution day.
First I read the kids the book John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith. No, this is not a story about the Beatles where Ringo's name is Ben...it's about some of our founding fathers! :) We talked about what each of these men did to help start our country and this led into talking about the constitution. We talked about how the constitution was a list of rules are country created that we were to follow.
And we ended our lesson by watching School House's Rock Preamble video...which I can still recite perfectly thanks to the catchy music!
The rest of the week was spent reading books, books and books! We read books on some of the presidents, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, Neil Armstrong and more! Some of the books we read all the way through while in others we just skimmed and mainly looked at pictures. The kids enjoyed learning about new people in history. On Wednesday I had the kids choose one example of a good citizen and illustrate them:
On Thursday the kids filled out their book about good citizens by writing why each example was a good citizen. On the last page they got to choose their own example:
(he was a president)
(he was the first man on the moon)
(he was a good inventor)
(he stopped slavery)
The Friday before we started this unit, I sent home a little homework project for my kids to complete. They could choose a person to research and present to the class. I gave the kids different graphic organizers to choose from and they could do one or more by the following Friday. I was BLOWN AWAY by how hard my kids worked. Many of them chose to do all four pages. The week after our unit was over, I had four or five kids stand up in front of the class and teach us about their person. We learned so much!
We had a variety of people chosen including President Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, George Patton, President Theodore Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks, President Washington and many more!
The first choice of activities I gave was to fill in a web:
The next choice was to write about their person's childhood and adult life and include real or drawn pictures:
Their next choice was to fill in a timeline with five key events:
Their final choice was to simply write about their person and include a picture: