Why Should We Care? Understanding Rights and Responsibilities as Citizens

Students will identify some of the rights they enjoy as a citizen, and what responsibilities accompany those rights. They will reflect on whether or not they have a responsibility to protect the rights of others as well as their own.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Democracy Corps: A Complete Service Learning Program

Learn about American democracy while serving your community. Serve your community while learning about the responsibilities of American democracy. YLI’s Democracy Corps brings your civics lessons to the community while instilling life- long civic engagement in your students.

  • Resource Type: Editorial Cartoons, Essays, Lesson Plans, Oral Histories, Photography, Quizzes, Research (Digests of Primary Sources), Surveys
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Citizen Me (Lesson Plan)

Students learn that they are citizens at many levels of society: home, school, city, state, and nation! Students create a graphic organizer that diagrams rights and responsibilities at these different levels of citizenship. They also learn the sources of their rights and responsibilities at each level. This lesson stands alone or may be used to reinforce the iCivics game Responsibility Launcher. We also recommend following with the iCivics lesson, “The Global You.”

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8

Citizen Obligations and Responsibilities

This resource provides students with an English language video and associated student friendly readings (in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole), as well as reading and video guides and self assessment tools. Using these, students will explore the obligations and responsibilities of citizenship.
Free registration is required to use the resource.

  • Resource Type: ESL Appropriate, ESL Materials, Quizzes, Translated Materials, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The President’s Roles and Responsibilities: Understanding the President’s Job

As a nation, we place no greater responsibility on any one individual than we do on the president. Through these activities, students learn about the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. president and their own roles as citizens of a democracy.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8

The First Amendment: What’s Fair in a Free Country?

Young people have a profound sense of the importance of fairness. “It’s not fair” is often used as a one-size-fits-all argument when a child feels victimized. In situations where the child has an interest in protecting his or her actions, “It’s a free country!” is often the argument of choice. On the other hand, children are very sensitive about speech and policies they consider to have a negative effect on their well-being.

Balancing rights and responsibilities is difficult, even for the Supreme Court. This lesson demonstrates to students that doctrine of freedom of speech and its proper application is an ongoing process.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 3, 4, 5

Fundamental Freedoms

This lesson uses three Supreme Court cases to illustrate the difficulty in balancing our rights as citizens with the authority of a governmental body. Students will learn what our rights are, where they come from, and how far they extend.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Responsibility and Community Service

This lesson explores how groups of people (or animals) come together to solve community problems. Students will identify a variety of personal responsibilities and civic responsibilities from a set of pictures in order to get a better understanding of what responsibility means. Students will understand that citizens in the United States have a responsibility to help others.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Presidents Day Lesson Plans & Resources

Presidents Day was originally established in 1885 as “Washington’s Birthday” to celebrate President George Washington’s birthday on February 22. In 1971, the federal government renamed the holiday Presidents Day in order to honor all U.S. presidents, past and present. Share My Lesson has curated a collection of free lesson plans, educational resources and classroom materials on the accomplishments of U.S. presidents, first ladies, and the role and responsibilities of the president in government and in a democracy.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12