Civics and Citizenship explores both the rights guaranteed to Americans as well as the attendant responsibilities that come with those rights. Ultimately, the unit culminates with students writing, producing, and sharing a Public Service Announcement that defines, shows, and advocates for civic engagement. The goal of the lesson is that students actively assume the responsibilities of an engaged and thoughtful citizen.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spark a conversation about the balance between national security and Fourth Amendment rights with this quick cartoon of Lady Liberty.
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.