This lesson is comprised of 7 different activities. Each activity focuses on a different Core Democratic Value. Planning for this lesson should include at least 45 minutes for each activity. The optimum method for viewing this lesson is as an entire class via a projection system.
Each activity contains 4 visuals. Each visual has a set of Focus Questions intended to assist the Educator with discussion points to reinforce meaning. Focus Questions are not visible on the Students version of these lessons.
After completing the 4th visual, proceed to the next frame which instructs the viewer to "print" the lesson. The printed page asks the learner to make a drawing of how the core democratic value relates to himself or herself personally. Learners are also to write a descriptive caption for each drawing and some may need assistance with this.
These drawing will assist the Educator in assessing if the learner understands the content, or if the learner has to review the activity again. Please review the Assessment Rubric (at the end of this section) for ideas about how to measure knowledge gained.
When all 7 activities are complete, the educator should compile each learners material into individual notebooks for future use.
Allow for adequate time for group to discussions of concepts and vocabulary. This is called a Foundation Lesson because it introduces basic terms and definitions necessary for the learner to comprehend future lessons.
Activity 1 - My Core Democratic Values Notebook
In our American democracy, all people are free and all people should be treated equally.
If your teacher lets only the kids with brown eyes go out to recess, she is not be treating all of you equally. If the store only sold candy to short kids, the store would be treating the tall kids unfairly and unequally. Equality means that all people have a right to be treated fairly, like everyone else.
Mr. Skink needs a job, but the sign says he may not apply for it. He also wants a snack, but the sign says he may not enter the restaurant.
Bubble copy. "Oh dear. OH DEAR! This is not fair."
Copy: Little Skinks are told that they are not allowed in school.
Bubble Copy: "No Skinks are allowed in this school. Go Away. "
Copy: The Skinks ask the Judge if they are being treated fairly.
Bubble copy: "In a democracy, every citizen has the right to go into any public place. Every citizen has the right to apply for any job. And, all kids have the right to a public education if one is offered! American citizens must be treated equally. Thats the law."
Copy: In a democratic society, the little Skinks should be allowed to attend the public school with all the other kids.
Bubble copy: The little Skinks are in school with all the other kids. They are now being treated with equality.
Copy: Draw a picture that shows how you are treated with equality in your life.
Activity 2 - My Core Democratic Values Notebook
In our democracy, all citizens need to work together to do good things for the whole community. For example, workers pay taxes so everyone can go to schools, so everyone can be protected by fire fighters, so everyone can enjoy parks and public swimming pools. At school, you have rules that protect everyone, like returning books to the library, and no throwing food at lunch. We all do many things each day to help others.
Pursuit of Happiness
A democracy lets all people try to find happiness, so long as they are not breaking laws or harming others. Thats called pursuit of happiness. For example, you may listen to your radio while you play basketball if it makes you happy. But you must not play your radio so loudly that it disturbs others.
View the next cartoon and see if you can tell who is pursuing happiness.
Copy: The Flamingo family love to take bubble baths in the river. They do not know that their soap is making the water dirty for others who must drink it.
Copy: The Frog and Beaver need to drink the water from the river. They ask for help from the government.
Bubble copy: "YUCK. This water is soapy. It will make us sick."
Copy: The man from the government talks to the Flamingoes about keeping the water clean for everyone.
Bubble copy: "Taking a bath in this stream makes you happy. In a democratic society you Flamingos have a right to the pursuit of happiness. But you are making the water too dirty for the rest of the people who use the water. Our laws do not allow you to put soap in the water. You must not put soap in the stream again."
A Fair Solution
Copy: The Flamingos are bathing in a new swimming pool. They are making sure that the water is clean for others to drink.
Copy: Draw a picture that shows how you promote the common good in your school.
Activity 3- My Core Democratic Values Notebook
In a democracy, citizens have the right to question the choices made by their government. For example, if your street is full of big, huge, dangerous holes, people on your street have the right to ask the government why they are not being fixed. If the government does not agree to fix the street, the people on your street have the right to sign their name to a letter, called a petition that demands that the government fix the street. This is one way that the people in a democracy can correct something that seems unfair or is against their wishes.
Copy: School has just started and there are many new kids.
Copy: The school is too small for all of the kids. They will not all fit.
Bubble Copy: "I'm sorry but the school is full! The rest of you must find another place to go to school."
Copy: The parents are very unhappy. They pay taxes and want the government of the town to fix this problem. They all sign a paper called a petition and the parents take it to the government.
Bubble copy: " The government is paid to solve this sort of problem. We have the right to petition the government to build a bigger school!"
Copy: It is the governments job to do things that help all of the people. Citizens need to be able to trust their government to plan ahead, especially if they need new schools.
Draw a picture that shows how you could try to change something in your school or community.
Activity 4 - My Core Democratic Values Notebook
All American citizens have the right to personal property. That means that no one may harm or use something that is owned by someone else without his or her permission. For example, no one may take your coat and wear it on recess without your permission. Property also means you home. No one may harm you home, and everyone has the right to have their home and their property protected.
Copy: The little foxes like to cut across the Poodle's beautiful yard on their way to school. They have made a path and stepped on the flowers.
Bubble copy: "Oh No! We must do something to make them stop."
Copy: The Poodles ask the policeman to stop the kids."
Bubble copy: "Awwww, theyre good kids. Cutting through your yard makes their trip a lot shorter. I dont want to yell at them."
Copy: The Poodles ask the Sheriff for help.
Bubble copy: "The Poodles have an right to equal protection of the law. Their right to personal property has been hurt! The little foxes have no right to cut across the Poodles personal property. Your job is to protect the rights of all citizens, including the Poodles."
Copy: The Poodles are fixing their garden and the little foxes are giving them some new flowers to replace the ones they stepped on.
Copy: Draw a picture that shows how your personal property rights are respected. Hint: returning a pencil you borrowed with a sharp point. Scooping up dog doo doo from someones yard.
Activity 5 - My Core Democratic Values Notebook
In a democracy, decisions are made by majority rule. That means that when people vote, the group that has the most votes wins. For example, if your teacher asks your class to vote on whether to stay inside or go outside for recess, the side that gets the most votes wins. The losers have to do what the winners want.
In our democracy, all people over 18 years old have the right to vote. By voting, citizens help decide what will happen in their community, their state and in the country.
Copy: The Fat Cats want to build a new hotel on the land where the Ants have their homes.
Bubble copy: "Yes, boys, this will make an great place for our new hotel. These Ants will just have to find another place to live.
Copy: But the ants protest. They want the citizens of the city to vote on whether to let the Fat Cats build a hotel on this land where the Ant Hill is.
Bubble copy: "Sorry, gentlemen, but the Ants are right. In our town, the citizens must vote on whether to allow you to build this new hotel."
Copy: Mom and Baby Ant are at the place where citizens vote. They are voting on whether to let the Fat Cats build a new Hotel on the Ant Hill. Many other Ants are voting also.
Bubble Copy: "In a democracy, all citizens have the right to vote. By voting, we get to help decide what will happen in our community. The winners are called the majority. In a democracy, the Fat Cats and the ants will have to go along with what the majority wants."
Copy: The Fat Cats have lost. They must find a different piece of land to build their hotel on.
Copy: Draw a picture showing how you vote in your class or at home.
Activity 6 - My Core Democratic Values Notebook
All people are equal in a democracy. The rights of a small group, a minority, are just as important as the rights of large groups, the majority. In America, we work hard to make sure that every voice is heard and that individuals with special needs or having cultural or religious practices are treated fairly. For example, some students in your class may have religious holidays that are different from yours. Those students are allowed to be absent from school so that they can practice their religion. Special ramps have been made in your school so that students who use wheel chairs or crutches can get around. Good citizens care about what happens to others
As you view the next cartoons, think about what your parents would do if you were this new student at school.
Copy: The new student is very different from the other kids. His neck is very long.
Bubble copy: "I want to come to school too, but I dont fit through the door."
Copy: This is a new problem for the Principal.
Bubble copy: "But we have no other giraffes. It would cost too much to make a special door just for one student. Maybe you should go to another school."
Copy: Being a good citizen means that you try to find a fair way to fix the problems others may have in sharing public benefits, like getting to go to school.
Bubble copy: "In a democratic society, we value all people, even those with special needs. The giraffe has a right to the benefits our community offers regardless of his differences. It is your job, as principal of the school, to find a fair solution, even if it costs the school some money. "
Copy: The Principal has made the doors taller so that the giraffe can enter the school and classrooms. These changes cost a lot of money and the entire school made sacrifices so that the giraffe could attend school.
Copy: Draw a picture of something in your community that has been done to help all citizens. Hint: Wheel chair ramps, low and high drinking fountains.
In our democracy, citizens have the right to gather together in groups or to meet with each other to talk about something they think is unfair or is a problem. They also have a right to gather in groups in public places, carry signs and sing songs so that others will understand their opinion. This right is called freedom of assembly. Citizens who are unhappy about something use their freedom of assembly to protest. Citizens who assemble together must not be on private property unless they have the owners permission. And they may not disturb others by making too much noise. Have you ever seen people assembled together in your community?
As you view the next cartoon, think about how you would feel if this happened to you.
Copy: Some people have assembled on the sidewalk to express their opinion about a new store that will be built in their town. They are carrying signs and protesting.
Copy: In a community, people have many different opinions and may express them freely.
Bubble copy: Hey, who gave them the right to demonstrate? Building a new store is legal. We need this store and everyone knows it. They are acting badly.
Copy: The owl explains that in a democracy, everyone has the right to tell others their opinion. If a group of people feel strongly about something, demonstrating is a good way to get attention.
Bubble Copy: Hey, this is a democracy, dude. They have the right to assemble and protest, and you have the right to disagree. If you want the freedom to say what you think, they need to have that same freedom, right?
Bubble Copy: See what I mean? Isnt democracy great?
Copy: In a democracy, everyone may use their freedom of speech to express their opinions.
Now draw a picture showing how you express you opinion at your home or at school.
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