What is a world citizen's responsibility to promote and advocate for justice and kindness?
NOTE: Prior to this lesson, use the Blue Sky Activity in which students envision a better world. If you already have a Blue Sky display, revisit it before beginning this lesson.
Learners will think about ways to demonstrate civic virtues of justice, kindness, peace and tolerance in being good citizens. They will explore what it means to act out these virtues – what they could “do” to act just, kind, tolerant and peaceful. They will work cooperatively to clarify what these virtues might look, sound and feel like when practiced. The students will write a goal for themselves in developing/practicing at least one of the virtues and a plan to achieve the goal.
One 55 minute class period
The learner will:
- explore ways to exemplify civic virtue through justice, tolerance, kindness and peace.
- set a personal goal to develop at least one virtue and a plan to practice/develop it.
Introduce the cardboard/paper “citizen” to the class. Tell the class that they are going to bring each “citizen” to life by breathing into it the qualities or virtues that a citizen needs. Remind students of the civic virtues of justice, kindness, peace and tolerance. Explain that they will be exploring how these civic virtues can be demonstrated through actions.
- Give each student 8 colored self-stick notes. (Each student has two of the same color) Use four colors so each civic virtue is a different color. For example, justice is pink; kindness is blue; peace is yellow; and tolerance is green.
- Have students individually brainstorm what they could DO to be just; DO to be kind; DO to be peaceful; or DO to be tolerant. For example, peace may be obeying the law, or compromising on an issue. Tolerance may be listening to other points of view, or being respectful of alternative life styles. (It is possible that actions can be applied to more than one civic virtue.) Have the students put their initials on each of their notes so clarifying questions can be asked later of the author.
- Divide the class into four groups and assign each group to one of the virtuous “citizens.” Have the groups read the self-stick notes on their “citizen,” discuss the suggestions, expand on and then summarize the ideas for virtuous action.
- Ask each group write a summary statement on the “citizen.”
- Have the groups walk about the classroom and “visit with each citizen” to discover how they act in demonstrating their virtue.
- Remind the students of the definition of philanthropy they have learned – to give time, talent, and treasure and take action for the common good.
- Ask the students to choose one or more of the virtues that they would like to develop/practice. They should write a goal for what they could like to achieve and a plan for the actions they will take to achieve it. They should include how this might be a philanthropic act, benefiting not only themselves but also the common good.
Expand the list of civic virtues (Remy, 1980). For each civic virtue have the students answer the following questions: What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it act like?
Lesson Developed By:Jerry Morris, Ph.D.
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