Lesson plan

A Citizen's Civic Duties

Respect, honesty, compassion, and following the rules and laws are all ways to be a good citizen. Use this civics lesson with your students to explore the ways in which children can be good citizens now and in the future.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
  • Students will be able to explain the civic duties of a good citizen.
(3 minutes)
How to be a Good Citizen
  • Prompt students to think about the citizenship award that is often given out at schools, or mention the citizenship grade that is on report cards.
  • Ask students how to earn the award or achieve a good citizenship grade.
  • Accept student answers and record them on the board.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that today’s lesson will be about how to be a good Citizen, which is a person who lives in a particular place. Each citizen has a Civic duty, which are things that relate to the place or the people who live there, and they are things that must be done because it is the right thing to do or it is part of the job.
  • Give each student four sticky notes, and instruct them to jot down ideas about what it means to be a good citizen during the read-aloud.
  • Read aloud a book about how to be a good citizen, such as We Live Here Too: Kids Talk About Good Citizenship, by Nancy Loewen.
(10 minutes)
  • Assign students a partner and instruct them to discuss the information they wrote on the sticky notes during the read-aloud.
  • Reorganize students into small groups and have them discuss the information from the sticky notes.
  • Give each group a piece of paper and instruct them to draw a concept web, with the word "Citizen" in the centre circle. They should include at least four additional circles with information that branch out from the centre circle on the web.
  • Prompt students to brainstorm specific civic duties of good citizens and examples they see in their own community.
  • Gather students’ attention and tell them they are going to share information in order to create a class concept web.
  • Call on non-volunteers to share a piece of information from their graphic organizer.
  • Record student answers and display the class concept web for the remainder of the lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute a copy of the How to Be a Good Citizen worksheet to each student.
  • Instruct them to think about how they currently do their civic duty as a child and what else they could do as they grow older.
  • Give students time to answer the questions and complete the task on the back of the worksheet. Circulate and offer support as students complete the assignment.


  • Challenge advanced students to research individuals who are examples of good citizens. Have them create a presentation to share with the other students about these citizens who make a difference in the world.


  • Provide students with a pre-made concept web graphic organizer.
  • Create intentional partnerships and groups in order to pair struggling students with supportive students.
  • Support students with sentence stems, such as “I am a good citizen because _____.” and “I do my civic duty by _____.”
  • Show images of people who are good citizens, such as firefighters, volunteers, and teachers. Explain how these people do important jobs that help make their communities better.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student an index card.
  • Instruct learners to write one sentence that shows an example of being a good citizen and one sentence that shows an example of not being a good citizen.
(3 minutes)
  • Instruct students to hold up the back of their How to Be a Good Citizen worksheet to display their illustration.
  • Complete a quick check as you glance around at all of the worksheets, pointing out different examples of doing civic duty to be a good citizen that the students illustrated.

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