Students will watch a video about being engaged in their communities, and then brainstorm and discuss ways to be of service in their own community. Working in groups, students will create posters about participating in their community.
This lesson is part of Great States: Idaho | Unit 7: Territory-to-State which looks at the key turning points that led to Idaho evolving into the 43rd state of the Union. Students will learn that statehood was a complex process and not an inevitable historical outcome.
Goal 4.3: Build an understanding that all people in the United States have rights and assume responsibilities.
4.SS.4.3.3 Identify ways people can monitor and influence the decisions and actions of their state and tribal governments.
Boise District 413.30: Identify ways people can monitor and influence the decisions and actions of their state and tribal governments.
- Poster paper
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Initiate a discussion with your class about communities helping one another and why it’s important to help those less fortunate than us. Explain that all citizens have the responsibility to contribute to their communities, whether it be following laws, voting, or helping others.
- Discuss as a class different issues or people in your community that you might want to help. Examples include: elderly people, local homeless shelters, the environment, animal rights, local government, third world countries, etc.
- Break the class up into groups and have each group pick a specific issue in their community they would like to address. Have each group make a poster about that issue and ways to help solve it.
- Reconvene, have each group share their plan, and as a class pick which of the service projects they would like to participate in first. Hopefully you can try to complete several of their ideas throughout the year!
Extend the lesson (30 minutes):
4.SS.4.3.2 Explain ways to contact elected state representatives.
Boise District 413.29 Explain ways to contact elected state representatives.
- Large envelopes
Briefly touch on the state legislature and how elected officials represent the people of Idaho in the state government. Talk about how important it is to let the officials know about the issues we care about. Have students each write a letter to the representative on the topic of their poster, explaining why they care about the issue.
For instruction on how to reach your local Idaho representatives, click here.