The elementary school years are a perfect time for students to learn about the great importance of citizenship. Good citizenship is about far more than just knowing facts about the United States, although this is quite important in its own right. Good citizenship also involves living by certain principles that help children live harmoniously with others, as well as treat others fairly and justly.
Important themes of good citizenship that kids must know include:
- The courage to do the right thing even in bad circumstances
- A high sense of personal and public responsibility
- Respect of self, others, and ideas
- Compassion for other people and all living things
- Honesty in all dealings
A good way to help children better understand these principles is to share stories related to the principles of good citizenship. Discussion starters always help make these ideas come to life and provide a more personal take that students can easily relate to. Even younger kids are likely to have something to share and hearing from their peers often helps them decide to take the initiative and share their thoughts.
Some good discussion starters to consider include:
- Talking about a person that the child has a high opinion of
- Asking about a time they felt brave about something they did
- Discussing times when they’ve shown that they care about someone
Role-Playing Often Helps
Kids in the elementary school years often relate to certain concepts through the use of role-playing. Although discussing or writing about certain ideas is helpful, some children might find it easier to act out certain situations to gain a better understanding of them. Interactive activities can also help kids learn these concepts together.
Art activities related to historic Americans who have been examples of good citizens can help children understand the concepts of citizenship in a more meaningful way. When children collaborate on larger projects, such as murals or dioramas, they will also understand the importance of working together with others to achieve goals.
Learning More About What Matters
Children in elementary school are at a good age to learn more about current events that relate to their lessons. The Montessori method encourages kids to take the initiative and learn more about things that interest them. Examples of how children might act on these ideas include:
- Learning more about how to help those in need, both inside and outside the community
- Understanding how leaders are elected and how people make their choices
- Studying the history of events currently in the news and events that happened leading up to them
The Montessori approach is one that is ideal for helping children learn to become better US and world citizens. At the Montessori School of Flagstaff Switzer Mesa Campus, our teachers incorporate hands-on and play-based learning into their lessons. This allows children to discover on their own, including through role-playing and sharing stories. Contact us today to schedule a tour and see the Montessori approach firsthand.