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Public Education Educator Resources Being a Good Citizen

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to understand what makes a good citizen, why we have rules, and why we need to follow authority.


Grade Levels



National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

10: Civic Ideals and Practices


Materials Needed

Scenario examples (one for each group)

Computer with internet access




  • Ask students what they think it means to be a good citizen.
  • Ask them for examples on how to be a good citizen. (Ideas: volunteer, help others, be honest, be kind, respect others, follow the law)
  • Ask students to raise their hand if they have a dog.
  • Give each student a brief opportunity to share about their dog such as their name, age, breed, etc.
  • Ask students, “How are pets good citizens?” (Ideas: friendly to other dogs and people, follows rules, is a good listener)
  • Follow up with , “What do good people citizens and good pet citizens have in common?”

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling

  • Make a list on the whiteboard called, “A Good Citizen is…”
  • List the following attributes: respectful to other people and their things, helpful, kind, polite, and honest.
  • Ask the students for their opinions on these characteristics.

Guided Practice and Student Work

  • Divide the students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give each group a scenario in which they should behave like a good citizen.
  • Each group should create a skit to demonstrate how they would behave.
  • Possible scenarios include:
    • You are at the park and someone throws their candy wrapper on the ground.
    • You are at the toy store and someone drops their wallet.
    • You are in the bathroom at school and you hear another child crying.
  • Have the groups present their short skits to the class.
  • After all the groups have presented, brainstorm on the board what makes a good citizen and what makes a bad citizen.
  • Review with students the ways that dogs are good citizens. You can find information about there here: AKC Canine Good Citizen
  • Draw a venn diagram on the board. Have students offer ideas about how a canine good citizen is different and similar to a human good citizen.

Review and Closing

  • Tell the students that good citizens are important in society.
  • Ask students to think of what they can do to be a good citizen.
  • Ask them what they plan to do to help their communities.