Students need to understand that as citizens they each have a responsibility and duty to be productive contributing members of their community and to the world around them. If students are taught the importance of displaying fairness, honesty and respect for others, then it is more likely that they will display these characteristics later on in life. Students also need to be aware that they are the future of their community, country and world, and should start now with their efforts to make the world a better place inwhich to live.


DCPS Content and Skills Standards:
(Civic Values)
1.2 Students identify and describe, the symbols, icons, songs and traditions of the United States that exemplify cherished ideals and provide continuity and a sense of community across time.
State the meaning of US national symbols such as the American flag, bald eagle, White House and Statue of Liberty
4) Describe the meaning of words associated with civic values such as fairness, responsibility and rules.  


Bennett, W. J. (1995). The Children’s Book of Virtures. Simon & Schuster.
This is a collection of short stories, poems and fables about moral issues. Some of the virtues discussed in the book include compassion, faith, courage and perseverance.

Warm Up


Read W.J. Bennetts’  Working Together and prepare a Chart with the question on it “What is a “good citizen?” Have students turn-and-talk to each other to share their ideas. Then have the students write answers on post-it notes and place them on the chart. 

New Material

[In this section, descriptively list the substantive material you will be using, how you will introduce it to students pedagogically, and what you want students to come away with. Any new content and skills material as well as distinct methods of inquiry that have not been introduced in earlier lessons within the curricular unit should be included here. Inquiry methods are the primary means through which research is conducted; these tend to vary by discipline. They relate to the types of questions, activities and sources that are used with specific content. Methods of investigation often frame how evidence and data are collected, examined, and reported within a given field. For example, literary critics may perform critical textual analysis, historians may conduct document analysis and triangulate evidence; political scientists may analyze public opinion polls. Inquiry methods can also be cross-disciplinary.]

Performance objective: Students will........
-discuss with a partner the characteristics of a good citizen
-observe as the teacher creates a trail mix made up of foods that represent the characteristics of a good citizen.
-create their own recipe for a good citizen
-write a pledge of what he/she will do to make the classroom a better place.


-Give each student a recipe card
    1 cup____________________
    1/2 Tablespoon:____________
    A Dash of ________________
    A Pinch of _________________
-Provide items for trail mix
    pretzels; M&M’s; raisins; popcorn; Chex Cereal
-Have a large bowl and a serving spoon to mix with


1. Tell students that a good citizen is someone who possesses many different characteristics. A good citizen is someone who works hard to make their community a better place. Explain to the students that their classroom is a community, and that they should strive to have a classroom full of good citizens.

2. Show the students the giant bowl in which you are going to prepare the trail mix in. Explain that we are going to let the bowl represent our classroom, and we are going to fill the bowl with al of the things that good citizens do. (Visual/Spatial)

3. Have students discuss “honesty” as one characteristic of a good citizen. Show students that the pretzels will represent honesty in our trail mix. Have one student come up and put the pretzels in the bowl.

4. Have students discuss doing his/her “personal best”  as one characteristic of a good citizen. Show students that the M&M’s will represent personal best in our trail mix. Have one student come up and put the M&M’s in the bowl.

5. Continue in this manner for two more times. Let the raisins represent “respecting others” and the popcorn represent “responsibility”.

6. Ask students, “In your experience, have you noticed other qualities that good citizens possess?”  Have students turn & talk (Interpersonal) and come up with another characteristic to share with the group. (Analysis) Have one student come up and put the Chex mix in the bowl.

7. After all of the ingredients are in the bowl, mix them together and explain to students that a good citizen would have all of these qualities. Give each student a helping of the trail mix to eat and enjoy.

8. While the students are eating, ask “Do you enjoy eating just pretzels?” “Do you think that the trail mix would be as good if it just had pretzels in it?” “How do you think this is similar to the idea of being a good citizen?” (Synthesis) Have the students turn and talk. (Interpersonal) Explain that although each of these snacks would be good by themselves, together they make an even tastier snack. This is kind of like being a good citizen. It is good to have one of these characteristics, it’s even better to have them all.

9. Now the students are going to write their own recipe for a good citizen. Ask, “Have you ever seen someone use a recipe?” “What is a recipe used for?” (Comprehension)

10. Pass out a recipe card to each student. Have the students fill out each line of the recipe with a characteristic of a good citizen. (Verbal, Linguistic) Tell students that they can use the ones discussed in class, or they can use ones that they have come up with their own.

11. Have students turn in their recipes. Assess by making sure that each student has  completed each line of their card with a characteristic of a good citizen.

12. Make a classroom list of the characteristics good citizen possess.


Each student will complete a recipe card with listing four characteristics of a good citizen.

Students will write a pledge of what he/she will do to make the classroom a better place.

Closure and Reflection


Tell students that for the next lesson, they need to be thinking about things that they can do in their communities to make it a better place. Tell them to focus on things they could do at home, in their classrooms, local community and the city they live in.


Did the students meet the performance objective?
Did the students fill out their recipe cards with true characteristics of good citizens?
Was there a variety of characteristics used, or did the majority of the students just used the characteristics discussed in class?
Did the students understand the symbolism of the trail mix?
What can I do to improve this lesson next time I teach?