Citizenship Calendar: Everyday Acts to Improve our World
INTENDED AGE / SUBJECT AREA
History, Citizenship, Responsibilities, Social Action
Canadians have a long history of helping those most in need. As part of learning about local and global citizenship, students should be exposed to great stories from the past and of their own time. Students should also recognize their own ability to help others and effect change.
learn about humanitarians and the different ways Canadians have helped people in other countries
understand ideas of citizenship and global responsibilities
create a citizenship calendar and perform a variety of everyday acts of kindness
The February/March issue of Kayak is all about international development. The article “A History of Caring” tells students about Canadians who have made a difference in the world.
A. Reading / Discussion
1. As a class, read "A History of Caring". Discuss with the students the different ways the individuals and organizations in the article helped others (peace, education, health, human rights, and aid). Record these categories at the top of the blackboard.
2. For each individual or organization in the article, decide what type of helping they did. Record their name under the corresponding category.
1. Have the students think of ways that they help others. Encourage them to think of everyday acts, like sharing a snack, or helping someone with homework. Determine what category their acts would fall under and write their name alongside the humanitarians from the article.
2. Look at the chart you have just created. What type of helpers are the students? Are most of them peace-keepers, like Lester B. Pearson, or are some human rights advocates like John Humphrey? Discuss the ideas of citizenship and responsibility, both locally and globally.
C. Take Action
1. Have the students add to the chart by coming up with more everyday acts they could perform to help others.
2. Create a citizenship calendar. Write your acts of kindness on a calendar and encourage the students to perform the acts as they come up. Depending on how many actions your students come up with, you might want to dedicate each week to a different act (saving pennies for a cause), or theme (“peace-keeping week.”)
3. Encourage your students to reflect on their acts through a journal or group discussions. How did they feel when they performed their actions? Did their actions have a positive impact on others?
1) Demonstrate the importance of collective social action. Have your class think of one act they can do as a group, like holding a fundraiser, volunteering for a local charity, or creating an anti-bullying campaign. Afterwards, have students reflect on the project. What were they able to accomplish as a group? Was it easier to help others as a group or individually?
2) Have students vote on one of the categories they would like to learn more about. Contact a related organization and have them come speak to your class. An easy place to start is with your regional or provincial council for international cooperation. These organizations coordinate their own activities and programs, and you’ll also find a list of member organizations that you can get in contact with, as well.
Rate This Article
1 = poor, 5 = excellent
Current rating: 3.7 (3 ratings)