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A 6th Grader Defines Citizenship

One of our favorite lessons in Level 1 of Cyber Civics is called, "The 5 Principles of Citizenship." We love to hear students explain how these principles apply to all the communities they belong to--like their baseball team, or their church group, their city, state, or even their family. This is such an important concept for students to grasp before they start belonging to online communities--where many believe, or at least act like they believe, these rules don't apply! Here is how one of our students tackled this lesson:


I was told that I had to do a report on how a community I belong to shows citizenship, so I chose to do it on my classroom community. Hope you enjoy!

HONESTY: Suppose there are two different math quizzes and they don’t have names on them. Your teacher asks you which one is yours. One has a better grade and the other one doesn't. You have the bad grade. So do you say that other person's quiz is yours, or not? Most likely you would be honest and admit you had the lower grade. This is honesty.

COMPASSION: This can mean helping someone when they are in a time of need. Somtimes at my school on Wednesdays we have "Compassionate Campus" where we do something like clean or write nice letters to teachers. This is a slight rendering of what compassion is.

RESPECT: Respect is a value that everyone SHOULD have. Respect, for example, is not talking out of turn in class on not saying bad things about a person when they are not around. I think everyone in my class could benefit from showing more respect and I think almost everyone in the world would benefit by showing each other more respect too.

RESPONSIBILITY: Let’s say you were late to class at school and it was your fault because you were out playing basketball. That’s irresponsible, right? Responsibility would mean you would stop playing basketball and head back to class when the bell rings or when it is time to go.

COURAGE: Maybe you are at school and someone is picking on a friend or someone who is sort of unpopular and you stick up for them. That’s an example of courage, to some extent. Maybe you have been picked on. But did you fight the person? Did you say mean things to them? Well if you are getting picked on and you did one of those things back, that is actually not smart. Even if they are making fun of you, it shows courage not to do it back. Courage is one of the most essential things a citizen should have.

Well that is my report on citizenship and I hope you learned something from it and had fun reading it.

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