Students Voting

Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities

Teacher Background

Students should understand the differences between the rights and the responsibilities of citizens.

Vocabulary

Civil Rights: the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.

Economic Rights: financial choices and privileges individuals have without government prohibition. Economic rights include the right to own property, change employment, operate a business, and join a labor union.

Inalienable Rights (Natural Rights): rights that you are born with.

Political Rights: the rights of citizens to participate at the local, state, and national level without government interference, including the right to vote, petition, assemble, and run for public office.

Universal Human Rights: the rights of all people in all nations to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Think Deeply

  • What are your rights as a citizen?
  • Why is it important to be a responsible citizen?
  • What are some examples of taking an active role as a U.S. citizen?

Well-Being

  • Why do you think both rights and responsibilities are important for communities in the United States?
  • What rights do you think people may take for granted? In groups of three, discuss which inalienable rights are important to you and why. Imagine what the world would be like if these inalienable rights were not considered rights people are born with. What are three things you can do today to respect a friend’s rights?
  • What is something you want to do to develop your ability to be a responsible citizen? How will you contribute to your community responsibly this week?

Let’s Write

As a United States citizen, you have a role and responsibility in self-government, including voting, participating in government, and serving on a jury. Discuss what each of these are and why a citizen should take these responsibilities seriously.

Lesson Plan

1. Ask students to look at the images included with the articles and share what they observe with a partner.

2. As a class, read the title, “Rights of Citizens” and ask students what they think the pictures in the student edition have to do with this title. (Answers will vary.)

3. Distribute the graphic organizer Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens, and review the instructions.

4. Watch the video Rights and Responsibilities.

  • Divide the class into two groups.
  • Ask group 1 to listen for rights and group 2 to listen for responsibilities and record them on their graphic organizer.
  • As a class, review the rights and responsibilities students noted. Assemble a list.

5. Preview the text by asking students to circle the bolded words, and explain that these words will help them understand the rights they have as citizens of the United States. Have the students read the text independently or as a class.

  • Ask students to underline the definitions of the bolded words.
  • Ask students to highlight any other important facts found in the text.

6. Have the students share what they underlined with a partner or small group.

7. As a class, discuss the important facts found in the text. Have the students add any additional rights and responsibilities discussed to their graphic organizer.

8. In their interactive notebooks, have students respond to this question:

  • What is something you want to do to develop your ability to be a responsible citizen? How will you contribute to your community responsibly this week?

Materials Needed

Graphic organizer Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens (see below)

Online Related Media

Video: Rights and Responsibilities

Article Assessment Questions

__________ create equality and ensure that everyone’s rights are protected.

a. Natural rights

b. Civil rights

c. Political rights

d. Economic rights

__________ include the right to vote, petition, assemble, and run for public office.

a. Natural rights

b. Civil rights

c. Political rights

d. Economic rights

__________ include the right to own property, change employment, operate a business, and join a labor union.

a. Natural rights

b. Civil rights

c. Political rights

d. Economic rights

Recent Posts

Studies Weekly Field Trip San Jacinto Monument

Top 5 Virtual Field Trips in Our Library

Virtual field trips give your students the chance to explore new places, build vocabulary, and deepen understanding, according to Monica Burns’ Jan. 2021 Edutopia article.