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Importance of citizens working in their communities

Lesson Plan Item

General Information
Grade 1st Grade Class Social Studies Length of Lesson 40-45 Minutes
Lesson Title Importance of citizens working in their communities
Unit Title Global Citizenship
Unit Compelling Question Why should I be a global citizen?
Historical Context:

To become a citizen in the United States a person must go through the process called naturalization. This process requires individuals be at least 18 years old. They must have lived in their current state for at least three months. They must have a good moral character, and pass a two-part naturalization test.  Citizens are asked to swear to defend the United States Constitution. 


~ Allyson Simpson, Simpson College


2018.008.005  In the 1860s, a handful of Norwegian immigrants to Iowa who were followers of the State Church in Norway, or the Norwegian Synod, tried to develop a system of parochial schools where they could teach all of the subjects, including religion and the Norwegian language, as a way of maintaining Norwegian identity. The idea, however, was not popular with the people in the Norwegian Synod's church congregations because they preferred to send their children to the "common schools" or public schools to learn English and American ways. This school building, the Rovang School, was one of three Norwegian parochial schools built to provide part-time religious education in the Norwegian language. The school was built in 1880 and served as a parochial school in rural Decorah for about four decades.

The Rovang School was used primarily for religious education and students spent two week sessions in the schoolhouse, taking time off from public school during that period. The content was taught in Norwegian and included devotions, history of Lutherans, history of the Bible and hymns. Johan Hagen was the teacher and taught from 1888-1918.

The creation of the Norwegian schools caused controversy among the church and among the public schools intially. In the mid to late 1800s. a high increase of immigrants was seen entering the United States from various countries. As they struggled to settle down in the country and find work, they were generally not accepted or welcomed by Americans. A term called cultural assimilation began in schools where immigrant students were taught "American" customs and to leave behind their country's traditions and way of doing things. This included what they ate, wore, how they spoke and what they learned.  The method was used in hopes of assimilating immigrants into American culture. When news of creating a separate Norwegian school broke, many were worried that the school would separate them again and resort them back to the "immigrant outcast", making it hard to find work and survive in American society. The public school and the church came to a compromise that students would only attend the religious school part-time to ensure that they would not miss out on learning English and American customs.

2018.017.012  This photograph shows a farmer in Fredericksburg Township, Chickasaw County, using a John Deere #10 corn picker. This machine was pulled by a tractor and could harvest one row of corn at a time. The machine would separate the ears of corn from the cornstalks as it cut them, and then dump the ears into a separate wagon which typically followed alongside the machine.


~ Matthew Miller, Teaching Iowa History Team
Lesson Supporting Question Why do people work?
Lesson Overview

Students will be recalling what we’ve already learned in the previous lesson about a citizen and using that information to help them figure out why it is important that people in their community work. Then, students will explore different job sites and think of occupations that relate to the job sites. 

Primary Sources Used
Resources Needed
Lesson Target
  • Students will demonstrate why it is important that citizens in communities work by completing an exit slip that explains 3 reasons.
Lesson Themes No themes are assigned for this lesson.
Lesson Procedure
Step Procedure Time Differentiation plan / Additional Information
Bell Ringer

In the previous lesson, we discussed what a citizen is, we are now just activating students prior knowledge.
Reintroduce the word citizen to the class.
Ask “Can someone explain to me what a citizen is?”
Have students turn to a partner and brainstorm ideas for a few minutes. Then have students share out ideas when called on.
“Now that we know what a citizen is what do you think a global citizen is?” Allow a few minutes for discussion with partners.

Explain a global citizen is someone who is culturally aware of what happens in the world.
4 Min We have already covered what a citizen is previous to this lesson so by going over it at the beginning of the lesson this will refresh their memory.

Ask students “why might it be important for people in their own community to have a job or work?”
Example student response: So they can help out their community.
Read aloud at the front rug “Whose Hands are These? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26334722-whose-hands-are-these

Then group students into groups of four based on readiness.
10 Min  
Transition Have students find an area for their group to meet somewhere in the room. 1 Min  

Give each group a  graphic organizer web.
Allow students 10 minutes to fill out the web in their groups.

Students will be filling out different occupations that associate with the place they work. For example The pictures will include a school, office job, construction site, and a hospital.
8 Min Differentiation- Groups students based on readiness and scaffold the web a little by giving an example of a job that fits into the web. “Since there is a hospital a doctor works here.”

 Have students finish their webs and pick one person from each group to give a few examples of what they came up with.
Example student response: Someone who works at a school is a teacher, secretary, janitor, etc.
Why is it important that schools have all these different workers?

Give each group a primary source and have them examine them closely. Have them take notes on each primary source, we will be going into more depth with our primary sources in the following lesson by comparing jobs now and then.
10 Min  
Transition Have students put away primary sources and clean up their area and head back to their seats. 2 Min  
Student Get out a piece of paper and a pencil 30 Sec  

Teacher: “What are some of the jobs we discussed today? Do you know somebody that does this job? Why do you think it is important that they do this kind of work?


Teacher: Please write on your piece of paper 3 reasons why you think it is important that citizens of a community work.


10 Min  
Formative Assessment
(How will you use the formative assessments to monitor and inform instruction?)
  • I will use an exit slip to determine whether the students can explain why it is important that a citizen works in their community.
Summative Assessment
(How does the lesson connect to planned summative assessment(s)?)
  • Students will be taking a summative assessment after the next lesson.
Author Information
Author Kaci Johnson Reviewer Dr. Chad Timm, Simpson College Created 08/18/2019 Last Edited 09/06/2019
Lesson Plan Development Notes: Social Studies Methods, Simpson College, Spring 2019

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