Rules and Laws
This lesson is designed to help students evaluate rules. It is important since not all rules are necessarily good or appropriate. Sometimes, school rules are arbitrarily imposed, other times they are arrived at as the result of consensus.
Grade Level: K - 2nd
Subject: Social Studies
Length of Time: About 45 Minutes
Objectives & Outcomes
Students will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a school rule. Students should be able to decide if a rule is clear, if it accomplishes its purpose, and if it protects the rights of others. Students should be able to explain the purpose of rules and laws and why they are important. Rules and laws relate to the ways people should behave and provide order, predictability and security.
- Never Spit on Your Shoes by Denys Cazet
- Large piece of paper for chart or whiteboard
Opening to Lesson
- Read the book Never Spit on Your Shoes by Denys Cazet. This book is about a puppy’s first day in first grade. Each double-page shows the rambunctious students in action. The teacher has the students create rules for their classroom and takes them on a tour of the school. Each page includes an inset depicting Arnie having cookies with his mother as he tells her about his day.
- Show students the cover of the book and ask them to predict where they think the story takes place. Have students describe what is happening in the picture. Locate the title, name of the author, and name of the illustrator. Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of the book.
- Point out the School Rules list on the chalkboard. Rule number 1 is “Don’t run.” Ask, “Why do you think this is a rule? How could we reword this rule to that it is more positive? What else do you think the teacher and the students may include on their list of rules?”
Body of Lesson
- Ask, “What do you think the title of the story means?” Do you think this will be a true story or a make-believe story? What clues do you have?
- Introduce the words “fact” and “fiction”. Ask students if they think Never Spit on Your Shoes is a true story. How do we know? Chart responses.
- Discuss characteristics of factual stories: names, dates, places, actions that can be verified. List these and other possible student responses on a Fact/Fiction Chart. Keep this chart and record information as you read different stories during this unit and from your reading series.
- Guided Practice 1: After reading
Guided Practice 1
After reading Never Spit on Your Shoes, ask students to share examples of rules--rules from home, rules from school or other places, rules for kids, rules for adults. Ask, “What is a rule?” “Why do we have rules?” “How are rules made?” “Who makes the rules?” “What are some of the consequences of not following rules?” Record student comments on chart paper.
Guided Practice 2
Have students break into pairs and discuss the list of school rules from long ago. Are these rules fair? What is the reason for each rule? Do we have the same rules today? (CFU: Review worksheets, having each student orally share one rule and consequence. Chart rules and punishments as students present.)
Draw a Venn diagram with two circles labeled rules long ago and parents’ rules. Overlap each circle to record rules each had in common.
As a class, draw a third circle for today’s rules and discuss: comparing old rules new rules and parent rules. Have students share as you see fit.
Assessment & Evaluation
Through guided questions, close monitoring and informal observation; the teacher will be able to assess student’s ability and understanding of the subject being introduced. Through individually assessing during independent practice and reviewing during guided practice the teacher will be able to evaluate students.
Modification & Differentiation
Students may work in groups or individually in order to complete their assignments. In order to accommodate for all students, allow extra time to review for lower students and extra worksheets to occupy the time of advanced students.
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