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Teaching Citizenship with Literature

April 12th, 2018

“Citizenship is the chance to make a difference to the place where you belong.”

~ Charles Handy

We’re getting a bit of a late start on this month’s character trait because of Spring Break, so let’s get right to it! The trait we will emphasize in April is:

Citizenship: Recognizing one's place in the greater communities (family, school, local and country) through active service and respectful devotion to the community's members, values and standards.

Catch phrase: Everyone counts.

Once again, here’s a short book list that focuses on our trait of the month. Pick up a few of these and engage in some great conversations about citizenship with your kids:

If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover 

Suggested ages: 2-5

A whimsical book to help kids understand why we can’t do whatever we want, whenever we want to.

Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, and Elections by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes 

Suggested ages: 5-8

Follow Woodrow G. Washingtail, a civic-minded mouse with presidential ambitions, in this fun story that shows what it takes to become the “Commander in Cheese.”

A Very Important Day by Maggie Rugg Herold

Suggested ages: 5-8

This book follows families who have journeyed to the US from other countries to take the oath of citizenship at a New York City courthouse one snowy morning.

Being a Good Citizen: A Book About Citizenship by Mary Small

Suggested ages: 5-8

This book offers suggestions for different things kids can do every day to be a good citizen.

City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan 

Suggested ages: 5-8

A story about a girl who has a wonderful idea to transform a vacant lot, and brings her community together.

America: A Patriotic Primer by Lynne Cheney 

Suggested ages: 5-9

An A-to-Z book of American history with detailed illustrations, that shares the principles on which our country was founded.

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers

Suggested ages: 5-9

A fun nonfiction book about the Statue of Liberty and what she represents.

We Live Here Too!: Kids Talk About Good Citizenship by Nancy Loewen

Suggested ages: 7-11

Using real-world examples and advice column-style writing, this book looks at what it means to belong to a community and to be a good citizen.

Kids Care!: 75 Ways to Make a Difference for People, Animals & the Environment by Rebecca Olien 

Suggested ages: 8 and up

This is more of a how-to book with step-by-step instructions for different projects that benefit others.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

Suggested ages: 10 and up

We’ve recommended Gary’s Schmidt’s books for a long time – they are often about middle schoolers recognizing their place in the greater community and learning to do what is right. This one is fantastic.



Here's this month’s downloadable mini-poster that you can print – click on the image to the right for the full-size PDF:


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