Civics in Kindergarten

Recommended Grade Level: K

Teacher: Sue Mayo

General Description

Kindergarten is quite possibly the first time a student enters the school system. It is in this formative year that a child first learns to trust in the safety of the classroom, learns about the importance of community, and about being part of a group that is outside the family. It is only after this, that “rules” can be made and followed, and consequences can be understood.

In kindergarten, EVERYTHING is a guided discovery lesson. Teachers need to teach students how and when to enter the room, how to unpack their backpacks, where their snacks go, how to wash their hands, and how to ask to use the bathroom-all in the first hour of school! All of these concepts are modeled, then practiced. It is a bit daunting, but well worth the effort to build independence. 

One of the ways to build a sense of trust is with the morning meeting. You can follow a modified version of Responsive Classroom Morning Meeting. Do a different greeting each week. Some are based on themes, or skills, but ALL must include eye contact, a greeting, and a name.

After several weeks go by, we have a Hopes and Dreams/Goals discussion. We talk about ways we want to grow this year. Once you chart the goals in some way, THEN we talk about rules that will help us achieve these goals.

Materials and Documents

Thank you so much for your organization. I truly am most appreciative of the financial gift. This is such a rarity for teachers. In fact, finding a no-cost professional development can be a difficulty. You showed respect by providing a no-cost training, a delicious lunch, and a stipend. Thank you so very much. Looking forward to future newsletters and workshops! Thank you for helping teachers grow in their knowledge of a most important subject and cause: civics education.
- Sabrina Maltby, Manchester Public Schools
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