Roles, Rights and Responsibilities

Illustration Elements

Context

A Teacher’s Voice

Our class has been learning about ourselves, our families, and our community. We have started to think about the roles we play within those relationships and the rights and responsibilities we have to ourselves and to each other.

With a Friend by Your SideThis is a very big concept for our young learners, but we found some books to help clarify our thinking. We started with the book, “With a Friend by Your Side”.  This beautiful book talks about the importance of friendship and places value on different types of friendships (ex. silly friends, happy friends, supportive friends).  This led to a lovely conversation about, “What type of friend are you?”  The students were asked to think about who they are in a friendship and place value on the role they play to their friends.  They were each asked to complete the sentence, “My role is to be a _______ friend because ________.”  As always, all the students had some amazing connections and thoughtful answers.

  • My role is to be a kind friend because I can support my friend and that makes me happy.
  • My role is to be a community friend because we all help each other.
  • My role is to be a smart friend because if somebody doesn’t know what to do then I will help them.
  • My role is to be a playful friend because I am silly.

Hmmm…I wonder…Do we always play the same role in our friendships or do our roles change sometimes?

Thank you Earth by April Pulley Sayre Next, we read a book called, “Thank You Earth”.  This beautiful book is filled with photographs of nature from around the world. The book is a thank you letter to the earth for giving us such a beautiful planet filled with colourful sunsets, peaceful forests, lively creatures and remarkable deserts.  Through our family inquiry, we learned about many different types of families and this book sparked our thinking about being a part of an earth family. The students reflected and said,

  • I am responsible for taking care of creatures in our earth family.
  • I am responsible for planting seeds in our earth family.
  • I am responsible for keeping my brother safe in our earth family.
  • I am responsible for watching nature in our earth family.
  • I am responsible for keeping the earth clean and recycling in our earth family.

I have the Right to be a Child by AuthorOur final book was, “I Have the Right to Be a Child”.  Immediately, a student asked the question, “What are rights?”.  Before we began reading the book, we decided that “rights” are the things that we all deserve, need, should have and are fair for everyone to expect.  The book explains some of these ideas in kid friendly language, such as, “I have the right to be cared for using the best treatments available to humans” and “I have the right to breathe clean air that’s as pure as the blue sky.”  After each page, we decided that every child should have these things but not every child gets these things depending on where they live in the world.  We are all a part of a global family and we decided that we should all be very grateful and appreciative of having the right to be a child and play and be safe and loved. The students reflected and said,

  • I have the right to have clothes.
  • I have the right to love my dad and mom.
  • I have the right to breathe clean air.
  • I have the right to friendship.
  • I have the right to play with supporting friends.
  • I have the right to have a name. 

Illustration

Student Work Samples

Profile Analysis

Social Awareness and Responsibility

PROFILE TWO
In familiar settings, I can interact with others and my surroundings respectfully

I can build relationships and work and play cooperatively.  I can participate in activities to care for and improve my social and physical surroundings and use materials respectfully. I can solve some problems myself and ask for help when I need it; I listen to others’ ideas and concerns. I can be part of a group, and invite others to join. I can identify when something is unfair to me or others

Communicating

PROFILE ONE
In a safe and supported environment, I respond meaningfully to communication from peers and adults.