The teenagers you see shoveling an elderly neighbor's sidewalk after a snowstorm. The restaurant owner that puts in long hours to provide jobs in the community. The student who listens to his teacher when she tells him to quiet down or helps his classmates during an assignment. All of these people are modeling civic values, or the values that are required for a civic society.
Every society is held together by certain values. These values help keep society running, help keep people happy, and ensure security for future generations. While there are many different civic values, in this lesson we will focus on only four: service, personal responsibility, respect, and entrepreneurship.
Your local and state government can provide some basic services, such as paving the roads, putting out fires, and educating children. But they cannot do everything! This is where service comes into play. Service is when individuals volunteer to help out other people in need. There are many issues people face and only together can we face these issues.
For example, you might volunteer at a soup kitchen helping to serve the hungry. Or you might help clean up a local park by planting flowers and picking up trash. These are great examples of the ways you can volunteer your time and money to make society a better place.
For those that can provide for themselves, personal responsibility is an important civic value. Personal responsibility refers to when an individual takes responsibility for his or her actions. For example, when you take it upon yourself to find a job or start your own business instead of relying on others, you are taking responsibility for your own life and your family's life.
Personal responsibility is very important for a society because it shifts the burden to people who can take care of themselves. There will always be people who, through no fault of their own, require extra help. For those that can provide for themselves, there is an imperative that they do.
In order to have a peaceful society, we must each respect each other. When a police officer pulls you over for speeding, you should respect her authority to enforce the law and she should respect your right to be informed of what the issue is. When a teacher asks a student to re-do an assignment, the teacher should be respectful of how fast or slow the child learns, and the student should respect his teacher, because he has been entrusted to help the child learn. Respect is necessary because it recognizes that every person has certain rights and dignity.
A society needs jobs and prosperity to function. We no longer all have to work as farmers thanks to entrepreneurs who made our lives easier. Entrepreneurship refers to people who take the risk to start a business.
The restaurant owner, the auto mechanic, and the doctor are all examples of entrepreneurs - people who took old or new business ideas and started their own business. Entrepreneurship helps provide jobs and prosperity for a town, city, or state. We should respect people who take risks to make our lives better.
There are many important values a society needs to function. Four we discussed are: service, personal responsibility, respect, and entrepreneurship. Service refers to helping those in need. Personal responsibility refers to taking responsibility for our actions. Respect is when we listen to each other and listen to authority. Finally, entrepreneurship is when someone takes a risk to start a new business. What are some other civic values you find important?
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Prompts About Civic Values:
Create a set of flashcards that provide the definitions of all the bolded terms from the lesson—civic values, service, personal responsibility, respect, entrepreneurship.
Tip: The definitions are within the context of the concept of civic values.
Make an informational poster that illustrates why civic values are important.
Example: Civic values help provide harmony in society.
Make a list of ten ways in which you could engage in civic service. You could pair up with a classmate to generate a list of civic service activities you would like to do together.
Example: Volunteer at an animal shelter.
Essay Prompt 1:
Write an essay of at least one to two paragraphs that describes the importance of personal responsibility and provides examples of it.
Example: Saving money is an example of personal responsibility.
Essay Prompt 2:
Write an essay of one paragraph that discusses why entrepreneurship is a civic value.
Example: Entrepreneurship can improve society as a whole by providing financial benefits.
Think about a time when you experienced or witnessed an act of respect in society. In at least one paragraph, write an essay that describes the incident and how it made you feel.
Example: While driving, pulling over for a funeral procession is a sign of respect.
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