Rights & Responsibilities Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What Makes a Citizen?
  • 0:51 What Are Rights?
  • 1:52 What Are Responsibilities?
  • 2:48 How to Be Good Citizens
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Erica McDonald

Erica has a Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in Elementary Education. She has experience teaching second grade and fifth grade.

Do you ever wonder what it means to be a good citizen? In this lesson, we'll learn about rights and responsibilities and explore how they help make our communities better.

What Makes a Citizen?

Do you enjoy going to school? Do you make sure to keep your room clean? Going to school and keeping your room clean may sound like everyday activities, but they're actually an important part of understanding your rights and responsibilities. When you enjoy your freedoms and take care of your duties, you're demonstrating how rights and responsibilities work.

Whether in your home, classroom, city, or country, rights and responsibilities are important and can vary according to where you live. As citizens, or members of a community, we must always do our best to work together. This makes it possible to build and improve our communities. Let's look more closely at our rights and responsibilities and explore how understanding them can help us to become good citizens.

What Are Rights?

Rights are the freedoms we have that are protected by our laws. In the United States, the Bill of Rights, or the first ten amendments to the U.S Constitution, guarantees us freedom of speech and freedom of religion, among other rights. Other constitutional amendments include access to a public school education and the right to vote in elections at age 18.

Throughout America's history, the U.S. Constitution has been amended to give important freedoms to all citizens, such as former slaves after the Civil War. Individual states also give people rights that allow them to participate in local governments, obtain driving and marriage licenses, or operate businesses.

People in different parts of the world don't always have the same rights. In some countries in Africa and the Middle East, not all children are given the right to a public education and not all citizens can vote in elections. This is because the laws are not exactly the same in every country. No matter where people live, it's important that they understand their rights, follow the laws, and act as good citizens.

What Are Responsibilities?

Responsibilities are duties or things that we should do. This can mean choosing to do something simply because it helps others or fixes a problem. For example, you might decide to follow the rules at school, help a classmate, or even recycle your trash.

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