Civic Ideals and Practices
Kindergarten Civic Ideals and Practices Inquiry

Why Do I Have to be Responsible?
Download entire Inquiry here.

Staging the Compelling Question
To launch this inquiry, teachers should introduce the word “responsibility” and engage students in a class discussion to unpack the meaning of the word. After establishing its meaning, teachers can help students make a connection between responsibilities and jobs: What responsibilities does a bus driver have? A teacher? A school principal? This activity draws upon students’ understandings that adults have clear responsibilities and helps establish the idea that students have responsibilities as well.


Supporting Question 1- What does responsibility look like?
  • Source A:  Image bank: Acting responsibly

Image 1: Responsibility at home

Supporting Question 2- What are my responsibilities at home and at school?
  • Source A:  Teacher-located books on responsibility-Teachers select books from their classroom, school, or local library on acting responsibly.
    Possible titles:
    Julia Cook, The Worst Day of My Life Ever, Boys Town Press, 2011.
    Nancy Loewen, Do I Have to? Kids Talk about Responsibility. Picture Window Books, 2002
    Cassie Mayer, Being Responsible, Heinemann, 2007

Supporting Question 3- What would happen if I weren't responsible?
  • Image bank: Responsibility scenarios

New York State Social Studies Framework Key Idea & Practices K.4: Children and adults have rights and responsibilities at home, at school, in the classroom, and in the community.
 Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence     Comparison and Contextualization     Civic Participation
In addition to the Key Idea expressed earlier, this inquiry reflects the following Conceptual Understandings:
  • (K.4a) Children have basic universal rights or protections as members of a family, school, community, nation, and the world.
  • (K.4b) Children can be responsible members of a family or classroom and can perform important duties to promote the safety and general welfare of the group