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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why We Have Rules

Why do we have rules? 
That is a question I posed to my kindergarten students and the responses where amazing:
  1. to keep us safe
  2. so people know what they can and cannot do
  3. to help us get along
  4. so the world doesn't go crazy.
Pretty smart kids, huh?!

There are several books and nursery rhymes that have helped me teach this concept to the children:
The above list just scratches the surface of books to use.  I am sure there are many more appropriate books.  These are just what I had on hand at the moment.

Below is the 5 E lesson plan I used in class.

Read Moongame.  Discuss the rules of hide and go seek.  Discuss problems that arise if someone doesn't follow the rules.  For example:  some peeks while counting.

*Language Arts Connection:  Make a web with Bear in the middle.  Have the children list all the things they know or can infer about Bear from reading the story.

At the end of the lesson, have children discuss with a partner rules they have at home.  Then, students will draw a picture of one rule they have in their home.

Day One:
Watch Humpty Dumpty on You Tube.  Then, hang up a poster of the rhyme and teach it to the class.

Ask and discuss the following questions with students:
  • At the beginning of the poem, what was Humpty Dumpty doing?
  • What happened to Humpty?
  • What did Humpty do wrong?
  • What should Humpty have done differently?
  • Why is it important to follow rules?
  • What would happen if there were no rules in your home or at school?
  • What if there were no laws in our community?
Have students work with partners to create a rule, which if obeyed, could have prevented Humpty Dumpty’s accident.

Day Two:
Ask: Why are rules necessity at school? Emphasis should be placed on the concept that rules establish order and provide safety and security.

Give each pair of students several picture cards and a piece of paper. Tell students that they are to chose their favorite picture and create a school rule that would apply to what is pictured on their card. Have students draw a picture of the rule or what would happen if the rule was broken.

After students have completed the activity, have them share their rules with the class. They should also state why their rule is necessary in a school setting. The teacher should assist students in determining if the rule is for their safety or to provide order or security.

Day Three:
Read Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.  Discuss what rules Lilly broke and how it effected everyone in her class.
Work as a team to create rules for the classroom.  Allow students to sign the classroom rules chart as a pledge to follow them throughout the school year.

*Language Arts Connection: Create a T Chart with one side for Lilly's Actions and the other side for Reasons.  For Example:  Lilly showed her purse- she loved her new things so much she just couldn't stop thinking about them.

Discuss the following questions: 
  • Which rule do you think is the most important for students to follow? Why?
  • Which rule do you wish did not exist? Why?
  • Which rule will be the most difficult for you to obey? Why?
Students will draw a picture of one classroom rule and what happens when you do not follow the rule.

Take students on a tour of the school and discuss the rules of each area.  You may want to only visit 2-3 places a day until you have toured the entire school.

The student will use what they have learned about rules to orally share ideas about what a rule is and why rules are so important (provide safety, order, and security).

*Many of these ideas are from my school district, but I have added to and modified each lesson to create a good fit for kindergarten students.

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