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A good idea looking at Jobs in a Community with real situations in class

Subject:

Social Studies  

Grades:

3, 4, 5  

Title – Creating a Community Based on Real Situations
By – Julie Kuzma
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 3-5

Civics and financial situations can be difficult for a child to understand. This is a helpful, real life unit to help them truly grasp the concept.

I begin the unit by telling them I will “pay” the students $20 a day for coming to work. We discuss laws, consequences and taxes and develop our own town. For example, going to the bathroom when it is not a break time is $2 or playing on the computer is $5. We, as a class, decide on all three of topics I just spoke of.

We have a mock election where the students create a campaign, act out debates with questions from the class and vote for the mayor. Once this is decided, we take names for the name of our town and vote on it.

Each day a new student is given the job of banker, this builds constant Math skills since they are in charge of paying each employee every day and making change when necessary.

The students are also responsible for paying a county tax. The chosen amount this year was $6. All of this money goes into separate fund which can be spent on class activities, such as extra recess=$200 or watching a 20 minute ‘fun’ movie=$400. This is another activity which the class must vote on. I do explain to the students that as adults we must pay taxes and this money goes to building schools and creating better roadways. If we don’t pay it, we are punished. If the students choose not to pay it, they loose their recess time, which costs $5 and pay the tax, $6.

I set up a robbery so we can go to court. The two students involved in the crime choose a lawyer and the other students will be the jury. My job is to be the judge and oversee the process.

Along with all of the areas involved in this unit, we discuss the adult aspect of this and how it works outside of our classroom.

At the end of the unit, the basic assessment will be a test of thier knowledge on civics. Throughout out the whole process I am sure to use terms that we, as adults, use so when its time for the test it is not foreign knowledge.

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Julie Kuzma

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