Back to Lessons

The Big Red Dog: Commitment

Suggested Grade Level

Suggested Values

Suggested Subject Matter

K Commitment English/Language Arts/Social Studies

Students will:
• Using the book “Clifford Gets a Job,” and “Star of the Week” program, students will explore what it means
  to be responsible and have commitments. In class, students will brainstorm examples of responsibility
  in and out of the classroom. Using a stuffed Clifford, they will get to experience what it is like to have
  a very important commitment during their star week.

Category: Kindergarten

Core Value Focus: Commitment

Part One:“Clifford Gets a Job” picture book, interactive whiteboard with the headings “I’m responsible at
home” and “I’m responsible at school,” access to google images for pictures of children demonstrating
responsibility at home and at school. Poster paper, crayons, markers

Part Two: "Star of the Week” - Rolling Suitcase, Stuffed Animal Clifford, Clifford notebook (journal),
Clifford books

Introductory Activity: Day 1
Write the word on the board and guide children through counting syllables by tapping with their fingers
on the opposite wrist while pronouncing "co-mmit-ment." Have a class discussion about what the word
“commitment" means. Talk about commitment as sticking with something even if it is difficult or a promise
to give or do something. Compare it to having a responsibility.

Watch Harry Kindergarten Video Clip/Song about responsibility:

Whole Group Activity:
(Before class, create two My Commitment pages that illustrate through pictures (hand-drawn or photographs)
how you, the teacher, act in responsible ways at home and school. These pages will give children ideas and
a visual reference.)

Ask the question: What kind of commitments do you make every day?
• Do you have commitments to your friends? How?
• Do you have commitments to your teachers?
• What commitments have you made recently?

On the interactive whiteboard, list the ways that one could show responsibility at home and school.
Write students' ideas on the board, divided into Home and School responsibilities. Share your “My
Commitment” pages that you created earlier. Let them know that tomorrow, they will get to make
their own commitment pages.

Introductory Group Activity: Day 2
*Watch Harry Kindergarten Video Clip/Song about responsibility:

*Read Aloud “Clifford Gets a Job”
In the story, Clifford finds himself in a circus, on a farm, even catching robbers! But why is Clifford trying
so hard to have a job? Help children conclude that Clifford feels responsible for helping the Howards pay
for all of that dog food he eats. The Howard family really loves Clifford and they wouldn’t change a thing
about their big red dog. Ask the children to think of other ways that Clifford could be responsible and be
committed to helping the Howard family around the house instead of leaving to find work in other places.

Small Group Activity:
• Teacher will review their “My Commitment” posters with the class.
• Verbally review ideas about what commitments they have at home and at school
• Place the students into partner groups of two. Each group receives two large pieces of white construction paper.
  One paper is entitled “My Commitment - School” and the other is entitled “My Commitment - Home.” Students will
  collaborate with their partner and draw pictures of how they show responsibility/ commitments at home and school.

Concluding Activity:
Have students present the posters that they created. Hang them in the class as a reminder of what it means
to have commitment.

Student work of posters

Introductory Activity: Day 3
• Show video: Amazing Kids of Character: Responsibility at
• Have students share with their partners commitments that they have that are the same as the kids in the video
• Share out as a group
• Have students share with their partners commitments that the kids in the video had that are different than what
   they have
• Share out as a group
• Discuss the terms compare/contrast, remind students that we use a Venn diagram to do this
    o Review how to use a Venn diagram

Individual Activities
• Give each student a large piece of paper with a Venn diagram drawn on it
• In the center, they are to draw pictures of the commitments they had in common with the kids on the video
• On their side, they are to draw pictures of commitments that only they have
• On the other side, they are to draw pictures of commitments that only the kids in the video have

Concluding Activity:
Have students share their Venn diagrams in small group

Collect Venn diagrams to check for understanding

Extended Activities:
Assign a STAR student each week. This student will take home the stuffed animal “Clifford”, backpack/suit case
and journal. While they have Clifford, they are to record in their journal what they did and how they took care of him.
This will be evidence that they followed through with their commitment to making sure Clifford was well taken care
of during their week.


"All About Responsibility Song Mr Stanley Tells Stories about Responsibility 2." YouTube. Harry Kindergarten, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
"AMAZING KIDS OF CHARACTER: RESPONSIBILITY (Accessible Preview)." YouTube. HUMAN RELATIONS MEDIA, 2009. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
Bridwell, Norman. Clifford Gets a Job. New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1965. Print.

Quote on the focus core value: This lesson does not include a quote.