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Defining Citizenship

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School Social Studies, Political Science

One Class Session

Students will:

  • analyze the meaning of citizenship
  • make connections to their citizenship within different groups
  • identify ways to improve their roles as members of a community
  • establish their roles as citizens and their responsibilities to the community members of the larger group

Medal of Honor Focus: William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps, War on Terror (Afghanistan)

Introductory Activity:
The teacher will provide a definition for citizenship and clarify the meaning for the student. The class will discuss different types of communities of which one can be a citizen. After this discussion, the teacher will model the activity by identifying the different communities of which he or she is a part.

Individual Activity:
Students complete the worksheet to identify the communities to which they belong and choose one community to analyze by documenting their roles and responsibilities as well as the quality of their membership in that community.

Whole Group Activity:
Students will watch the video of William “Kyle” Carpenter.

Students will complete the back of the worksheet to identify the roles and responsibilities Carpenter has as a member of his communities. Students will revisit their roles and responsibilities within all of their identified communities and describe ways that they can grow as citizens.


Worksheet, William “Kyle” Carpenter Living History video

Extended Activity:
Research a service group, and write a report on what its volunteers do and how they improve the community. Draft a proposal for a personal service plan.

Living History Video

Additional Resources