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Defining Citizenship

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School American History, Social Studies, Leadership, War on Terror

Lesson Time: One Class Session

Students will:

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


Recipient 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 that one can be a citizen of. 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 vignette of William “Kyle” Carpenter

Small Group/Individual Activity
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.

Completion of the worksheet

William “Kyle” Carpenter Living History video
Worksheet (Download lesson to access worksheet)

Living History Video - Kyle Carpenter