After completing this Unit of work and associated assessment tasks, students will have met the achievement standard for the Year 3 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum.
This Unit of work is organised into 5 topics
How do people contribute to their communities, past and present?
Topic 1: What are rules?
Introduction (10 min)
Start by sharing the following definition:
Rules are instructions for a place or situation, such as school, home or a sports team. Rules are based on ideas about what is right and what is wrong. They can be made by people who have authority, such as teachers, parents and coaches. Sometimes they are made with the input of the whole group.
As a class discuss what rules have in common, for example:
- to keep us safe
- to help us know what to do
Different rules for different places (15 min)
Explain that students will next think about why there are different rules for different places. Split students into small groups and assign each group a location in a school, based on the options in WS1 School rules. Distribute the relevant worksheets and some stickynotes. Tell students to brainstorm rules for that location on their worksheet and to write the reason why each rule is in place on post-it notes. You may wish to create your own worksheets which covers areas in your school and has room for students to write down their brainstorm ideas.
After they have brainstormed, bring the class together and share the rules each small group discussed. Ask groups to select someone to bring their post-it notes to the front and place them on the wall. As a whole class, sort these into similar groups e.g. fairness, safety, respect. Discuss some of the consequences of rules not being followed.
Rules in your community (30 min)
Ask students to think about parts of their lives where they have to follow rules e.g. sport, home, place of worship, games. On WS1.2 Rules ask students to write 3 rules that apply in that location, who makes those rules, why those rules are in place and what would happen if they didn’t exist.
Afterwards, ask students to interview 2 other students about rules they follow and why they think these rules are important. Bring students back together and share some of these rules and reflections. Students could discuss:
- rules that they found in common
- rules which they like/dislike
- rules which they dislike but acknowledge are important
Topic 2: Fair rules
Drawing activity (25 min)
Start by revising what rules are and why we have them. Explain that in this activity students will complete a drawing and they will receive points at the end of the activity. Students should follow these 3 instructions:
- They must complete their drawing alone
- They can use any colours they like
- They have 10 minutes to complete their drawing
The rest is up to them to decide. They can decide how many eyes their alien will have or how many windows their house will have etc. If they are stuck, they can use the pictures in the borders on their sheet for inspiration.
Once drawings are finished, explain students will now score their drawings and each person will have 20 points to start. Make sure students have a pen/pencil, paper, and their drawing. Students will add or subtract points as you read out the additional scoring rules. Once finished, ask students to tally their results and share with the whole class.
All students start with 20 points.
If you have red socks on:
If you have a name starting with B, F, or G:
All students start with 20 points.
If you have red socks on:
If you have a name starting with B, F or G:
Portfolio assessment 1: Reflecting on rules (20 min)
As a class discuss the activity and the scoring process. Have the students discuss what was unfair about the activity and ask students to write a journal reflection based on the prompts below.
- What rules did you follow?
- After the activity you were asked to mark your drawing based on rules that you didn’t know about.
- How did you feel when you realised the rules weren’t transparent?
- Why do you think they should be transparent?
- What happened because you didn’t follow all the rules? Was it fair?
This activity can be used as an assessable portfolio item for this Unit of work. This task, together with the other suggested portfolio assessment items, align with the achievement standard of the Year 3 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum, including the skills component. Teachers should use the curriculum content descriptions to develop an appropriate marking criterion and rubric.
Topic 3: Making decisions
Revision (5 min)
Start by revising what makes rules fair, for example they need to be:
- the same for everyone
- in place for a good reason
Our rules (5 min)
As a whole group, review your classroom rules and discuss:
- Why do we have these rules?
- Are there any rules we want to add, remove or change?
- What would be the fairest way to change a rule?
Explore decision making (30 min)
Explore various forms of decision-making with the Explore decision-making Classroom activity. To simplify this activity, remove the consensus and executive decision-making component.
Reflect on the activity with students:
- Which methods were fairer?
- How did the different methods make you feel?
- Which method would you use if you want to make a change to school rules now?
- Do you think it is important for everyone to have their say?
Give students the WS3 Reflecting on rules worksheet and ask them to circle the emoticon that best reflects how they feel about each statement. Students can also explain their reasons in the ‘why’ column.
Topic 4: People in the community
Portfolio assessment 2: Active citizen research task (60–90 min)
Start by sharing the following definition of community:
A community is a group of people who have something in common. This may be living or working in the same area, a shared history or beliefs or interests.
Explain that students will research an Australian who has had a positive impact on their community. Students could research one of the following people or you could use the websites below to short list some Australians for your students to select from:
- Eddie Woo – Secondary school teacher awarded Australia’s Local Hero Award in 2018
- Rebecca Prince-Ruiz – Founder of Plastic Free July, awarded Australia’s Local Hero (WA) Award in 2021
- Ash Barty – tennis player, awarded Young Australian of the year in 2020
- Recipients of Australian of the Year award
- Australian Honours (awarded by the Governor-General)
- Volunteer of the year
Ask students to think about why they think this person chooses to be an active citizen in their community. Students can use the WS4.1 Community research task to help them with their research. Students can present this research in a range of formats such as a poster, a newspaper article, a PowerPoint presentation or as a short video/interview. Students can also present their research to the class and display it in the classroom.
This task, together with the other suggested portfolio assessment items, align with the achievement standard of the Year 3 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum, including the skills component. Teachers should use the curriculum content descriptions to develop an appropriate marking criterion and rubric.
Invite a guest speaker (duration varies)
Invite a local guest speaker to speak to the class about their work in the community. For example:
- A local firefighter
- A community member or volunteer (religious organisations, Scouts, charity group, sporting teams etc.)
- A local member of parliament
- A local elder
Ask the guest speaker to discuss what they do, why they participate in their organisation and how their actions positively impact their community. Work with students to prepare questions for the guest speaker. Students can use the WS4 Community research task to take notes on the guest speaker.
Topic 5: Improving our community
Community scenarios (20 min)
Divide the students into small groups and give each group a copy of WS5.1 Community scenarios. Ask groups to discuss:
- What is the issue?
- Who could they talk to about this issue?
- How could this issue be solved?
Students can share these with the class at the end of the activity.
My community (15 min)
Distribute WS5.2 Community brainstorm and ask students to write down any communities they or their family belong to, such as sports teams or environment clubs. You can model this for your students before they begin. Once finished, ask students to share some of their communities and why they like being a part of them. Write these up on the board as the students share them and discuss any similarities/differences in reasons for joining or participating in a community group. Discuss with the class some of the reasons, for example:
- to help others
- to improve the community I am a part of
- it is enjoyable to be in a group with others who like the same things that I like
After this discussion, ask students to think about their school community and if there is anything in their class or school they could improve. Distribute WS5.3 Contributing to my community for students to complete.
Community projects (30 min)
Read Curious Garden by Peter Brown or Hey Wall by Susan Verde to the class. Discuss how the community worked together to do something for their shared space. In the Curious Garden a community garden was created and in Hey Wall a community artwork/art space was created. Discuss what impact this activity had on individuals and the group. Reflect again on the class definition of community and confirm/amend as necessary.
Portfolio assessment 3: Community proposal (90–120 min)
One of the community groups which every student is a part of is the school community. As a class, brainstorm places on the school grounds that would benefit from a garden or an artwork. In small groups or pairs, students can use the WS5.4 Community proposal to help them shape their ideas for a project. The worksheet asks students to think about various aspects of their proposal and gives them an opportunity to produce a sample drawing or garden plan. Students can then use this as with the WS5.5 Community proposal: writing a letter to help create a proposal to send to the principal for consideration.
As a whole group select 1 or 2 ideas to complete as a class, then send your letters and proposal to the Principal. Have students carry out their project and when it is complete have an event to celebrate! Reflect as a class on how the project has improved your school community.
Completion of WS5.4 Community proposal can be used as a portfolio assessment item for this Unit of work. This task, together with the other suggested portfolio assessment items, align with the achievement standard of the Year 3 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum, including the skills component. Teachers should use the curriculum content descriptions to develop an appropriate marking criterion and rubric.