A perfect way to kick off the year in Grade 1 is with this Social Studies unit. Teaching kids about their new responsibilities as “big kids” in the school is a great way to begin this unit. It is always challenging to help students understand big concepts like ‘rights’, ‘responsibilities’ and ‘roles’, but breaking it down into ideas they can relate to makes it so much easier for them to comprehend.
How do I teach Roles and Responsibilities in Grade 1?
I’ve created a detailed and easy to follow unit for Grade 1 social studies that will help your students understand these topics with the use of poems, read-alouds, songs and crafts! Check out my ideas and activities in my Roles and Responsibilities in Grade 1 Unit.
Responsibility by Lucia Raatma
I read this book to my class and discussed the different examples of responsibility. My students shared their experiences of being responsible. We identified responsibilities we have in class: cleaning up; working quietly so everyone can concentrate and admitting when we made a mistake. My students enjoyed telling each other about their responsibilities at home, from unpacking the dishwasher to picking up the dog poop -many mixed reactions here – hehe! My students used their ideas to complete an individual activity from my Unit.
I Have Roles poem
This poem, along with others included in the unit, was used to reflect on the previous lesson:
- How have your responsibilities changed from last year?
- Do you have more responsibilities?
- How do your responsibilities change depending on where you are?
There is a fun matching activity in my Unit, focusing on matching locations to the roles and responsibilities. (Your students might enjoy completing the included digital version of this activity).
Almost by Richard Torrey
Don’t you love this story? It is so typical of little people. They so desperately want to have the responsibilities of older children (actually, it’s not just little people that want the role of older people). We used this story to brainstorm why roles change, with the help of an anchor chart.
Am I Big or Little by Margaret Park Bridges
This story offered the perfect introduction to our discussion about how roles change as we age. We used an anchor chart and the images included in the Unit. We brainstormed the roles they were excited for and the roles they were not looking forward to as they aged. (I asked one student what she is looking forward to. Above all, she is looking forward to the role of being a mom, so she can discipline her children – hehe, good luck to her kids!)
Franklin’s Baby Sister by Paulette Bourgeois.
You may opt to use the TV episode version available on YouTube if you don’t have access to this story book.
I used Franklin’s experience to discuss how life events can impact a person’s roles and responsibilities. I used the anchor chart title and poster from the Unit to help my students think about their life events that influenced their roles. We completed the individual activity included in the Unit to identify how Franklin could help his baby sister. My students shared some sweet stories how they helped when a new sibling arrived. For example, one had a basket of diaper changing goodies. It was her responsibility to pass the goodies to her mom when her brother needed a diaper change.
If I Were You by Richard Hamilton
This story introduces the idea of how people have different roles and responsibilities. We discussed why people have different roles and responsibilities. Everyone has important people in their lives that have roles or responsibilities that helps them as a person to stay happy and healthy in the community.
We discussed the different important people in our lives. I prompted my students: Think of one important person in your life and how their roles and responsibilities impact you.
My students used the planning sheets provided in the Unit to prepare an oral presentation.
David Goes to School by David Shannon
(Ahhh, my heart goes out to Little David. No child wants to be moaned at all the time. All children want to be praised but some just need more patience from us than others. But, aren’t the “David’s” always our favourites?)
Before reading this story, we brainstormed the rules in our classroom. My students enjoyed completing the matching activity in the digital version of this unit, however, if you don’t have access to devices, the cut and paste version is just as fun.
After reading, my students used the printable page to reflect on the story. There are two versions of the reflection making differentiation easy.
These are but a few of the read alouds that can be used to teach Roles and Responsibilities in Grade 1. I hope you found the list useful. if you would like to check out my Roles and Responsibilities Unit to use in conjunction with the read alouds mentioned here (and the others mentioned in the unit), you can view it here.
What else is included in my Unit?
- Anchor chart headers
- Differentiated worksheets
- Word wall vocabulary
- Presentation planning and assessment
- Mini Roles and Responsibilities Dictionary
- Big Ideas and Framing Questions from the curriculum along with response sheets
- A Google Drive digital activity includes selected slides.
- Respect craftivity
- Additional assessment opportunities
- And much more…
I would love to hear which read alouds you use while teaching Roles and Responsibilities in Grade 1. Drop me a note in the comments.
*A big thanks to a lovely grade 1 teacher friend of mine for sharing her reactions and experiences using my unit. I have mixed her ideas with my own throughout this blog post*