This challenge focuses on the roles and responsibilities that community members have towards each other. Introduce the theme by reading aloud a book that explores the roles and responsibilities of various community members (e.g., The Fire Station by Robert Munsch, Police Officers by Paulette Bourgeois) or visit an online website describing community roles (see Related resources). After discussing how various people contribute to the community, ask students to describe how they contribute to the community. Help students understand that although their contributions may not be as readily evident as some (firefighters, emergency response people), young people add to the community by being responsible citizens (e.g., picking up litter, returning library books and videos on time, shovelling snow off their sidewalks, being responsible pet owners). By being responsible, students contribute to the well-being of the community.
Introduce the idea of three kinds of help:
- things that help my family and me
- things that help a few people outside my family
- things that help the general community.
Explain the distinctions among the three kinds of help and present students with examples of each, inviting them to identity the type of help represented. For example, if a student feeds the dog every day, that action benefits the family and the pet, but it does not necessarily benefit the whole community (unless the dog is left hungry and howling for hours). However, taking the dog for a walk and cleaning up after it is an activity that benefits the community in general. Alternatively, you may want to print various examples on slips of paper that students could paste in the appropriate place on a piece of paper divided into three columns. Sample examples of the three kinds of help include the following:
- help out with chores around the house
- take your pet for a walk
- shovel the neighbour's sidewalk
- throw your candy wrapper out of the car window
- have a lemonade stand to raise money for a charity
- let your dog go to the bathroom in someone else's yard
- feed your pet goldfish
- take the neighbour's dog for a walk
- play with your little brother or sister
- pick up litter on the street
- return your library books on time so others can read them too.
When students understand the concepts, invite them to think of things young people might do to contribute to the community at large. Compile a list of possible actions that affect many people outside their families. Help students develop criteria to determine which actions would best contribute to the community (e.g., make many people happy, are doable and safe). Invite students to identify three things young people could do that would best contribute to the community. Emphasize that students are not to undertake any of these actions on their own and without prior permission from an adult.