Growing Book By Book and two other bloggers have been putting on "Family Dinner Book Club" for the past few years (you can find more information about it HERE). When I saw that this year's theme was highlighting different 'character strengths' each month, I decided to use their monthly ideas as a jumping off point to further encourage speech and language development, social-emotional intelligence, increase world knowledge, and develop critical thinking skills in therapy. Bonus: ideas for family carryover are already done! 

Our focus character strength for May was CITIZENSHIP. 

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.  ~Marie Curie

We started every session by talking about ways in which the kids had demonstrated good citizenship, had seen others show good citizenship, or ideas of how to show good citizenship and then worked on writing complete sentences to add them to a paper chain. I found an interactive PowerPoint from Eve Coates on Teachers Pay Teachers about Citizenship (also part of her Character Education PowerPoint Bundle #1). This was a good introduction to the topic of citizenship for my elementary-middle school clients, and provided a good jumping off point for a discussion about the various aspects of good citizenship, which we broke down to include:

  • honesty
  • compassion
  • respect
  • responsibility
  • courage

In therapy sessions throughout May we also:

Many times during May, we talked about the various communities to which the children belong (family, class, school, church, teams, city, state, country, world, etc.). Our art project this month was to decorate a person-shaped puzzle piece, which I then put together to form a community of people on our Citizenship poster (representing the many communities to which we belong, and our place in them).

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.  ~Moliere

With my high school clients, every week we read and discussed quotes about citizenship, followed by them writing a short statement about what the quote means to them / how they can apply the meaning to their lives.

'I must do something' always solves more problems that 'Something must be done'.  ~Unknown

Head on over to this blog post on Growing Book By Book for free materials if you would like to highlight the concept of citizenship at home. There is a list of suggested books, discussion questions, and links to suggested activities and accompanying dinner menu for the May Family Dinner Book Club on Citizenship. 

For more pictures of what we did in therapy, check out the CITIZENSHIP album on the Vlinder Facebook page. I also shared several quotes related to citizenship throughout the month.

People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.  ~Indira Gandhi


Our June focus word is HONESTY! Stay tuned...


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