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BIG IDEA - Be Responsible
Teaching with Clifford's Big Idea: Be Responsible

Children learn about the importance of responsibility early in life through observation and practice. When children are given opportunities to be responsible, they develop good habits and pride in themselves.

Watch a Clip
The focus of this lesson is to help children become aware of how important it is to be responsible at home and school through meaningful reading and language experiences.

Teach: An Honest Attempt at Being Responsible!
Objective: The following activity nurtures essential language and literacy skills, social and emotional skills and critical thinking and problem solving skills

Ask children what responsibilities they have at home and school. Introduce the word "responsible" in print, identifying letters and letter sounds. Guide children through counting syllables by tapping with fingers on opposite wrist while pronouncing "re-spon-si-ble." Share illustrations in Clifford Gets a Job by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic). In this story, Clifford finds himself in a circus, on a farm, even catching robbers! But why is Clifford trying so hard to have a job? Help children conclude that Clifford feels responsible for helping the Howard's pay for all of that dog food he eats. Truth is, the Howard's love Clifford, and they wouldn't change a thing about their big red dog. Ask the children to think of other ways that Clifford could be responsible and help the Howard family around the house instead of leaving to find work in other places.

Practice: I'm Responsible at Home and School!
Objective:The following activity nurtures essential social and emotional skills, language and literacy skills, creative expression skills and critical thinking and problem solving skills

Before beginning, share a booklet that shows how you, the teacher, acts in a responsible way at home and school. This will give children ideas and a visual reference to use. Cooperatively list the places and ways that one could show responsibility at home and school. When books are finished, encourage children to practice what they have learned about being responsible and to share their great work with others at home and school.

  • I'm Responsible at Home! Children will compile pages illustrated or cut out from magazines that show how they can be responsible in their bedroom, the kitchen, family room, bathroom, yard, etc.
  • I'm Responsible at School! Children will compile pages illustrated or cut out from magazines that show how they can be responsible during learning time, playtime, center time, quiet time, lunchtime, music time, etc.

Finding ways to grow in responsibility gives everyone a chance to bloom! Bring nature inside during cold winter months by using plant lights to grow small container plants. Provide charts for children to record planting, watering, and feeding plants. Incorporate this planting experience into springtime science and math lessons.
  • Read children newspaper or magazine articles that reinforce the concept of kindness. Valuable life lessons can be learned from real-life accounts of kindness that touch hearts and teach compassion for others.

Clifford's Library
These books support Clifford's Big Ideas and reinforce valuable early literacy skills:

  • Opps, Clifford by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic)
  • The Big Leaf Pile (Big Red Reader) by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic)

Printable - Be Responsible
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