Active Citizenship

Citizenship Education for the Little Ones

In our last blog, we spoke about activities teachers can do in the classroom around citizenship for children in grades 3 and above. Today, we discuss some interesting ways to inculcate the values of citizenship in the younger children too! As we all know at the core of citizenship are the following five values. The activities we propose revolve around these as well.

  • Honesty is the basic theme of good citizenship. A person must be honest with others, and with himself or herself, in order to be a good citizen.
  • Compassion is the emotion of caring for people and for other living things. Compassion gives a person an emotional bond with his or her world.
  • Respect An important aspect of respect is self-respect, whereas compassion is directed toward others. Respect is also directed toward inanimate things or ideas as well as toward people.
  • Out of honesty, compassion, and respect comes Responsibility, which includes both private, personal responsibility and public responsibility. Individuals and groups have responsibilities. Responsibility is about action,and it includes much of what people think of as good citizenship. Read our older blog about responsbility here.
  • Finally, courage. Courage enables people to do the right thing even when its unpopular, difficult, or dangerous.

(adapted from

Game 1:

Honesty and Lies

 Values covered:

  1. Respect
  2. Responsibility
  3. Honesty

Ask the students to role-play or discuss the following scenario:

A child buys a book and notices that the shopkeeper accidentally gives them too much change. Their parent is present, but is distracted. Each group decides what is to happen, and acts out what the child does. Do they tell the shopkeeper and give the money back? Do they take the money and not tell anyone? Do they tell their parent?

Discuss the following questions after the role play:

  1. What are the main values that are being tested here?
  2. Would it make a difference if they take the money to buy something they
  3. need?
  4. What if they take the money to give to someone who needs it?
  5. What does it mean to the shopkeeper if the money is taken?
  6. What would the child do if they got caught by the shopkeeper or the


Game 2: Snakes and Ladders

Values covered:

  1. Honesty
  2. Courage to do the right thing
  3. Respect
  4. Responsibility

Students work as a class to establish ten ‘honesty or integrity’ questions to be

used on cards for a snakes and ladders game. They should come up with two

possible answers for each question: one that demonstrates integrity or honesty and one that doesn’t. Answers determine whether they go up a ladder, or down a snake.

Give students several scenarios which focus on a dilemma where players have to make a considered value judgement, and ask them for examples as well. Encourage diversity in the issues addressed on the ten cards. Scenarios should be situations or events that are within the students’ experience.


1) You find the answers to the class test you are having on Friday. Do you:

  1. a) return the answers to the teacher without looking at them, or
  2. b) study the answers to get a good score on the test?

2) All your friends think it’s funny to call a classmate by a horrible name that the

child hates. Do you:

  1. a) tell the child that ‘it’s just a joke’ and call the child by the name too to

make your friends laugh, or

  1. b) tell your friends that you feel it is mean to use put-downs and it is against

your school’s values?

3) You are playing a game with your friend and another child. You see your

friend cheat so that they can beat the other child. Do you:

  1. a) tell your friend that they are not playing fairly, or
  2. b) say nothing?

Use a snakes and ladders board and the ‘honesty and integrity’ cards created

earlier. If a player lands on a snake or ladder square, another player turns over a card and asks the player the question on the card. If it is a ladder square and the chosen answer reflects honesty or integrity, the player goes up the ladder; otherwise they wait on the square until their next turn. If it is a snake square and the chosen answer reflects honesty or integrity, the player waits on the square until their next turn, but if they choose the ‘dishonest’ option, they slide down the snake.

Games taken from:

These videos are great to learn from and share as well!

The ‘Responsibility Song’ for schools:

Extraordinary heroes from ordinary life:

At Desh Apnayen, we believe that values lie at the core of everything. They are a big part of our work, our culture and our content. Take a look at the amazing things we have in store for schools!



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