Why do rules matter to our lives?
Rules are patterns of behavior that a group agrees to enforce in some manner, with anything from disapproval to severe penalties. When those rules are adopted by government, they become laws that can be enforced with penalties of fines or even jail time. Rules and laws provide us with the ability to plan what we will do and how others will behave in response. Traffic laws are a good example. Driving on the right side of the road, obeying speed limits, requiring drivers licenses all make the highways safer. Not everyone will obey the laws all the time, but in most cases, drivers know what is expected of them and what they can expect from an oncoming vehicle.
A responsible citizen knows and understands what the laws are and obeys them. They may not always agree with them, but for the most part, agrees to follow what the established regulations are. However, civic responsibility goes beyond legal requirements. Responsible citizens look for ways to make their communities better places to live. They support their families and their communities. They volunteer for community projects.
While responsibility involves personal behavior, respect relates to the way we treat others. Respectful citizens allow others to express their opinions and tries to understand why they hold them. Respectful citizens acknowledge others contributions to the community. Sometimes respect means just leaving others alone. It acknowledges others' rights to live their own life in their own way when it is not harming anyone else.
In the United States, the authority to write laws is divided among different levels of government. Congress writes laws that apply to the entire nation that are essential to maintaining peace and order as citizens travel and do business around the country. The state and local governments write laws about matters closer to home. Many state laws are similar across the nation but they are enforced in state and local courts. Education is a good example of state authority. The state legislature establishes the system of Iowa public schools, writes rules on what they teach and how they are governed and authorizes taxes to support them.
What does it mean to be a responsible citizen?
- Boy Raking Leaves on a Front Lawn in Bradford, Vermont, October 1939 (Image)
- Lopez Children Doing Their Homework in Trampas, New Mexico, January 1943 (Image)
- Open Trash Cans Along a New York City Street, April 1943 (Image)
- Children Playing Soccer in Washington, D.C., October 1943 (Image)
- Woman Walking Across Crosswalk in Harlem, New York, 2008 (Image)
- Compost Pile, August 6, 2014 (Image)
- Truck Dumping Trash at a Landfill, Date Unknown (Image)
What does it mean to be a respectful citizen?
- Landscapes of Iowa, Various Dates (Images)
- Girl Scout Garden in Washington, D.C., between 1917 and 1919 (Image)
- Garbage in the Road in Brawley, California, June 1935 (Image)
- American Legion in Fourth of July Parade in Watertown, Wisconsin, July 4, 1941 (Image)
- First-Graders Saluting the Flag at a Public School in New York, October 1942 (Image)
- Recycle Poster, between 1970 and 1980 (Image)
- Girls Working Together at School, December 12, 2015 (Image)
- Newspaper Article about the Iowa Hawkeyes' Wave of Support, September 5, 2017 (Document)
- Community Garden in Pella, Iowa, July 2015 (Image)
How are rules and laws different in Iowa from other places?
- Boy Riding Bicycle with Dogs on Leashes, 1928 (Image)
- People Walking on a Dirt Road in Mozambique, March 14, 2010 (Image)
- Crosswalk in New York, 2012 (Image)
- Display from Dublin Bottling Works in Dublin, Texas, September 5, 2014 (Image)
- View of a Car Passenger Wearing a Seat Belt, Date Unknown (Image)
- Infant Asleep in a Car Seat, Date Unknown (Image)
|Rules and Responsibilities Teaching Guide|
|Printable Image and Document Guide|
Open Trash Cans Along a New York City Street, April 1943
This photograph shows open trash cans along a street in New York City in April 1943. Picking up litter is part of being a good citizen. If you are walking through a street and you see a bag floating through the air, pick it up and fill it with other trash you find. If you…
Compost Pile, August 6, 2014
This photograph shows a large compost pile in 2014. Responsible citizens make composting areas. Composting is a process to create clean, rich soil that will grow just about anything. Composting helps reduce garbage in the landfill and makes rich soil for planting.
Truck Dumping Trash at a Landfill, Date Unknown
A landfill is a place to dispose of garbage and other waste material. This photograph shows a dump truck depositing trash in a landfill. The trash is then buried by covering it with soil. We need to be responsible citizens by reducing what we throw away in the garbage.
Landscapes of Iowa, Various Dates
Iowa has many environmental characteristics and landscapes across the state. Rural areas include farms where corn and soybeans may be grown and animals such as cow, pigs or chickens are raised. There also are wind farms where Iowa is a leading state in creating electricity…
Garbage in the Road in Brawley, California, June 1935
This photograph shows an overflowing garbage container in Brawley, California, in June 1935. Everyone wants to live and visit places that are fresh, clean and healthy. Because overflowing garbage can easily create a danger to anyone who comes into contact with it, or even…
First-Graders Saluting the Flag at a Public School in New York, October 1942
This photograph shows first-grade students at a public school in New York saluting the American flag in October 1942. The U.S. flag is a symbol of freedom and it is typical to stand up and put your right hand over your heart when you say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the…
Girls Working Together at School, December 12, 2015
Newspaper Article about the Iowa Hawkeyes' Wave of Support, September 5, 2017
This newspaper article from The Cedar Rapids Gazette looks at the origin of the Iowa Hawkeye fan wave to patients at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. The article focused on 8-year-old Zack Poe, who was battling a lung infection following a…
Community Garden in Pella, Iowa, July 2015
This photograph shows children and adults working in a community garden in Pella, Iowa. Community gardens can improve nutrition, physical activity, community engagement, safety and economic vitality for a neighborhood and its residents and provide environmental benefits to…
Boy Riding Bicycle with Dogs on Leashes, 1928
This photograph shows a young boy riding his bike and holding onto two leashes of dogs in 1928. Iowa does not have a state-wide leash law. Dogs who are running at-large and are not wearing valid rabies vaccination tags will be impounded by a local board of health or law…
Display from Dublin Bottling Works in Dublin, Texas, September 5, 2014
This photograph shows a display of company sodas on the bottling line at the Dublin Bottling Works and W.P. Kloster Museum in Dublin, Texas. Iowa's Beverage Containers Control Law, also known as the "Bottle Bill," helps reduce and clean up litter by recovering beverage…
View of a Car Passenger Wearing a Seat Belt, Date Unknown
This photograph shows a car passenger from behind. The passenger is wearing their seat belt. Seat belts save lives in case of an accident. Nearly every state has strict seatbelt laws: the only one which does not is New Hampshire, where only passengers under 18 are required…
Infant Asleep in a Car Seat, Date Unknown
This photograph shows an infant boy asleep in his car seat. All states in the United States have car seat laws. In Iowa, the Child Restraint Law is to keep children safe in a motor vehicle. A child under the age of one and weighing less than 20 lbs. must be secured in a rear…
Iowa Core Social Studies Standards (Kindergarten)
Listed below are the Iowa Core Social Studies content anchor standards that are best reflected in this source set. The content standards applied to this set are elementary-age level and encompass the key disciplines that make up social studies for kindergarten students.
|SS.K.8.||Determine a procedure for how people can effectively work together to make decisions to improve their classrooms or communities. (21st century skills)|
|SS.K.9.||Compare and contrast rules from different places. (21st century skills)|
|SS.K.14.||Compare environmental characteristics in Iowa with other places.|
|SS.K.19.||Compare and contrast local environmental characteristics to that of other parts of the state of Iowa.|