Citizenship: Duties, Rights, and Liberties
Session 1: Definition of Citizenship
- Ask students to turn to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States in their textbook and read the definition of citizenship. Explain that before this amendment was added there was no official definition of citizenship.
- Explain that in this unit they will study what it means to be a citizen.
- Show a transparency of the unit organizer (Attachment A), and give a brief overview of the topic.
- Create and show the overhead transparency on the ways to gain U.S. citizenship (Attachment B). Ask students to list the ways a person can become a citizen. Explain that jus soli refers to the claim of citizenship through birth on American soil. The term jus sanguinis refers to the claim of citizenship through one’s parents (by blood). Ask students to think why we need the latter definition. Give examples, such as a child born to Americans working overseas or on a vacation.
- Read the general requirements for naturalization (Attachment B), and write them in sentence form. (For example: A person must demonstrate knowledge of American history and political principles.)
- Make a list of the privileges of citizenship listed in Attachment B. Explain that citizenship is not free. For our society to function, citizens must contribute to the common good.
- Optional activity: Invite a naturalized citizen to speak to the class about the citizenship process.
- For homework, have students read the section in their text on citizenship.