Showing character Part 1: Citizenship
Showing Character is a series of hands-on learning activities for young people to teach them about character education when showing livestock projects. Learn more about one important area of character education: citizenship.
Showing Character is a series of hands-on learning activities for young people to teach them about character education when showing livestock projects. 4-H volunteer leaders can use these activities with their 4-H clubs to help develop character and important life skills in youth. In this Michigan State University Extension series, youth and adults will have the opportunity to review the six character developments – one at a time – to learn hands-on activities that reinforce these life skills.
Citizenship is one of the top character development skills and youth begin to learn this at an early age. Being a good citizen is one of the things children are taught when they start school. Through learning about citizenship, other character skills can be taught and learned.
Being a good citizen can be expressed in many ways: showing concern for others, protecting the environment and learning about the voting process are just a few. Getting involved and not sitting back and letting things happen when you disagree are also part of being a good citizen.
How does citizenship work when showing livestock projects? It is not all about teaching young people how to feed, fit and show their animals – it is also important to provide each 4-H’er with personal growth. Citizenship in the Showing Character series teaches youth that by making the world a better place to live for themselves and others, it can also help in their home, club and community.
When showing livestock animals, youth have to learn the “how to” for each animal project: what to feed them, how to care for them and how to make sure they are healthy. Youth can also practice “how to” be a good citizen with their project by working with the younger members on what to do, helping others during the shows and listening to what the judges say. In addition, accepting the outcome, whether you win or lose, is all part of being a good citizen.
By practicing certain behaviors, youth develop and strengthen their own character as they become successful adults. Encouraging youth to implement some of these activities into their livestock projects can help them develop the important citizenship life skill.
Read the rest of the articles in this series:
- Showing character Part 2: Caring
- Showing character Part 3: Responsibility
- Showing character Part 4: Respect