Rights vs. privileges.

It’s a privilege to get to ride your bike. This is the privilege that Nicholas chose after he finished his lessons.

Here’s the lesson we did on rights vs. privileges.

First we dealt with rights vs. privileges. I used the following definitions:

A right is something we are given. It cannot be taken away from us.

A privilege is something we earn. It can be taken away, or not given to us.

We the read The Bill of Rights and the Preamble to the Constitution.

Then I printed out the following statements. After reading them, Nicholas had to put a “P” next to the statement if it was a privilege and an “R” next to the statement if it was a right.

Here’s the list of statements:

1. Your dad and mom voted in the election for President of the US.

2. Henry was able to go outside after he finished his homework.

3. Alisa had extra ice cream for good behavior.

4. Jasmin can express her feelings using her freedom of speech.

5. Gregory can practice any religion he chooses.

6. Jessica earned extra computer time today.

7. Paul gets to attend the Fall Festival.

8. Joanna gets to drive a car.

9. If the police come and take Melissa, she will get access to a lawyer and a fair trial.

Then we talked about how a democracy has rights and privileges and a dictatorship you don’t have any rights because the dictator – the leader – can do whatever he wants. Nicholas asked me if our house was a democracy or a dictatorship. I told him it was mostly a dictatorship because Mommy and Daddy have to make the decisions, but sometimes we get to be a democracy, like when he gets to help choose what we are doing that day, or what we have for dinner.

Next, I had Nicholas help me read the following statements. He had to cross out the ones that were a dictatorship and write a D next to the ones that were for democracy. Here are the statements:

1. Mom makes you do your math practice now.

2. Dad asks what you want for lunch.

3. Ana says Zoey has to leave at 4p so she can get home for dinner.

4. I ask you whether you want to play in the sandbox or ride your bike.

5. You get to choose your own clothes.

6. Your grandmother lets you pick what movie to watch.

7. You are not allowed to ride your bike on busy streets.

8. You are not allowed to walk to a friend’s house alone.

9. You pick the ice cream you want at the store.

10. You are not allowed to drive a car until you are 16.

He accurately chose the right one – democracy or dictatorship – for all the statements. I was pretty surprised, but happy.

Our practice words for the lesson were: Democracy, dictatorship, rights, privilege, and government.

We spent our reading time with Cinderella and  The Little Red Hen. The books were not related to the lesson, but each child got to pick one and help me read it.

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