K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • discover reasons for rules and laws.
  • create a new rule or law for our community.
  • produce a poster to reflect understanding.
  • use the internet to research laws.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2 hours


  • Small ball
  • Construction paper or posterboard
  • Crayons, markers or colored pencils
  • Writing paper

Technology resources

Computers with internet




  1. The teacher invites 6 students to play a game in front of the class. The students are divided into 2 teams. The teacher tosses a small ball in the air and declares one team the winner for the first point as soon as a student touches the ball. The next time the teacher tosses the ball and declares one of the teams the winner when the ball lands on the floor. The teacher continues to arbitrarily announce that a team wins a point for various reasons. (Teacher does not say the reason for awarding points.) Stop the game as soon as students become frustrated.
  2. Discuss why the students in the game are frustrated. Ask how the game could be improved. After students suggest that rules are needed for the game, list the rules on the board.
  3. Invite 6 different students to play the game according to the rules listed. Discuss how the rules helped the players.
  4. Ask small groups of students to brainstorm and list rules or laws for our neighborhood and community. Groups will share and justify their list of rules and laws.
  5. Students work with a partner and create a new rule or law for their community. Then they make a poster to illustrate this new rule. During sharing time, students are asked to justify their idea.
  6. Students write an argumentative essay to the mayor or city council explaining what their new rule is and giving reasons and examples why they think the new rule would make their community better.


Students will be assessed through finished products including group lists of rules and laws for our community and neighborhood, posters, and writing assignment.

Supplemental information



  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 1

        • 1.C&G.1 Understand the importance of rules. 1.C&G.1.1 Explain why rules are needed in the home, school and community. 1.C&G.1.2 Classify the roles of authority figures in the home, school and community (teacher, principal, parents, mayor, park...
      • Grade 2

        • 2.C&G.2 Understand the roles and responsibilities of citizens. 2.C&G.2.1 Exemplify characteristics of good citizenship through historical figures and everyday citizens. 2.C&G.2.2 Explain why it is important for citizens to participate in their...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 2

  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.04: Use oral communication to identify, organize, and analyze information.

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 2

  • Goal 2: The learner will evaluate relationships between people and their governments.
    • Objective 2.04: Evaluate rules and laws and suggest appropriate consequences for noncompliance.
    • Objective 2.05: Identify examples of responsible citizen participation in society and social environments.