Teaching Civics with Children’s Literature: Albert the Fix-it Man

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Wouldn’t our world be a better place if everyone treated each other as we would like to be treated? I think this is a very important concept that should be taught in our classrooms. The book, Albert the Fix-it Man, is a perfect introduction to the Golden Rule for students. 

 This book is about a selfless man, Albert, who loves to fix things. He takes great joy in helping others and “Albert’s always on the lookout for things to fix.”  He is someone that his neighbors can count on to be there for them. Throughout the book, Albert helps Auntie Miller, Mr. Jensen, Akiko, and Mrs. Peabody with various tasks.   One day, he wakes up in the morning with a cold. His thoughtful newspaper boy realizes that Albert is sick so “Sam tells everyone on his paper route that Albert the Fix-it Man is not feeling well.” Once Albert’s neighbors hear that he isn’t feeling well, they all pitch in to surprise him with a get well visit. ”Albert starts to feel better the moment he sees all of his friends. After a meal of fresh beans, hot apple pie, and minty tea, he feels even better.” His kindness was rewarded with kindness. 

Albert the Fix-it Man is a wonderful book to use to teach civics to kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms. This book teaches students how to help others and treat others with respect (VA SOL 1.10a). It also describes actions that can improve the school and community (VA SOL 2.10c).  I really like how the characters in the book are diverse. This book truly is a great classroom addition.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is a link to a lesson on teaching children to be helpful. I love how they introduced puppets to role-play how they can be helpful at home and in the classroom. 
  • This is a lesson about Respect but it can also be altered to include the Golden Rule. I think this would be very helpful in teaching students to treat others as they would like to be treated.
  • The Manner’s Club website includes a good manner’s pledge that would be a great addition to any lesson on respect. This site also has songs that can downloaded for a small fee.

Book: Albert the Fix-it Man
Author: Janet Lord
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 32
Grade Range: K-3
ISBN: 1561454338