Civics Teacher Resources

Find Civics educational ideas and activities

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What functions do laws serve in our society? Your learners will be guided through several interactive activities to address this question, and to consider the impact of rule of law in American society.
How did colonial slaves in America struggle to defend themselves and maintain their African heritage?
Students investigate the meaning of community. For this community lesson, students look at the concepts of civic engagement, civic responsibility, and common good. They determine how a classroom is a community and the need for having rules and cooperation. They work in groups to role play how a law is made in community government. They write a paragraph with pictures that tells about two activities they could participate in after listening to, The Kid's Guide to Social Action.
Students explore poverty and hunger in their community. In this civic responsibility lesson, students view a video clip about local poverty and hunger. Students work in groups to brainstorm and answer questions pertaining to the video. Students list ways their class might address the issues of poverty and hunger in their own community.
"It was my view then, and still is, that you don't make war without knowing why." Remembering Vietnam is a powerful resource. The essential questions, the activities, the readings, the materials examined all seek to provide learners with the information Tim O'Brien refers to in The Things they Carried. The objective stance permits individuals to formulate their own opinions about the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Memorial. A must-have for an English Language Arts or Social Studies curriculum library.
Your learners will be excited to take part in this simulation where, acting as members and stake holders at a City Council meeting, they will determine whether or not a curfew for youth ages 17 and under should be instated. They will then create a bumper sticker or poster advocating for or against the curfew ordinance based on the roles they played at the meeting.
What better way to learn about the importance of civic responsibility than to actually experience it? From the opportunity to volunteer in an elected official's office and participating in a political campaign to observations of school board and city council meetings, this is a great project to incorporate into a government and/or civics course!
Students consider how their math, science, and technology education is preparing them for future success and discuss their opinions and findings with peers. They suggest ways that technology and Internet use can be improved in their school and engage in civic responsibility by participating in school site decision-making.
Students define their own civic responsibility and create a PowerPoint presentation about their volunteer efforts. In this civic responsibility lesson, students define the word volunteer and read an article about a volunteer in their community. Students complete a Venn Diagram using volunteers for comparisons. Students then make a PowerPoint presentation for their past, present, and future timelines on volunteerism.
Students examine the need for the humane treatment of animals. In this animal welfare lesson, students realize the need for animal welfare, and decide on a service project that will promote it. The lesson culminates in the creation of a book intended to share what the students know about  humane animal treatment.
With your middle schoolers, develop concepts such as philanthropy, civic responsibility, community service, and common good. Discuss famous philanthropists and what we can each give of our time, talent and treasure to better our communities. Learners read a USA Today article and create charts to track the biggest givers of 2001. The concepts are valuable, so it would be worthwhile to update content (younger celebrities, newer data) to add relevance.
Students fill treasure chests. In this Holocaust lesson, students participate in an activity that requires them to find the value in everyday items.
Students read the statement of Alfred Nobel and discuss the Nobel Peace Price and its criteria. They consider criteria and selection process to establish a school or community peace award. Students consider potential recipients for the peace award and why each would be worthy of the recognition.
Students explore the concept of philanthropy. For this The Diary of Anne Frank lesson, students examine the characters in the play and identify how altruism, civic responsibility, moral reasoning, human rights, sacrifice, and social justice are portrayed. Students compare the play to the primary source Diary of Anne Frank.
Your class members have been selected by the president to help solve the budget crisis as part of a special deficit commission. After learning about fiscal policy, economic theories, and the federal budget through a detailed PowerPoint presentation, class members will simulate a press conference in which they will recommend cutting or reducing programs and/or increasing taxes. 
Class members begin this engaging economics activity by listing all the resources used in the production of a car, and use that example to draw parallels to the four primary factors of production: capital goods, labor, natural resources, and entrepreneurship. Then working in small groups, learners practice classifying and categorizing while considering decisions entrepreneurs must face when producing goods and services.
What characteristics does an effective police officer have? Your young citizens will explore the roles of police officers and/or SRO's in their community by participating in an acting activity, whereby they will be given a particular scenario to role play and follow with a discussion of the actions and behaviors presented in each scene.
What is the purpose of a city charter? What services do local governments provide to their citizens? Is there an ideal way for citizens to behave? Approach these often overlooked yet important questions with your class members by having them work in groups to design their own new cities.
Fifth graders discuss the importance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and reflect on civic responsibilities. They brainstorm ways in which they can help to fulfill Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream of equality among all people. Students write down what they are doing and discuss with the class.
Students examine the causes and effects of the expansion of the Roman Empire. They identify the early strengths and the lasting contributions of the Empire itself. Using maps, they locate its geographic borders at the height of the Empire and the factors that caused its downfall. They discuss the establishment of Constantine as the new capital and the role of religion.

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