Civics Teacher Resources

Find Civics educational ideas and activities

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This comprehensive resource for teaching about the abolitionist movement will make your life easier and benefit your class. It includes standards, essential questions, necessary materials, background activity, the main activity, and final project. Ultimately, individuals or pairs of students will make a "digital picture frame," which is a three-to-five minute scene depicting the life of their chosen abolitionist.
Students explore the concept of philanthropy. In this The Diary of Anne Frank lesson plan, 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.
The Salem Witch Trials provide a perfect opportunity to connect English language arts and US history classes. Here's a resource that provides a wealth of essential questions, activities, and materials. Class groups assume the role of cold case investigators, develop a theory as to the cause of the witch hysteria, and then use concepts of American democracy to defend one of the victims. The richly detailed plan deserves a place in your curriculum library.
Students investigate the meaning of community. In 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 plan, 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.
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 concept of religious freedom by evaluating Hong Kong's security laws. In pairs students investigate the levels of religous freedom allowed in various countries around the world and present this information to the class.
Elementary and middle schoolers research a current event using various resources. They participate in a class discussion to evaluate the information they gathered on a particular event. Additionally, they discuss the concepts of common good, rights, and civic duty as they pertains to current global issues.
Students explore the meaning of republicanism, common welfare, and civic virtue as they delve into the practices of ancient Rome. Problem-solving activities support the examining of some of the considerations involved in determining the common welfare.
"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.
The story of Ruby Bridges and the case of Brown vs. The Board of Education are fantastic tools for discussing the concept of separate but equal. Kids tackle some big questions about what is fair, what is civil, and what rights or laws were put into place after these two historical events occurred. They view a video, read about Ruby Bridges, compose journal entries, have a round table discussion, and act out scenarios that show what "separate but equal" is or is not.
“. . . one of the great challenges to humanity is acknowledging and overcoming a natural tendency to think less of and discriminate against people who are different from us . . .” Launch an examination of competition and cooperation, of societal selfishness and civic duty, of discrimination and prejudice with a game that challenges participants to examine their assumptions. After debriefing the game, read and discuss Patrick Kinney’s poem, “The Cold Within,” a powerful story of the consequences of prejudice and selfishness. A richly detailed plan that deserves a place in your curriculum library.
No need to look any further. This resource has everything for a solid exploration of the role of African Americans in the Vietnam War. Class members read primary sources, including a Martin Luther King speech, political cartoons of the era, as well as a comic book. All of the discussion questions are included as are the materials. In the end, 11th graders create an informational flyer for King's April 4th, 1967 speech. It includes a synthesis of information they learned throughout.
Utilize smartphone or computer technology and have your learners develop their nonprofit business vocabulary and skills in civics, geography, economics, language arts, and math with the plans and activities in this resource. Included are lesson plans, vocabulary, how to play instructions, goals, and a worksheet that defines a nonprofit organization. This well-organized plan would serve as a great introduction on how non-traditional technology can be used in the classroom.   
Some books are perfect for drawing connections between multiple subjects. The book Hill of Fire becomes the hub for three very different, yet related activity ideas. First the class hones their oral language skills by creating an on-the-scene news flash inspired by the volcanic events in the story. Then, they discuss cultural norms as they relate to civic responsibilities stemming from natural disasters. Finally, they create a bulletin board display which describes different types of rock, how they originate, and their common uses.
A highly engaging warm-up activity kicks off this plan for teaching class members about the Vietnam War. After the anticipatory activity, the teacher chooses the means by which to provide an overview of the war (PowerPoint, lecture, textbook, etc.). Next, 11th graders answer a series of questions to ensure a fundamental understanding. Lastly, individuals receive a timeline strip with a particular event that they research. On paper, they create a description/depiction of the event and place it in chronological order with the other posters. All of the necessary resources are included.
This is a good, simple exploration of the causes of the Revolutionary War. It includes a description of an engaging anticipatory activity, discussion questions, political cartoons, and more! After learning about the growing revolutionary sentiment among colonists, class members work in small groups or pairs to design their own political cartoon according to the rubric provided. A less-sophisticated alternative is an informational poster.
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 read and analyze the play "The Diary of Anne Frank" based on the book of the same name. They identify philanthropic concepts and values in the play and discuss the ways in which specific characters actions affect the events. They compare and contrast life in the Secret Annexe with their everyday experiences.
Students understand the use of animals for work and the payments received for them. In this animal welfare lesson, students recognize that animals must be treated well and create a project to take care of animals. Students write about how their project aided animals.

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