Civics Teacher Resources

Find Civics educational ideas and activities

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New Review The Rule of Law

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. In this community lesson plan, 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.
Young scholars explore poverty and hunger in their community. In this civic responsibility instructional activity, students view a video clip about local poverty and hunger. Young scholars 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.
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.
Pupils 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 pupils 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.
Bringing to light our own tendencies to stereotype is a key step toward becoming open-minded and informed members of a world community. Use this rich resource to discuss the harmful effects of stereotyping, as well as to consider the monolithic view of Muslims that exists today.

New Review The Cold War

Take your instruction on the Cold War to the next level by having learners participate in a group role-playing exercise, working to convey pertinent information and illustrate the intense anxiety related to this time period in the United States.
Students explore the concept of philanthropy. In 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. 
Explore the deep and lasting impact of European colonialism on the African continent through the lens of the Rwandan nation. Class members will take part in an experiential activity as Hutus and Tutsis, analyzing the divisive conflict between the two groups, and then take guided notes on the history of Rwanda and the scramble for Africa.
Examine the perspectives, cultural clashes, and historical implications of Indian removal policies in the United States during the 1930s. Your young historians will closely examine primary sources and engage in insightful discussions on such topics as Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears.
Why is there no universal definition for terrorism? What tactics and objectives do terrorist groups share? Through an engaging and collaborative activity, as well as using rich informational texts and guided notes, lead your class members through an examination of the history of terrorism, as well as an analysis of major terrorist groups that exist today.
"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.
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.

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