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Civics Education

Found in: social studies; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Former Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and David Souter have called for stronger civics education in public schools. See this reprint of A Case For Yawn-Free Civics.  O’Connor argues that civics is a vital topic that should be taught more effectively. Souter believes that civic ignorance is the defeat of a value system outlined in the Constitution that distributes and limits power.

Here are some engaging civics resources for students and teachers:

The Democracy Project offers Civic Education Lesson/Unit Plans  for grades K-12 aligned with Delaware civics standards. Lessons are grouped K-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12 and can be downloaded as Word documents or PDFs.

The ABCs of Citizenship ( PDF, 357 KB, 16 pgs.)is a K-3 alphabet book and lesson ( PDF, 445 KB, 16 pgs.). Students read and analyze the book, Young Citizens, to distinguish between rights, responsibilities, and privileges.

Erutan: The Purposes of Government  ( PDF, 847 KB, 12 pgs.) In this grade 4-5 lesson, students are given a scenario in which survivors of a near extinction event live in a state of nature in order to develop an appreciation of the purpose of government.

Our Nation’s Report Card ( PDF, 163 KB, 10 pg.s) Students in grades 6-8 assign the nation a grade based on their perception of how well the nation has lived up to its fundamental principles.

Get the Party Started ( PDF, 293 KB, 15 pgs.) In this two-part lesson, students in grades 9-12 lobby individually and as members of a group for the adoption of a “State snack.”

In addition, Annenberg Learner offers Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers, a video workshop for high school civics teachers that includes eight one-hour videos, tools for teaching, and support materials. Teachers can earn graduate credit. Workshops cover freedom of religion, electoral politics, public policy & the federal budget, Constitutional Convention, patriotism & foreign policy, civic engagement, controversial public policy issues, and rights and responsibilities of students.


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