Civics/Government

Rock the Vote Democracy Class


Rock the Vote's Democracy Class is a one-period, civics education lesson plan that teaches high school students about the importance of voting, the history behind it, and registers them to vote. The program uses popular culture, video, a mock election, and classroom discussion to excite students about participating in our democracy and enable them to recognize the power that comes with voting.

Educators can download the materials needed to teach Democracy Class for free from http://rtvote.com/i7TIcv

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Webinar: The C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards: Implications for Civic Learning


The goal of social studies education is to develop responsible, informed, and engaged citizens to foster civic, global, historical, geographic, and economic literacy. The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards, released by the National Council for the Social Studies in 2013 was purposefully designed to meet this goal by providing guidance to states and local school districts to enhance the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history.   --> read more »

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Gideon v. Wainwright at Fifty: Lessons for Democracy and Civics (Looking at the Law)


--Kevin Scruggs
The case of Gideon v. Wainwright can serve as a point of entry into a classroom discussion of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/publications/se/7702/770213109...

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Piquing Student Curiosity with Title Pages from Works by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau (Sources and Strategies)


--Lee Ann Potter
The title pages of three books from the Enlightenment provide excellent points of entry for student research into the origins of ideas in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/publications/se/7704/7704168.pdf

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Helping Students Visualize the Process of Change with Historic Images (Sources and Strategies)


--Stephen Wesson and Cheryl Lederle

The featured photographs by Lewis Hine can help launch a lesson about child labor reform and demonstrate how public debate can fuel legislative action.
* http://www.socialstudies.org/system/files/publications/se/7706/7706292.pdf

Related:

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards


The result of a three year state-led collaborative effort, the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards was developed to serve two audiences - for states to upgrade their state social studies standards and for practitioners - local school districts, schools, teachers and curriculum writers to strengthen their social studies programs to a) enhance the rigor of the social studies disciplines, b) build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to become engaged citizens, and c) align academic programs to the Common Core State Standards f   --> read more »

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K-12 assessments from WA

Washington state developed assessments for social studies K-12. These resources give a general rubric and structure to be used to assess social studies skills and content. Teachers choose their own specific topics and formats, and the rubric provides uniformity in scoring structure.

Scroll down to the table and look at the models that are provided for each subject area and grade level.

Organization: 
Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Organization website: 
www.k12.wa.us
Contact: 
Carol Coe
Contact email: 
Carol.coe@k12.wa.us

How can I teach civic responsibility to my 5th graders?


Margit McGuire

One of my favorite approaches for teaching civic responsibility is through an approach called Storypath. Teachers routinely teach about the founding of the nation in fifth grade so with this approach, students imagine themselves as colonists and the civic actions they took to create a new nation. The Storypath approach uses the story form--setting, characters, and plot—to structure the learning experience. Key questions throughout the unit problematize the events, encourage substantive conversations and guide students' thinking about important understandings.   --> read more »

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Draft of the Constitution (August 1787) and Schedule of the Compensation of the Senate of the United States (March 1791) / TWD


--Michael Hussey and Stephanie Greenhut
The two featured documents can serve as a starting point for a lesson on public service while students debate the amount of pay that public servants should receive.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7501/75011107.pdf

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Cloture Motion to Cease Debate on 1964 Civil Rights Bill (Teaching with Documents)


--Lee Ann Potter
Students will gain a deeper understanding of legislative tactics like the filibuster when they study the featured document—the Senate motion that broke a 55-day filibuster against the Civil Rights Act.
* http://publications.socialstudies.org/se/7406/740610288.pdf

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