Civics Education Resource Site

Teacher Resource Toolkit

Where can I find ways to talk to students about the election?

How can I run a debate simulation?

Where can I see ideas on promoting service learning opportunities?

Don’t panic!  The Teacher Resource Toolkit can help prepare teachers by showcasing civic education tools from around the country.

There are four concentration areas for you to consider as you develop your civic education curriculum.  We’ve assembled vital resources for you to examine and implement in your own classrooms. They serves as leading examples that can be replicated as you see fit for your school.

1.  Direct Instruction

Teachers can provide instruction in civics and government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy. Formal instruction in these subjects increases civic knowledge and increases young people’s tendency to engage in civic and political activities over the long term. Avoid teaching only rote facts about dry procedures, which is unlikely to benefit students and may actually alienate them from civic engagement.

2.  Simulation of Democratic Processes and Practices

Teachers can encourage students to participate in simulations of democratic processes and procedures. Evidence shows that simulations of voting, trials, legislative deliberation and democracy, leads to heightened civic/political knowledge and interest.

3.  Service Learning

Teachers can design and implement programs that provide students with the opportunity to apply what they learn through performing community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction.

Resources:

The Generator School Network coordinates a full resource library of service learning resources.

National Service Learning Clearinghouse

4.  Current and Controversial Issues Discussions

Teachers can incorporate discussion of current local, national, and international issues and events in to the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives. When students have an opportunity to discuss current issues in a classroom setting, they tend to have a greater interest in civic life and politics as well as improved critical thinking and communication skills.

Resources:

Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas curates a menu of topics and deliberation procedures.

Deliberation Lessons

 

News Literacy Resources

A growing sector of the U.S. population does not distinguish between professional journalists, information spinners and citizen voices. The 24/7 news cycle and digital advances in disseminating information serve to further exacerbate this challenging situation.

News literacy programs educate and energize citizens—especially students—about the value of news and assist them in developing a framework for assessing information.

By bringing news literacy into the civic education discussions, we can help students increase their ability to find critical information and develop a sense of ethics as digital citizens and media makers.

Here are some resources for you to review that can help shape news literacy conversations in the classroom.