All resources in Civics Educators: All Locations

Engaging Students Regarding Events at U.S. Capitol

(View Complete Item Description)

At OSPI, part of our mission is to prepare students for civic engagement throughout their lives. We believe our schools must engage and empower students, from an early age, with opportunities to participate in civil conversations, examples of effective civic engagement, and tools to find peaceful solutions to community problems.OSPI’s Social Studies and Social-Emotional Learning teams have put together resources for educators, families, and students to help with these difficult conversations.

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Kari Tally, Barbara Soots, Washington OSPI OER Project, Jerry Price

Know Your Rights!

(View Complete Item Description)

As American citizens, you are born with rights, but do you even know what those rights are? In this seminar, you will learn about the creation of the Bill of Rights and how those freedoms are still protected by the United States government today.  Standards5.1.9.D Compare and contrast the basic principles found in significant documents: Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, PA Constitution.5.1.12.E Analyze and assess the rights of people as written in the PA Constitution and the US Constitution.CC.8.5.9-10.B Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text. 

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tracy Rains

Freedom of Assembly: The Right to Protest

(View Complete Item Description)

This lesson from Annenberg Classroom will focus on freedom of assembly, as found in the First Amendment. Students will consider the importance of the right to assemble and protest by analyzing cases where First Amendment rights were in question. Using the case National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, students will consider if the government is ever allowed to control the ability to express ideas in public because viewpoints are controversial, offensive, or painful. Students will use primary sources and Supreme Court cases to consider whether the courts made the correct decision in the National Socialist Party v. Skokie case. Students will be able to form an opinion on the essential question: Is the government ever justified to restrict the freedom to assemble?

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

“Freedom of Speech…Always Protected?”

(View Complete Item Description)

Without question, Americans look to their First Amendment right to free speech probably as much if not more than any other protection afforded to them under our Constitution and Bill of Rights; for that reason, it demands much attention.  This lesson will seek to provide a background of some of the major free speech cases throughout our country’s history, where those rights have been allowed to be infringed upon by government, and where the courts have stepped in to prevent government from censoring speech.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

Gerrymandering: What it is and Why it Matters

(View Complete Item Description)

The topic of Gerrymandering can be a difficult one to teach and get students to understand. This lesson includes several options, along with additional resources and information for the new teacher or a teacher who like many Americans may have trouble grasping and explaining gerrymandering and congressional redistricting. The lesson options include having students engage in a Debate and/or activity where they draw or redraw the boundaries of a state or congressional district.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Interactive, Lesson Plan, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Tom Marabello

You too could serve in Congress one day!

(View Complete Item Description)

This lesson allows students to delve into the life of a current or historical member of Congress. Biography can be a powerful too that can impact a person. The Members of Congress categories include: youngest, women, African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, former athletes, former entertainers and Independents/third party. Students should conduct research and then either write a report, give a presentation (or do both) as an assessment. The lesson provides names for each category, a sample rubric and recommended website resources for research.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Reading

Author: Tom Marabello

"The Constitution vs. The Articles of Confederation"

(View Complete Item Description)

To ensure and enhance student understanding of concepts related to the Constitution and Articles of Confederation, specifically students will be able to:Explain the larger ideas of federalism vs. anti-federalism or states’ rights, and how those ideas feed into people’s overall political beliefs.Identify and explain the various branches of the federal government, the obstacles that had been faced under the Articles of Confederation, and how this new federalist/republican model of government grew out of those difficulties.Identify and explain the various powers delegated to the states versus federal government in both documents, what changed, and why.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

“Congress, the President, and the Constitution: Then and Now”

(View Complete Item Description)

This lesson will give your students the chance to compare and contrast Articles I and II of the Constitution, and the powers delegated to both the legislative and executive branches.  Students will deeply examine the historic and current relationship between Congress and the President and how power and influence have seemed to ebb and flow between them over more than 200 years, including a look at the War Powers Act and how that has impacted the push-pull between Congress and the President, looking at some case studies from the past 35 years.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

Federalism v. States Rights

(View Complete Item Description)

This lesson seeks to allow students the chance to analyze difficult primary source materials looking for insights into the authors’ views and opinions, as well as giving them a thorough working understanding of the many issues surrounding both federalism and anti-federalism.  They can also begin to draw conclusions about their own beliefs about the role of the federal government in the lives of citizens, as well as make connections to today’s political parties and their ideas on the subject.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello

The 25th Amendment: Presidential Disability & Succession and Vice Presidential Vacancies

(View Complete Item Description)

This eLesson by Dr. Felix Yerace will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the text of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment as well as its historical usage and potential need. It will ask them to consider why such an Amendment was deemed necessary and how it has been, and could be, used. It will also give students the opportunity to debate possible applications of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tom Marabello