All resources in DC Public School

Engaging Students Regarding Events at U.S. Capitol

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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

Preparing Students for College, Career and Citizenship

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A California Guide to Align Civic Education and the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. This resource guide provides educators with practices to equip all students with reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and the knowledge, skills and dispositions to become responsible engaged citizens of the 21st century in a coherent, integrated manner that will be meaningful and relevant. The practices in the guide provide civic education approaches to meet the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. The lesson activities in each of the grade spans follow a natural progression that builds students’ historical knowledge of the foundations of democracy, an understanding of how America’s constitutional principles are reinterpreted over time, and the skills and dispositions needed for effective citizenship. Applied knowledge of history, government and civics is necessary for developing civic competency. Therefore, each series of lessons calls for students to actively participate in activities that strengthen reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the context of civic dialogue, debate, persuasion and action.

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

Know Your Rights!

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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

Lenses of Vietnam: Protest in a Democracy [Inquiry Design Model (IDM) Unit Plan]

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This inquiry takes students through an analysis and evaluation of the Compelling Question “Is protest important in a democracy?” using the Vietnam War as a lens to approach the topic. To accomplish this, students will become more media literate through evaluating sources, biases, perspectives, and the goals of creating media. Throughout the inquiry, students will engage in activities designed to promote and develop media literacy while analzying the Compelling Question and learning about the historical protests of the Vietnam Era.This inquiry is expected to take two weeks (10 periods) to complete: one 45-minute class period to stage the question, introduce the inquiry, and to review media literacy; two 45-minute class periods for each of the three supporting questions; and then three 45-minute class periods for students to write and research their argumentative thesis. If students are as of yet less familiar with media literacy, the instructor should add at least another class period, or more, introducing them more fully to this.The full unit, along with all materials and resources, is available as a PDF attachment.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Diagram/Illustration, Homework/Assignment, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Module, Primary Source, Reading, Unit of Study

Author: Adam MacDonald

HS American Gov. EBAS Lesson Seed: Structure and Function of the Legislative Branch

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Lesson seeds are ideas for the standards that can be used to build a lesson.  Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.  This lesson seed provides a compelling question and a bank of sources to use to drive an inquiry based lesson or a potential Evidence Based Argument Set (EBAS).  When developing lessons from these seeds, teachers must consider the needs of all learners.  Once you have built your lesson from the lesson seed, teachers are encouraged to post the lesson that has emerged from this lesson seed and share with others. Compelling question:Should term limits be imposed on members of Congress?  EL Modification: highlight important vocabulary, add images to improve text comprenesion; consider adapting content, process and/or product based on Can Do WIDA DescriptorsImage source: "United States Capitol - west front" by Architect of the Capitol from Wikimedia.org

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Robby May, Beth Ann Haas, Leah Renzi, MSDE Admin

Lesson One. The Omnipotence of the Majority

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In this lesson, students are introduced to Tocqueville's argument about the "omnipotent" power of the majority in America and its consequences. After an initial statement that the "very essence" of democracy is majority rule, he contrasts the means by which state constitutions artificially increase the power of the majority with the U.S. Constitution, which checks that power.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

StoryWorks: Beautiful Agitators

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StoryWorks develops inclusive and transformative educational theater experiences that provide students with the opportunity to examine our country’s civil rights history. Through content consistent with school curriculum standards, the program engages students in experiential learning and inspires them to ask deeper questions about the historical underpinnings behind contemporary issues. The process creates pathways to civic engagement, creates lasting memories and instills a tangible sense of social belonging. This StoryWorks educational project is built around Beautiful Agitators, a theatrical play about Vera Mae Pigee, a hair stylist and business owner in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights era. Using her beauty parlor as a hub for Delta-based organizing and resistance, Pigee operated her salon by day and then transformed it into a clandestine center for civil rights organization and education in the evenings. Known for her big hats and larger than life personality, Mrs. Pigee led the direct action that registered nearly 6,000 African Americans to vote in the region. Although Pigee was largely left out of the history books, along with many women of the movement, our play Beautiful Agitators and accompanying curriculum revives her legacy, highlighting her methods and tactics. Inspired by the innovative K-12 civil rights education standards developed by the Mississippi Civil Rights Commission. Our commitment is to expand upon the standards by further developing content related to social justice, power relations, environmental justice, diversity, equity, mutual respect, and civic engagement. Beautiful Agitators combines inquiry with higher-order thinking skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis. Set in a beauty parlor owned and operated by a Black woman in the Mississippi Delta, our curriculum is based on our investigation into primary sources and their relationship to critical moments in the national movement. This foundation of historical context allows for students and educators to find contemporary parallels which further engage learners to reflect upon the legacy of the civil rights movement and the struggles that we, as citizens, continue to grapple with today.View the complete play Beautiful Agitators on the StoryWorks Theater site.Implementation1. Beautiful Agitators Performance Classroom watches a prerecorded, staged reading of the play Beautiful Agitators, which was created and performed by artists from the Mississippi Delta, home of Vera Mae Pigee.2. Lesson Plan Activities Following the eight-lesson plan structure, students will read aloud or act out scenes from the play. This participatory interaction with the text and the historical events promotes a high level of engagement from the students and encourages experiential learning. These activities directly correspond to scenes in the play and to specific content area standards. Teacher leads guided discussions and helps to explain the historical context and theme of each scene. Students/actors have the opportunity to share their experiences having portrayed these historical figures. 

Material Type: Full Course

U.S. History

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 U.S. History is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of most introductory courses. The text provides a balanced approach to U.S. history, considering the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the United States from both the top down (politics, economics, diplomacy) and bottom up (eyewitness accounts, lived experience). U.S. History covers key forces that form the American experience, with particular attention to issues of race, class, and gender.Senior Contributing AuthorsP. Scott Corbett, Ventura CollegeVolker Janssen, California State University, FullertonJohn M. Lund, Keene State CollegeTodd Pfannestiel, Clarion UniversityPaul Vickery, Oral Roberts UniversitySylvie Waskiewicz

Material Type: Full Course

Washington DC

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Washington, D.C., is the capital city of the United States, located between Virginia and Maryland on the north bank of the Potomac River. The city is home to all three branches of the federal government, as well as the White House, the Supreme Court and the Capitol Building.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Concetta Grasso