Mr. Raymond’s Civics and Social Studies Academy

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF6P4oCJGjk7-qgcoueYWZw/playlists

This is a YouTube channel full of lessons for Civics by a social science teacher, Mr. Raymond. It’s an excellent resource for providing supplemental study and reinforcement materials for students. It’s also useful for providing instruction for students with extended absences. I have already used some in my class as review!

We the Civics Kids

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The National Constitution Center is pleased to introduce our new Civics in Literature initiative, a brand new program designed to enhance and build upon current civic education curriculum through children’s literature and other famous historical texts. Help your students build their basic civic knowledge and understand their role as active citizens.

This site is an excellent, and newer resource for teaching Civics to elementary aged children. They release a monthly Civics lesson, and contains many resources in the form of games and document based questions. It’s never too early for students to learn about their roles as citizens!

iCivics: A Free Resource for Teaching Civics

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iCivics exists to engage students in meaningful civic learning. We provide civics teachers well-written, inventive, and free resources that enhance their practice and inspire their classrooms. Our mission is to ensure every student receives a high-quality civic education, and becomes engaged in – and beyond – the classroom.

iCivics is another free resource for teachers to aid in student learning. They offer games, multimedia resources, and even lesson plans! They even offer webquests which help students connect concepts in civics to the real world. Also available are DBQs (document based questions), which can be difficult to create without appropriate resources.

Newsela: Articles for All Levels of Reading Comprehension

https://newsela.com/

Newsela builds reading comprehension through leveled articles, real-time assessments and actionable insights.

Newsela provides articles on a variety of subjects. It allows teachers to alter the difficulty of each article based on the reading level of your students! This is its prize feature, and is especially useful for schools that want their students to practice ELA skills in all classes, even science and social studies. It even has the US Constitution, and changes it to make the text more accessible for students of varying levels of reading comprehension!

Civics Education Initiative

The Civics Education Initiative is simple in concept. It requires high school students, as a condition for graduation, to pass a test on 100 basic facts of U.S. history and civics, from the United States Citizenship Civics Test – the test all new US citizens must pass.

This is an advocacy group that is pushing for the passing of a civics test (the one new citizens must pass) as a requirement for high school graduation. The idea is that high school students must be knowledgeable of US politics and our own country’s civics history before they can recieve a diploma. You can even take the test yourself!

President Obama on Immigration

Obama on Immigration

Unless you’re Native American, you came from someplace else.

In this video, President Obama is speaking on his views of immigration, its significance, and what it means to him. This video can be incredibly useful in introducing the idea that the US is a nation of immigrants. It can also be used to spark debate in the class about what students believe when it comes to immigration. It can even be paired with a video where the speaker offers an opposing view (like Donald Trump) to facilitate a compare and contrast assignment.

(CNN) Opinion: Citizenship isn’t about passing a civics test

CNN Opinion

As Congress debates immigration law, it cannot avoid debating citizenship. Who gets to be a citizen? And what should citizens know, believe, and do?

This opening line from an opinion piece by Peter Levine is a perfect fit for introducing a debate on citizenship for students. It encompasses so many of the accompanying question a student will have when they will be asked to answer, “what is a citizen?” This piece can be used to assess a student’s ability to dissect an argument, and to synthesize his/her own. I would definitely recommend it for an advanced class, and perhaps for a regular civics class with higher level readers.

Lesson Plans for Civics

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FloridaCitizen.Org

This is what I call “The Civics Teacher’s Bible.” In it, a teacher can find lesson plans for almost every single standard for teaching Civics in Florida. Because each plan is built individually around a standard, each lesson can be re-ordered or tailored to fit each district’s pacing guide. This resource also includes a blog with many suggestions for utilizing its resources, and for how to more effectively teach Civics to students. If you are a Civics teacher in Florida, bookmark this page NOW. I have yet to meet a Civics teacher who did you utilize this site in some way.