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
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 »
Draft of the Constitution (August 1787) and Schedule of the Compensation of the Senate of the United States (March 1791) / TWDSubmitted by Jennifer Bauduy on Wed, 01/19/2011 - 12:30pm
--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.
--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.
"The Constitution is the most important document in our nation's history. It continues to guide and protect each of us in our daily lives more than 200 years after it was drafted. When you freely express or publish your opinions, when you write to your elected officials, when you worship at the church of your choice or when you exercise your right to bear arms, you can do so because of the protections afforded by the Constitution and our founding fathers. As a teacher and lifelong student of government, I believe it is vital for all American students to understand and appreciate the meaning of the Constitution as the foundation for our nation and our government."
A special message to social studies teachers from U.S. Rep. Harry E. Mitchell
Congressional District 5, Arizona
Former Government Teacher, Tempe High School
“Made in Washington” – how a decision or policy of the federal government impacts your local community -- is the theme of a new high school and middle school student-generated video competition. --> read more »
The ninth the.News feature in the.Vote/the.Gov series launches next Wednesday 1/14 with a historical look at Inaugural "firsts." Starting with the Constitutional Mandate for this event as well as traditions developed over time, the report will cover the first President to take the oath of office in Washington DC; the first to be inaugurated at the U.S. --> read more »
Need help teaching the election? The October issue of Social Education will focus on the 2008 Election. NCSS has also put together a list of materials from NCSS and links to web sites that can help you in your classroom. --> read more »
The free lesson plan "Making Choices: An Exploration of Political Preferences" recently published in Middle Level Learning is available for download. --> read more »
The following is an official NCSS position statement prepared by the Select Citizenship Subcommittee of the NCSS Curriculum Committee and approved by the NCSS Board of Directors. Reconfirmed 2003, 2007