Resources

This resource depository is designed for teachers and schools interested in increasing student civic engagement.   It provides a commentary and web link for each civic program/resource and identifies the proven practice(s) in civic learning addressed.

Civic Education Resources & Programs

Arizona I-Civic-It!    [Promotion of www.icivics.org]
www.lawforkids.org/News-Flash/i-civic-it
Grade Level:   Middle School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues

www.icivics.org is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who wants to assist in getting students the information and tools they need for civic participation, and to assure civics teachers have easy access to materials and support. iCivics, a free resource for teachers and students, has ready to use standards based lesson plans which have been aligned to Arizona State Standards. The lesson plans take very little effort on the part of the teacher and the games are fun and engaging for students. Teachers can also utilize the site to create discussion forums and track content for student completion.

The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education in partnership with the Arizona Supreme Court developed a new program, Arizona I-Civic-It!, to expand the use of the iCivics web site throughout Arizona middle schools to encourage the development of informed active citizens.

When participating in Arizona’s new program, I-Civic-It!, teachers are able to record their classroom participation online and students are able to receive a free McDonald’s Smoothie Coupon (sponsored by McDonald’s) for every 200 minutes they spend on the iCivics web site playing the fun and educational games! For more information, visit www.lawforkids.org/News-Flash/i-civic-it.


Arizona Mock Trial Program
www.azflse.org/mocktrial
Grade Level:   Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
The Arizona Mock Trial program teaches high school students about the law and the legal system through participation in a simulated trial. The program is an opportunity for students to learn about the law and the legal system from practicing attorneys; for teachers to work closely with attorneys to reinforce legal concepts in the classroom; and for attorneys to share their expertise about the law and their legal skills. The Mock Trial program is a program of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and is funded in part by the Young Lawyers of Arizona. Additional information is available online at www.azflse.org/mocktrial.

Arizona Project Citizen
www.azflse.org/pcitizen
Grade Level:   Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service-Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • School Governance
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
Project Citizen, which is aligned to the Arizona State Standards, is a 5-12th grade curriculum designed to enhance students’ understanding of public policy and citizenship. This program is interdisciplinary, based on cooperative learning, an excellent model for performance assessment, a method that can be utilized to implement project based learning, focuses on local and state government, and applies student learning to real public policy issues that concern youth. The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education provides teacher training and support, and hosts congressional district competitions and a statewide portfolio competition. Project Citizen was developed by the Center for Civic Education and funded by the Arizona Supreme Court. For more information, please visit www.azflse.org/pcitizen.

Arizona We the People
www.azflse.org/Wethepeople
Grade Level:   Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
We the People, which is aligned to Arizona State Standards, is a 4-12th grade curriculum which enhances students’ understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. Simultaneously, students will discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, with support from the Arizona Supreme Court, provides teacher training, a weeklong professional development and hosts congressional district and a statewide competition. The We the People Program is supported by the Arizona Supreme Court and the Center for Civic Education. For more information, please visit www.azflse.org/Wethepeople.

Citizenship Counts
www.citizenshipcounts.org
Grade Level:   Upper Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities

Citizenship Counts is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan organization that is committed to educating today’s middle and high school students on the tenets of citizenship, inspiring their pride in America and encouraging them to participate in community service. Their efforts are achieved by engaging students in our interactive, multi-disciplinary curriculum, which often culminates with the opportunity for students to engage in a community-based naturalization ceremony in their school setting. This provides the students with a unique opportunity to participate in the democratic process and builds a better understanding of the value and responsibilities of American citizenship.

Goals:

  1. Educate students on the citizenship process and the role immigration has played in creating a diverse society
  2. Engage them in activities that help them understand what it means to be a citizen
  3. Inspire and increase their pride in their citizenship
  4. Challenge them to give back to their communities and be a good citizen

Close Up Foundation
closeup.org
Grade Level:   Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes

Close Up informs, inspires, and empowers young people to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. We see the primary role of the Close Up experience as complementary to classroom civic learning; our part is to take learning out of the book and place it in the lived experience of the student. In order to move from the conceptual basis of civic education to an empowering engagement with the concrete processes and controversies of contemporary politics, Close Up provides students with practical opportunities to experience for themselves the problems and prospects of political activity.

Implications for instruction: Extensive use of case-studies of law and policy, simulations, role-playing activities, and other demonstrations of the actual processes of government and policymaking. Students also engage in more organic forms of political discourse and deliberation while visiting the Capital’s many institutions where such activities take place, and at memorial sites that are symbolically central to concepts and controversies of American history and the American political system.


Connecting with Classrooms
www.lawforkids.org/Connecting-with-Classrooms
Grade Level:   Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
The Arizona Supreme Court and the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education are excited to provide AZ educators with another new program that will help celebrate Arizona’s Centennial. Through this program teachers have the opportunity to schedule an Arizona legal professional to visit their classroom and implement lessons to celebrate our statehood. The lessons are designed to help Arizona middle and high school students learn about our state constitution and the judiciary and have been aligned to Arizona’s State Social Studies Standards. Combining classroom visits conducted by Arizona attorneys and judges and interactive lessons in an innovative format will promote student understanding of our state’s history and government. If you are interested in having a legal professional visit your classroom, please visit www.lawforkids.org/Connecting-with-Classrooms.

Constitutional Rights Foundation
crf-usa.org
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes

Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) seeks to instill in our nation’s youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights and to educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society. CRF is dedicated to assuring our country’s future by investing in our youth today.

CRF is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America’s young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society. Under the guidance of a Board of Directors chosen from the worlds of law, business, government, education, the media, and the community, CRF develops, produces, and distributes programs and materials to teachers, students, and public-minded citizens all across the nation.

CRF staff includes teachers and educators, lawyers, community organizers and fundraisers, designers, writers, and editors. They provide technical assistance and training to teachers, coordinate civic participation projects in schools and communities, organize student conferences and competitions, and develop publications in the following areas:

Law and Government programs and materials focus on how groups and individuals interact with the issues, institutions, people and processes that shape our laws and government.

Civic Participation programs and materials bring to life the rights and responsibilities of active citizenship by challenging young people to explore their community and plan and implement projects that address community needs.


Junior State of America (JSA)
http://jsa.org/
Grade Level:   8th – 12th grade

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
  • School Governance

The mission of the Junior State of America and the Junior Statesmen Foundation is to strengthen American democracy by educating and preparing high school students for life-long involvement and responsible leadership in a democratic society.


Kids Voting Arizona
www.kidsvotingaz.org
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
Kids Voting Arizona is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that engages students and families in voting and other civic activities. The program is unique because it combines dynamic classroom civics lessons with an authentic voting experience that replicates the adult ballot. Kids Voting Arizona has partnered with the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education to provide Arizona children in grades K-12 with the opportunity to vote in a primary and general elections. For more information, please visit www.kidsvotingaz.org.

Law For Kids
www.LawForKids.org
Grade Level:   Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
LawforKids.org is America’s first stand alone website dedicated to teaching middle and high school children about the law in a manner that kids can read quickly and understand easily. The site was created by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education with the specific goal of educating Arizona’s youth, their parents, communities and schools to increase their knowledge about youth laws and to encourage law-abiding behavior. LawforKids.org .is made possible through support from the Arizona Supreme Court.

Law Related Education Academy
www.azflse.org/academy
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • School Governance
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education provides hands-on professional development training to educators interested in teaching their students about the law and civic education in a fun and engaging manner. Every professional development training is designed to meet law-related education’s (LRE) best practices using instruction that is research-based and proven effective. All lessons provided during the trainings have been aligned to the Arizona State Standards. For a complete description of these professional development opportunities available to elementary, middle and high school educators and to register and view the training calendar, please visit www.azflse.org/academy. These trainings are made possible by the Arizona Department of Education School Safety Program and the Arizona Supreme Court.

National Archives and Records
www.ourdocuments.gov
Grade Level:   Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy

We invite all Americans to participate in a series of events and programs to get us thinking, talking and teaching about the rights and responsibilities of citizens in our democracy. At the heart of this initiative are 100 milestone documents of American history. These documents reflect our diversity and our unity, our past and our future, and mostly our commitment as a nation to continue to strive to “form a more perfect union.”

We want everyone—students, teachers, parents, and the general public—to read these milestone documents, consider their meaning, discuss them, and decide which are the most significant and why. This initiative creates a number of ways to do that—through classroom activities and competitions, and votes.

This web site includes everything you need to participate in the Our Documents initiative.

  • Review the list of 100 milestone documents
  • Hang up the ‘Our Documents’ poster in your classroom, library, or office
  • Create an entry for National History Day’s student competition
  • Develop a lesson plan for National History Day’s teacher competition

Scholastic
www.scholastic.com/teachers/teaching-resources
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
Scholastic provides an entire teachers’ section of online resources and activities for students.

Street Law
www.StreetLaw.org
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • School Governance
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes

Street Law develops classroom and grassroots programs that educate students and communities about law, democracy, and human rights. Some of our initiatives bring us directly into classrooms and neighborhoods. However, the majority of our efforts, including our popular professional development programs, are focused on training others—individuals and organizations—to become effective Street Law educators. Our approach is practical, relevant, and experiential, blending legal content with innovative hands-on teaching strategies that actively engage students and program participants in the learning process.

When it comes to developing legal curricula, Street Law is a leader. Our groundbreaking textbook, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, now in its eighth edition, is used in classrooms across the U.S. We’ve authored hundreds of lessons on law, democracy, human right, public policy, crime prevention, conflict resolution, and youth advocacy.

By helping to improve the teaching of law and understanding of relevant legal principles, Street Law empowers youths and adults to use their knowledge to solve problems and better their communities, and motivates them to become active participants in society.


The American Promise
farmers.com/AmericanPromise/index.html
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service-Learning
Welcome to The American Promise, a Web site devoted to helping teachers, professors and educators bring democracy to life in their classrooms. This site is a supplement to the videos and teaching guide produced for the original public television series.

The Center on Congress at Indiana University
congress.indiana.edu/
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Simulations of Democratic Processes
The Center on Congress answers these questions—and many others—to help Americans of all ages understand how our representative democracy works and their role in our government. The ways we do this include:

  1. Events for the public, journalists, and teachers
  2. Resource development across all media, for people of all ages
  3. Teacher outreach, including teaching resources, awards, and seminars for educators
  4. Surveys of the public’s interaction with and attitudes about Congress
  5. Public service announcements for television and radio
  6. Commentaries about Congress and citizen engagement

The Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics
www.annenbergclassroom.org
Grade Level:   Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues

This website connects our award-winning, comprehensive curriculum on the Constitution and its amendments to daily civics news and student discussion.

And when we say “connects,” we really mean it. Twice daily, our nonpartisan writers sift through national and local news and select current events expressly for social studies classrooms. And twice weekly, they write an article on a portion of this news with links to our multimedia curriculum. You can use these articles—we call them “Speak Outs”—in your class or right here online. When your students “Speak Out” at AnnenbergClassroom.org, they participate in a moderated, national dialogue of their peers.

We publish up to 10 news stories a day, many media resources each year, and at least two Speak Outs each week during the school year.

Whether you’re here for civics news, student discussion, outstanding multimedia on the Constitution — or the engaging connection among all three — welcome!


U.S. Government Printing Office – Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
bensguide.gpo.gov
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy

Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids is brought to the World Wide Web as a service of the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Ben’s Guide serves as the educational component of GPO Access, GPO’s service to provide the official online version of legislative and regulatory information.

This site provides learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers. These resources will teach how our government works, the use of the primary source materials of GPO Access, and how one can use GPO Access to carry out their civic responsibilities. And, just as GPO Access provides locator services to U.S. Government sites, Ben’s Guide provides a similar service to U.S. Government Web sites developed for kids.


Youth Service America
ysa.org   &   GoToServiceLearning.org
Grade Level:   Elementary, Middle & High School

Civic Mission of Schools Proven Practices this Program/Resource Meets:

  • Classroom Instruction in (includes at a minimum one of these areas) civics & government, history, economics, geography, law, and democracy
  • Discussion of Current Events and Controversial Issues
  • Service-Learning
  • Extracurricular Activities
YSA improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages 5-25, serving in substantive roles. We fulfill our mission through four key strategies and program areas:

  1. Large-scale public mobilization campaigns such as Global Youth Service Day, Semester of Service and Service Vote;
  2. YSA Grants or more than $1 million annually, available to youth, schools & organizations around the world for youth-led service projects;
  3. Resources and trainings that equip youth and adult mentors to lead high-quality, high-impact service and service-learning programs;
  4. Recognition programs such as Everyday Young Heroes and the Harris Wofford Awards, which recognize exceptional youth and adult mentors who are champions of youth voice.

GoToServiceLearning.org is an interactive web-based resource housing a database of best-practice service-learning lesson plans, developed by experienced service-learning teachers and their students across the United States. GoToServiceLearning.org enables you to use multiple search parameters to find service-learning examples according to specific curricular areas, themes, grade levels, and duration of the project. Designed to assist you in your own planning with youth, each detailed lesson plan includes connections to standards and learning goals, as well as the “story” behind the project: how students became interested in the issue, and lessons learned throughout the process by the teacher. GoToServiceLearning.org