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According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, schools must not only focus on students’ mastery of core subjects, but also promote their understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into those subjects. One of these themes is civic literacy, which involves participating effectively in civic life through knowing how to stay informed and understanding governmental processes. Civic literacy also involves exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, 

Here are some ideas for integrating civic literacy into your classroom activities.

Make Your Case

The ABOTA Foundation has created a civic education curriculum (with Scholastic Inc.) and professional development opportunities (in partnership with the American Bar Association) for middle school and high school teachers.

Justice by the People provides standards-aligned lesson plans on Constitutional principles and the jury system as well as a courtroom simulation that teaches students courtroom procedure, argumentation and evidence.

The teaching materials are free, and the workshops are offered at no charge at locations across the country. The three civic education programs, created for the middle grades, were provided by the foundations’ volunteer members.

Know Your Rights

Annenberg Classroom’s That’s Your Right is an online game that teaches middle school and high school students about their rights under the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. The game offers three skill levels as a player tries to match a right with a scenario. Founder cards grant players special abilities that give them an advantage in gameplay.

The Citizen and the Constitution

60-Second Civics is a daily podcast produced by the Center for Civic Education that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the US Constitution and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history and government. The show’s content is primarily derived from the Center’s education for democracy curricula, including We the People, Foundations of Democracy and Elements of Democracy. Listen for free on iTunes or Stitcher or subscribe via RSS. You can also join the conversation about each episode on Twitter.

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