Civics Lesson Plans

  • All Aboard The Campaign Train!- Plan a "whistle stop" campaign train trip across the United States. Create slogans, songs, speeches. Use measurements of time and distance.
  • Budget Making- Introduce students to budgetss; learn about government services and basic expenses; and create pie charts representing government spending priorities.
  1. Center for Civic Education- Selected curricular materials change monthly.
  2. Character and Citizenship Education- Students will be able to recognize characteristics of a socially healthy citizen. Students will be able to transition from knowledge and understanding of socially healthy traits to applying these in everyday life as a good citizen.
  3. Citizenship City- Define "good citizen," explore ways for students to volunteer in the community, and create public service campaigns about the importance of civic responsibility.
  4. City, County, Community- Define the attributes of good places to live and compare the local community to another American region.
  5. Dear Presidential Diary- Develop five first-person diary entries exploring the duties and privileges of the presidency.
  6. De-Coding Political Cartoons - Students will analyze several political cartoons to understand the common rhetorical strategies employed in the cartoons and how these "work" in terms of putting across a message.
  7. Donkeys, Elephants, and Voters- Learn about political parties by creating new political parties and issue platforms. Plan for a mock convention.
  8. Draw It Out- Using the great New York City draft riots of July, 1863, as a starting point, students explore civil disobedience and periods of unrest in American history.
  9. Engineer A Solution- Identify problems in 19th century New York City, compare them to problems in your own area, and brainstorm possible solutions.
  10. Find the Oldest- Identify and research the oldest man-made landmark in your community.
  11. Fight For Freedom- Research slavery around the world today and find out more about institutions working to end slavery.
  12. Get The Word Out!- Explore issues in your community and write PSAs for local media distribution.
  13. Gilded Age Politics - The learner will describe innovations in technology and business practices and assess their impact on economic, political, and social life in America.
  14. Graphically Speaking- Explore the relationship between congressional representation and state population by graphing current statistics.
  15. I.O.U.: An Introduction To The National Debt- Introduce the causes and consequences of national debt, relating it to personal debt, and brainstorming solutions.
  16. Melting Pot- Through surveys and interviews, identify how immigrants contribute to contemporary American culture, and how they are changed by it.
  17. Millennium Challenge- Explore how the Statue of Liberty symbolizes 19th century American ideals, and design a monument to symbolize late 20th century values.
  18. Neighborhood Portrait- Identify the features that make your community special, through interviews and multimedia presentations.
  19. Painting Presidential Portraits- Redesign U.S. paper currency to recognize six U.S. presidents and describe their significant accomplishments.
  20. Paving The Way- Evaluate transportation in your community and develop a proposal to alleviate a specific transportation problem.
  21. Plan A Park- Develop a proposal to expand an existing park or create a new one within your community.
  22. Presidential Places Quilt- Honor past presidents and explore their connections to Washington, D.C. landmarks through research and the creation of a class "quilt."
  23. Reconstruction Post Civil War - Students will be expected to analyze Political Cartoon #1 aloud in a whole class setting with the guidance of the teacher.
  24. School Newspaper- Pupils will create a school newspaper containing three aspects: Latest News, Editorial, and Sports. Pupils will post the school newspaper on the school website.
  25. Smart Art- Using the work of Thomas Nast as introduction, explore the tools of political cartoonists and create political cartoons of your own.
  26. Stowaway- Participate in on online game about immigration in the late 19th century, and create a game of your own about modern-day immigration to the U.S.
  27. Tasty Mapping- Identify important governmental and institutional structures in your town by creating an edible map.
  28. The Inside Story- Learn more about 19th century urban reformers, and identify problems and solutions in your own community.
  29. The Perfect President- Identify the legal requirements, previous experiences, and personality traits that equip someone to be a successful president. Write a job description and a newspaper article.
  30. The Union Breaks Apart - To teach the students how the civil war started and also how slavery was an issue.
  31. To Vote Or Not To Vote?- Examine the history of voting rights in America, explore the current-day problem of low voter turnout, and create community surveys to evaluate different ways to improve voter registration and voter participation.
  32. Trail of Discovery- Research the settlers and native populations in your community.
  33. What's It Say Today?- Research a local landmark and describe its significance in your community's civic and cultural history.
  34. Why Vote? A Public Awareness Campaign- Learn about the importance of government services in your town, and design a public awareness campaign about voter turnout.
  35. You Make The Rules- Learn about the rules governing U.S. citizenship and create your own club with a unique charter and bylaws.