The Civics Renewal Network is expanding! Two more organizations have joined the network, making their resources available through the website. Two of their resources are highlighted in this newsletter. Here’s an introduction:

The ABOTA Foundation provides free civics and law-related education resources and programs to teachers and students. The mission of the ABOTA Foundation is to support the purposes of the American Board of Trial Advocates to preserve the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and preserve our civil justice system for future generations.

For almost 90 years, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello has been maintained and kept open to the public by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. The new Monticello Digital Classroom, launched in 2017, combines content from the prior classroom archive with materials from the Sea of Liberty website. The site includes lesson plans, articles, and multimedia content for use by teachers, students, and scholars. All materials are cross-referenced, searchable, and available for download.

Making Decisions by Group: The Jury System

Through this ABOTA Foundation resource, students will learn about the nation’s jury system and its importance to the rule of law in the United States. Students will experience the Sixth and Seventh Amendments at work as they engage in the main lesson activities, including one in which they will serve as jurors.

Thomas Jefferson and Slavery

Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the famous line “all men are created equal,” was a life-long slave-owner. Over the course of his life, he would own 600 human beings, and at any given time there would be roughly 100 slaves living and working on and around Jefferson’s plantation and farms. This handout from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, which describes Jefferson’s views on slavery. is written at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Facts of Congress

The Indiana University Center on Representative Government, formerly the Center on Congress, offers Facts of Congress, a series of twenty fast-paced, one-minute animated videos that cover the basic concepts and terms of representative government. The series, which includes this video on compromise, addresses questions such as: What is Congress? How does Congress work? What does Congress do for me? How can I participate?