Free Trade: Should our democracy participate in free trade agreements?

This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against participating in free trade agreements. Students are encouraged to deliberate the issue and come to their own conclusions based on evidence and reason.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Advice & Consent: Choosing a Justice of the United States

According to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court….” In March 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to serve as a Justice. This lesson is designed to have students consider which issues and questions they think are important to explore in confirmation hearings.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Decision Making in a Democracy

Voting is one of the most basic ways to participate in a democratic society. While there are many other ways to participate as well, voting is regarded by many as the most fundamental right and responsibility of the citizen. This lesson introduces primary students to the concept of voting and group decision-making.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 2, 3, 4, 5

Introduction to the Bill of Rights

No unreasonable search and seizure. Freedom of speech. No cruel and unusual punishment. Right to trial by jury. These phrases from the Bill of Rights are often seen by students as just more information to memorize. To truly understand the importance of the protections in the Bill of Rights, students must be asked to apply and discuss the amendments. This lesson is designed to help them do just that—apply the amendments to hypothetical situations and discuss their importance.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8

Civil Conversation on the 14th Amendment

The Fourteenth Amendment fundamentally redefined the central institutions of American civic and political life after the Civil War and remains the bulwark of our Constitutional rights today. Use the Civil Conversation strategy to take a closer reading of Section 1 of the Amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

A Civil Conversation

Our pluralistic democracy is based on a set of common principles such as justice, equality, liberty. These principles are often interpreted quite differently in specific situations by individuals.This civil conversation activity offers an alternative. In this structured discussion method, under the guidance of a facilitator, participants are encouraged to engage intellectually with challenging materials, gain insight about their own point of view and strive for a shared understanding of issues.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

American Symbols Project

CRFC’s Primary VOICE program is a collection of lessons and tools that help second- and third-grade teachers connect civic learning with the essential skills of reading, writing, and speaking and is funded by the Polk Bros. Foundation. This activity on Values and Traditions helps students identify and understand the meaning of several American symbols.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4

Bill of Rights: Hypothetical Cases

“No unreasonable search and seizure, free speech, no cruel and unusual punishment.” These phrases from the Bill of Rights are often seen by students as just more information to memorize. To truly understand the importance of the protections in the Bill of Rights, students must be asked to apply and discuss the amendments. This activity is designed to help them do just that— apply the amendments to hypothetical situations and discuss their importance.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

Cupcake Thief

CRFC’s Primary VOICE program is a collection of lessons and tools that help second- and third-grade teachers connect civic learning with the essential skills of reading, writing, and speaking and is funded by the Polk Bros.Foundation. This activity on Conflict Resolution engages students in analyzing a conflict and the means by which it can be re-mediated.

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4