This lesson examines the process of local decision making and its need for citizen input and compromise. Students simulate a local city/county council session and advise the council on public policy. Students are asked to consider the viewpoints of different citizen groups in order to reach a compromise that will benefit the entire community. This lesson can be used with a unit on local politics and can be adapted to reflect issues of compromise in your school or community.
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” — Rep. Shirley Chisholm
Inspired by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s famous words and life story, the Kennedy Institute launched the Seat at the Table Project in which the Institute invited individuals, schools, and community organizations to think about why diversity of representation is vital and what necessary contributions we each bring to the table when we pull up a chair. Download a lesson plan and discussion guide for a family, class or your community.
Students use a poem to discuss bullying and then explore policies within their school, community, and state.
This lesson explores how groups of people (or animals) come together to solve community problems. Students will identify a variety of personal responsibilities and civic responsibilities from a set of pictures in order to get a better understanding of what responsibility means. Students will understand that citizens in the United States have a responsibility to help others.
Learn about American democracy while serving your community. Serve your community while learning about the responsibilities of American democracy. YLI’s Democracy Corps brings your civics lessons to the community while instilling life- long civic engagement in your students.
African American History Month evolved from the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass in the second week of February. Historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson framed the concept that became the first Negro History Week in February 1926. It developed into a monthlong commemoration of the struggles and triumphs of the African American community. On this page, learn the stories of Autherine Lucy Foster, the first African American student to attempt to integrate the University of Alabama; Frank M. Johnson, Jr., the federal judge who ruled in the Rosa Parks case; and Linda Brown, the 9-year-old who became the face of children caught in the crossfire of the fight for social change. The Pathways to the Bench video series features profiles of African American federal judges who offer perspectives on their experiences during the Civil Rights era.
This film explores the First Amendment right of the “people peaceably to assemble” through the lens of the U.S. Supreme Court case National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie. The legal fight between neo-Nazis and Holocaust survivors over a planned march in a predominantly Jewish community led to a ruling that said the neo-Nazis could not be banned from marching peacefully because of the content of their message.
Whether celebrating Pride Month in June or recognizing accomplishments during October’s LGBTQ history month, this curated collection has resources to help make learning more inclusive. Students who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, intersex, asexual and allies) face bullying at significantly higher rates than their peers and the consequences are heartbreaking. Dedicated educators have an extraordinary opportunity each day to create a safe and welcoming environment for children who come through their doors. Explore this collection of our best prek-12 free lessons, activities and resources to make a difference in supporting LGBTQ students in your school and community.
The American Bar Association Dialogue program provides lawyers, judges and teachers with the resources they need to engage students and community members in a discussion of fundamental American legal principles and civic traditions. This Dialogue on the Fourteenth Amendment is composed of three parts:
Part 1: Equal Protection and Civil Rights – Participants discuss the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and consider how Congress, through federal legislation, has worked to help realize its constitutional promise.
Part 2: Incorporating the Bill of Rights examines the concept of incorporation. Using a case study of Gitlow v. New York, this section provides a guide to how courts have applied the Bill of Rights, selectively, to the states using the 14th Amendment.
Part 3: Ensuring Equality and Liberty explores how the 14th Amendment has been interpreted by courts to protect fundamental freedoms, including individuals’ right to marry.
Find new ways to teach students about the meaning of Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11th. Share My Lesson’s collection of free, vetted K-12 lesson plans and activities has new ideas, including how to turn this holiday into a community action day and a helpful toolkit for children of military families