Civics in a Digital Republic
A Transformative Curriculum
Publication Year: 2012
This innovative curriculum book provides key materials, resources, and tools to help secondary educators prepare their students to be engaged citizens of their community, state, nation and world. Five complete units of instruction, based on West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives, provide meaningful lessons while being mindful of the transition from tangible text to more digital curricula:
- Rights of the Individual
- Freedoms of the Individual
- Responsibilities of the Individual
- Beliefs Concerning Societal Conditions
- Financial Literacy
- 24 lessons that provide specific teaching and learning strategies
- 4 culminating activities for enrichment opportunities
- A matrix illustrating the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives covered
- A matrix illustrating compliance with the National Council for the Social Studies Standards
- A curriculum toolbox that provides over 70 engaging web sites to visit and explore.
Published by: West Virginia University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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The Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education (CDCE) has assumed a critical leadership role in the development of a new generation of West Virginia citizens. Specifically, the CDCE has created a Civics Digital Curriculum to allow for an innovative and well designed program in civic education to be implemented across...
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Special thanks to Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. Secretary Goodwin has provided insight and encouragement through the development of this Civics Digital Curriculum. The West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts has provided support for the completion...
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As a twenty-first century teacher, this curriculum will provide you the tools and techniques you may use to teach civism in a contemporary, digital age. West Virginia is one of only nine states that require civics class for graduation. Additionally, West Virginia is one of just four states that requires a year long, extensive and intensive...
Matrix of the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
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Matrix of Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives
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Remarks to the Student
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Some people think that civics is only the study of the government. Is this what you thought? The authors of this curriculum agree with the National Council for Social Studies that civic education is the development of knowledge, skills and actions related to the position of being a citizen. We believe that civic education is more...
Civics Education Concepts Lesson
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We would recommend that you review five terms a day until your students master the content. Present the term to them, define the term or identify the person and ask the students if they have any knowledge to add. As the students begin to demonstrate competency, you may proceed by providing either the term or the definition and have the...
Civics Education Concepts
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Unit A: Rights of the Individual
Lesson 1: Media Literacy: Bill of Rights
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These lessons are constructed so that teachers are able to address various learning needs in their classrooms. We encourage teachers to present material digitally, orally, graphically and textually. By using a variety of presentation styles, it is hoped that all students will learn...
Lesson 2: Creating Effective Citizens: Civic Resources
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In this lesson, teachers will utilize the website Civic Reflection, which provides a vast array of resources to help them integrate class discussions about civic issues in literature. The website provides a “How To” guide that includes sample resources, as well as a resource library where teachers can find a variety of readings that help students...
Lesson 3: Global Community: Human Rights Resource Center
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The University of Minnesota has created a resource center for students, educators, and human rights advocates to help educate and engage the populace. The Human Rights Resource Center provides lesson plans, materials, videos, and books to any interested person, many of which are free. Some materials include...
Lesson 4: Civic Virtue: What Has Value?
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The goal of this unit is to introduce the relevant topic of ideologies to the students, and have them develop an understanding of its impact on global events. Key aspects of one’s own ideology are the virtues and character traits that one views as “valuable” or “ideal.” When an individual develops their own sense of what traits are important...
Lesson 5: Service Learning: Volunteering and Reflection
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This two week unit is focused on introducing students to service learning and providing students the opportunity to transform their state required community service hours into a more meaningful experience. Students will examine the local impact of their service and seek to expand their reach to the global realm through a variety...
Culminating Activity: Rights of the Individual
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The culminating activity will ask students to create a three to five page paper and an electronic or paper poster depicting one individual right that they learned about during the session. The students will work in groups to articulate and disseminate information regarding rights...
Unit B: Freedoms of the Individual
Lesson 1: Media Literacy: The First Amendment
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These lessons are constructed so that teachers are able to address various learning needs in their classrooms as defined by IEPs or 504s.We encourage teachers to present material digitally, orally, graphically and textually. By using a variety of presentation styles, it is hoped that all students will...
Lesson 2: Creating Effective Citizens: Web Resources
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The students will utilize The Civic Mirror, an online and face-to-face education program that turns classrooms into countries, students into citizens and teachers into twenty-first century educators. Students are given their own government, legal system, economy and environment to use and have a hands on approach to what...
Lesson 3: Global Community: Skype
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Introduce students to the concept of bringing an expert into the classroom. You may want to use a K-W-L chart for this activity. Ask students what they know about the expert or topic. In small groups, have students come up with questions for the expert that will Skype into the class...
Lesson 4: Civic Virtue: Digital Artistic Expression of Civic Heroes
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This unit will allow the students to focus in on some of the individuals in history, or even in their own personal lives, who have strived to provide the freedoms that we all enjoy as citizens of this country. They will be able to consider the many traits and values that these individuals hold or held in their struggles to ensure these...
Lesson 5: Service Learning: Online Safety and Voting
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The following lessons are suggestions of service activities that apply to Unit C: Freedoms of the Individual. Students will plan and complete their service, reflect in class and add to their blog and database that was created in the Service Learning unit from Unit A: Rights of the Individual...
Freedoms of the Individual: WV Tech Steps
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In this activity, students will learn about campaigns, elections, and advertising. Students will be expected to complete the Tech Steps activity as mandated by the state of West Virginia and create a campaign ad addressing an issue within the community or school...
Unit C: Responsibilities of the Individual
Lesson 1: Media Literacy: State Officials
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Discuss the following quote by George Marshall: “Democracy is the most demanding of all forms of government in terms of energy, imagination and public spirit required of the individual.” Explain to students that some consider citizens who are non-participants in democracy to be...
Lesson 2: Creating Effective Citizens: Project Citizen and Facing History
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We the People: Project Citizen is a curricular program for middle, secondary, and post-secondary students, youth organizations, and adult groups that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy. In the process...
Lesson 3: Global Community: Digiteen Project
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This lesson discusses citizenship in the twenty-first century. Subtopics of this lesson can include cyber-bullying, texting while driving, identity theft, privacy, and social network etiquette. Students can also work collaboratively with peers across the country and globe...
Lesson 4: Civic Virtue: The "Good" Leader
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Students will be focusing in on the idea of a good “leader,” and what characteristics and values are essential to these leaders as they carry out their responsibilities in their respective communities. Once the students gain an understanding of these character traits, they will be divided into groups and be required to interview...
Lesson 5: Service Learning: Service as Responsibility
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The following lessons are suggestions of service learning activities that apply to Unit C: Responsibilities of the Individual. Students will plan and complete their service, reflect in class and add to their blog and database created in the Service Learning Unit from Unit A: Rights of the Individual...
Culminating Activity: Cyber Bullying
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In today’s school climate, it is critical that students are aware of the danger of bullying and the possible consequences that the individual faces, as well as the moral danger both the bullied and bullier face. By high school, most students have already experienced bullying indirectly or directly. This culminating activity requires...
Unit D: Beliefs Concerning Societal Conditions and Governmental Responsibilities
Lesson 1: Media Literacy: The Constitution
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The lessons in this unit fall under the NCSS’s guide for Beliefs Concerning Societal Conditions and Governmental Responsibilities. Concepts included in this unit are: 1) laws are accepted by the majority of the people; 2) dissenting minorities are protected; 3) government is elected by the people; 4) government respects and protects...
Lesson 2: Creating Effective Citizens: The Civic Mirror
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The Civic Mirror’s events can be integrated into a variety of course settings to improve the delivery of the curriculum. As students assume the responsibilities and challenges of citizens living in their own Civic Mirror countries, they are better able to understand what’s being taught in class...
Lesson 3: Global Community: Programs for International Relations
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This lesson can be implemented in nearly any context. Whenever a teacher locates an expert in their field, Skype can be used to have a video conference, lecture, or discussion with the class. In preparation for the lesson, students may want to do some initial research or come up with...
Lesson 4: Civic Virtue: Community Civic Virtue
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In this unit, students will be taking a closer look at the role that civic virtue plays with regard to societal conditions and governmental responsibilities. It is important for the students to keep in mind that the character traits of those with power and influence in various societies and communities have a crucial impact on the...
Lesson 5: Service Learning: Our Community
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The following lessons are suggestions of service activities that apply to Unit D: Beliefs Concerning Societal Conditions and Government Responsibilities. Students will plan and complete their service, reflect in class and add to their blog and database created in the Service Learning Unit from...
Culminating Activity: Emerging Democracies
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This lesson is the first part of the culminating unit titled Beliefs Concerning Societal Conditions and Governmental Responsibilities. It will prepare the students to extend knowledge of democracies to understand the emerging democracies around the world. The students will review knowledge of the...
Unit E: Financial Literacy
Lesson 1: Council for Economic Education: Financial Literacy for College Prep
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These lessons are geared toward junior and senior high schools students who are interested in attending college. Educating our students of the pros and cons of financial aid and scholarships will help them make better, informed decisions...
Lesson 2: The Mint
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There are three basic components to personal finance: earning, spending, and saving money. The U.S. Mint has created a website for kids to introduce them to these basic components. Teachers can utilize this website or borrow ideas from the Mint in their own classroom to teach students important...
Lesson 3: National Financial Capability Challenge
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This unit investigates financial literacy through the St. Louis National Reserve Program. The program is designed to challenge students to develop a rich understanding of earning, spending, borrowing, and protecting against risk....
Lesson 4: iCivics
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The People’s Pie is a game that is a part of iCivics.org. The game has students set corporate, payroll, and income tax levels and determine the necessity of government programs over a three year simulated span. Students will be introduced to deficit spending, borrowing, loan payments, pork projects...
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Note to Teachers: Below you will find a multitude of sites to visit and explore. We have provided a variety of options, giving you the opportunity to become confident in their use and to tailor each site to your learning objectives...
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Not all of these sites and resources are included in the curriculum. We encourage you to explore these sites and use them in the classroom at your discretion...
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These are resources that may be useful to teachers and directly address the documents and people listed in the West Virginia Content Standards. They may be helpful if students need additional resources to complete other lessons or if the teacher wishes to expose students to primary sources on any...
Financial Literacy Tools
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Hands on Banking (http://www.handsonbanking.org/en/instructionalresources. html). Sponsored by Wells Fargo, this website provides free downloadable instructional resources that could be a good jumping off point for teachers...
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Oregon Trail (http://www.oregontrail.com/hmh/site/oregontrail/home). (The Learning Company) This classic game was created originally in the 1970s as a way to teach history by placing students in the front seat of a wagon heading West. Oregon Trail continued to be used in schools into...
Publication Year: 2012