Civics Lesson Plans

Civics instruction, including citizenship and government topics, is critical to helping students grow into adults who are productive members of society. Yet it’s often overlooked in schools. If you’re looking to incorporate civics instruction in your own classroom, this list of resources should help you get started.

General Resources for All Grades

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – This resource has lesson plans and activities on US citizenship for all grade levels.

Library of Congress – The Library of Congress has a set of Civics and Government lesson plans for all ages from third through 12th grade.

Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids – Teach kids in grades 4 and up about the US government with this fun, interactive online unit.

Vote Smart Lesson Plans – Divided by grade levels, these lesson plans look at the topic of voting and how it relates to citizenship.

Everyday Democracy: Resources for Teaching Civics and Government – A collection of resources for all grades that teachers can use to teach civics related topics.

Annenberg Classroom: Best Civics Sites for Teachers – Teachers will find the resources they need to do their own study or to send students for study on this comprehensive list.

Economist: How to Teach Civics in School – A look at the best strategies to help teachers teach civics concepts in school.

Students of Civics – This website has resources, units and lesson plans on a civics related topics for many different grade levels.

Civics Resource Review – A full list of resources for civics teachers to implement in the classroom.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Utah Education Network Kindergarten Social Studies Lessons – A collection of citizenship and social studies lesson plans for K5 students.

What is a Good Citizen? – This lesson plan uses teacher modeling to teach kindergarten students about citizenship.

Citizenship Unit – A free unit on citizenship for students in preschool and kindergarten, including activities and instruction.

Respectful Kindergarten Citizens – A comprehensive unit designed to teach kindergarten students about being good citizens.

Kindergarten Citizenship Unit – High Point University presents a comprehensive unit on citizenship for kindergarten students.

Character Education in Pre-K and K-5 – This resource from scholastic helps teachers decide ways in which to teach good character to the youngest students.

The “I Care Club” – Teach students to care about themselves and each other by creating an I Care Club in your preschool.

Elementary

Constitution Center We the Civics Kids Unit – This resource has a full unit for civics education for fourth grade students.

Teaching Civics in the Montessori Classroom – A look at how to integrate civics training in to upper elementary Montessori instruction.

Teaching Good Citizenship’s Five Themes – This Education World unit provides activities and lesson plans to teach citizenship themes to grades K through 6.

Character.org Elementary Lesson Plans – Teach ethics and good character to elementary students with these grade-level specific lesson plans.

Congress for Kids – Civics education and government education are often mixed, and this resource helps kids understand congress and its role in the life of a citizen.

Classroom Tested Resources: 7 Civics Lessons for Elementary Students – This collection of lessons will teach important civics concepts to elementary students.

Edutopia: Use Game-Based Learning to Teach Civics – Learn civics using online games and tricks in your elementary classroom. All games and activities are aligned with current learning standards.

Oxfam: Global Citizenship Activities – This guide has activities for ages 7 through 11 focused on global citizenship and other important civics and ethics topics.

Simple K-12: Fun Activities for Your History and Civics Classes – Bring civics to life in your elementary classroom with the hands-on activities on this list.

Middle School

iCivics – iCivics offers an extensive collection of lesson plans, as well as online games in the civics field. Lesson plans are on a middle school leading level but can be used across different grades.

Share My Lesson – Find a list of lesson plans on civics and government aimed at middle school students.

Introducing Democracy – IDEA provides a lesson plan for grades 5 and up that will introduce the idea of democracy in an age appropriate manner.

NEA: Teaching Civics – This collection of resources and games offers civics instruction to grades 6 and up.

PBS: Civic Engagement and How to Get Involved – A middle school lesson plan from PBS that talks about the importance of civic engagement and how students can get involved to have their voices heard.

Education.com: Middle School Civics Worksheets and Printables – Access a large library of middle school civics resources you can print off for your classroom.

Preparing for the Oath – This unit is designed to serve as a starting point for middle school students in their study of civics. It is full of classroom materials teachers can access for their lesson.

High School

We Are Teachers – We Are Teachers has a collection of 6 ideas to make civic learning come alive, with a focus on what students need to know by high school.

Civic Action Project – The Civic Action Project offers high school students the chance to show what they have learned in civics and social studies in a practical application setting.

Brain Pop Democracy Lesson plan Ideas – Brain Pop has a collection of lesson plan ideas for teaching democracy to high school students and middle school students.

Edutopia: 14 Examples of High Quality Civic Learning Opportunities – High school students are ready to take their civics instruction beyond the classroom, and this resource will show teachers options to do this.

High School Civics is Cool Again – This post provides a look at what has renewed interest in high school physics instruction along with resources teachers can use in their classrooms.

Civics Education Resource Guide – A full list of resources for high school civics teachers from the National Center for State courts.

High School Lesson plans from the Center for Civic Education – The Center for Civic Education has a long list of lesson plans for high school students on civics and government topics.

College and Adult Education

Teaching Civic Engagement – This website is focused on teaching college teachers how to teach civic engagement to their students. It has a number of resources and a list of Civic Engagement Partners that instructors can talk to.

Literacy Online: Teaching Civics and Citizenship to Adult Learners – This guide will assist teachers as they work to teach citizenship to the adult learners in their classrooms.

State of Maryland: English Literacy and Civics Resources – This collection of resources gives teachers the tools they need to provide civics instruction to their adult learners.

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition: Civics Education for Adult English Language Learners – Teach people new to English the important concepts of civics with the resources in this guide.

Hopelink Adult Education: Resources for Teaching Citizenship – This comprehensive list of resources can be used for college and adult learners who are in citizenship classes.

Librarians

Public Library Association: Civics and Community Engagement – This comprehensive list of resources offers a closer look at the role of libraries in civics and community engagement.

Knowledge Quest: Civics, the Election, and the Library – a Perfect Match – Learn how the school library can be a critical research on teaching civics topics in a non-threatening way.

Parent Map: 5 Books for Teaching Young Kids About Civics and the US Government – Keep this resource at hand when your parents or teachers need a resource for civics or government instruction for the youngest kids.

California Courts: Suggested Books for Civics Themed Lessons – See books that you can recommend to the teachers in your school on important civics themes.

Start with a Book: Civics and Our Government – This offers yet another resource that lists books to use to talk to students about civics and government.

A Mighty Girl: Civics/Government – Use this list of books to get girls excited about civics topics.

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