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Youth Leadership Initiative

The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) offers free education resources for teachers along with other materials to encourage students to participate in the political process. Teachers can download K-12 and adult leveled lessons on topics such as the political process, foundations of American government, the presidency, and political beliefs and behaviors. Teachers can sign-up for YLI’s E-Congress program that allows students to learn about Congress by writing original legislation. YLI’s online mock election activity uses electronic ballots tailored to each student’s home legislative district. Read More

Citizens, Not Spectators

The goal of Citizens, Not Spectators is to demystify the voting process for students at all levels. It provides free downloadable elementary, middle, and high school level lesson plans and supporting materials that cover a wide range of topics, such as the history of voting rights in the United States, becoming an informed voter, and participating in an in-class simulated election. Especially useful for students is a printable leveled timeline regarding the election and voting process in the U.S. Read More

Vote Smart

The mission of Vote Smart is to provide free, factual and unbiased information on candidates and elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. Vote Smart provides candidates' biographical information, voting records/positions on various issues, endorsements, speeches, and contribution history. There are links related to ballot measures, election contacts, and voter registration by locality. For teachers and students, Vote Smart offers a free K-12-level government curriculum and an online “Government 101” tutorial with informative overviews on all aspects of American politics. Read More

National Constitution Center

With a strong emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the National Constitution Center offers a wide range of educational materials for classrooms at all levels. Resources include lesson plans, engaging and interactive video games, hands-on arts and crafts activities related to the Constitutional period, and opportunities to explore historical documents and primary sources. In addition, there are web interactive exercises that explore the concept of rights in the U.S. and the world and an online interactive Constitution. Read More

Living Room Candidate

The Living Room Candidate website contains more than 300 candidate commercials for every presidential election since 1952. The ads can be viewed and incorporated into classroom activities or there are ready-made, high school leveled lesson plans that include discussion questions, assessments, and extensions. The site also has links to additional online resources about political commercials. Read More

Teaching Civics

A repository of non-partisan civics, law-related, and government lesson plans and other supporting materials for use in elementary, middle, and high school leveled classrooms, including ESL. The lessons focus on both national and Minnesota state government topics and have been developed and provided by the Learning Law and Democracy Foundation. Read More

iCivics

iCivics is a free, non-partisan, one-stop website for all topics related to civic knowledge.  It includes curriculum units and downloadable lesson plans for government-related topics such as the Constitution, the three branches, and civil rights. Other units focus on citizenship, core literacy skills, and persuasive writing. The lessons are written for middle to high school leveled students. iCivics also offers a variety of online educational games that emphasize social studies skills and topics. Read More