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The Change Agent Democracy in Action Edition

Although originally published in 2008, this PDF-version of The Change Agent's "Democracy in Acton" edition has many readings and activities related to civic participation that still relevant for current times. The Change Agent is a publication that helps teachers incorporate social justice content into their curriculum. There are even articles written by adult leaners. It does require a subscription and is appropriate for intermediate and above ELL students and for learners at the Pre-GED/GED levels. In this edition, readers are first introduced to different types of civic participation and problem solving strategies. The next sections include topics related to politics, the history of voting, and the connection between money and politics. The final readings discuss political parties and the democratic system of government. Read More

BallotPedia

Ballotpedia is a free, comprehensive digital resource that provides unbiased information on elections, voting, politics, and public policies. Users can see a sample ballot based on their address, along with reviewing content related to the cuurent year's federal, state, and local elections and ballot measures. In addition to election and voting information, the site provides background on the current presidential administration and also statistics, snapshots, maps, and other details about the three branches of the federal government, state and municipal governments, and even information about local school boards in large U.S. cities. Read More

Vote411

Developed by the League of Women Voters Education Fund, Vote411 provides users with all types of nonpartisan election related information for national and state/local specific races and ballot questions. Users can simply click on their their state and get up to date information about upcoming elections. Moreover, users can access a polling place locator where they can type in their home address find their exact voting location. In addition to these options, users can retrieve information about early voting procedures, ID requirements, and tips on how to watch debates with a critical eye. Read More

CUNY HSE Social Studies Curriculum Framework: Integrating Reading & Writing

The Social Studies: Integrating Reading & Writing Curriculum Framework is a free resource that incorporates social studies content with various reading and writing skills. The curriculum is designed for HSE teachers but lessons and activities could be adapted for other levels. Units 1-3 all include lesson plans and supporting materials and cover the colonial period, the Constitution, and westward expansion. Each provides topical social studies content and then uses it to reinforce reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. For Units 4-12, while there are no lessons or materials, there is a curriculum map with guidelines. Also included is a comprehensive resource guide for HSE social studies. Read More

Smithsonian for Educators

The Smithsonian offers a wealth of free educator resources from their museums and other facilities including the African American Museum, American Indian Museum, American History museum, and many others. Generally, each museum's educator resource section has curriculum guides and a wide range of standards-based, multi-level lessons and activities in both print and digital forms. The site also provides links to many professional development opportunities (online and in-person) to help teachers incorporate museum learning into their instructional planning and delivery. Read More

Minnesota Historical Society History Education

The Minnesota Historical Society's education site offers free classroom-ready resources along with other supplemental curriculum materials on topics of Minnesota and American history. Many of the secondary and elementary ready-to-go classroom activities engage students in primary source analysis, while others focus on students' reading, writing, and research skills. In addition to classroom lessons, the site provides ideas for teaching Native American history and culture, guidance on taking field trips to historic sites and museums around the state of Minnesota, and a regularly updated list of teacher professional development opportunities. Read More

Civics Renewal Network

The Civics Renewal Network is a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that is committed to providing free high-quality learning materials. In their repository, teachers have access to a wide-range of civics and government resources along with others related to history, citizenship, and media literacy. Based on the number of items, teachers can narrow their search by subject, grade level, resource type, standard, or by a specific teaching strategy such as debate, whole class, project-based learning or role play. Read More

Digital Civics Toolkit

The Digital Civics Toolkit is a free collection of resources and activities that encourage learners to recognize the connection between their digital presence life and their civic life. The curriculum is designed for high school level learners but can definitely be adapted for students at other levels. The five modules provide students with the opportunity to identify civics issues that matter to them, analyze civics issues online, navigate diverse perspectives, consider what content they share online, and think about strategies to enact on civics issues. Each module contains a sentence starter, several activities, and a closing reflection. In addition, the site provides a teacher background information section to provide further support through other resources. Read More

PBS Learning Media for Social Studies

PBS Learning Media includes an extensive collection of free, leveled teacher resources for all subject areas. The lessons represent diverse perspectives, are aligned to national and state standards, and are designed to supplement classroom instruction by incorporating video segments and interactive resources. Users can filter by grade level and/or by the many resource types such as lesson plans, interactive lessons, or just video. In addition, many lessons highlight current events and can be shared to Google Classroom or directly shared with students. Read More

PBS LearningMedia for Science

PBS LearningMedia provides a suite of resources on a broad variety of topics; from science to social studies, to health and professional development. As an added bonus, educators can search for materials by both subject and grade level, further specifying which resource is best suited for a classroom. Read More