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Grades9 to 12
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Take an in-depth look at civil and criminal cases tried and decided by the Ohio Supreme Court using these two free lessons. Both lessons align with Ohio's Learning Standards for ...more
Take an in-depth look at civil and criminal cases tried and decided by the Ohio Supreme Court using these two free lessons. Both lessons align with Ohio's Learning Standards for the High School American Government Curriculum and provide a real-world look into the court system and legal process. Email the resources link to receive the password to access and download the educator and student resource guides; typically requests are granted within an hour during business hours. If you don't receive the information, check your spam folder.
In the ClassroomAlthough this site is aligned to Ohio Learning Standards, it is useful for any classroom studying civil and criminal cases. Download the free materials to use when learning about branches of government. Before completing the lessons within each of the cases, introduce the topic to students and ask them to predict the outcome using a simple polling tool like Poll Everywhere, reviewed here. As students become familiar with the Ohio court system, ask them to research the courts in your state and compare them using a Venn Diagram tool like the one found at Class Tools, reviewed here. Consider asking a local attorney or judge to visit your classroom to discuss the specifics of each case and how the law is interpreted within the state courts.
Grades5 to 12
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Develop civic understanding and historical thinking skills through interactive challenges found on Eagle Eye Citizen. These activities, geared toward middle and high school students,...more
Develop civic understanding and historical thinking skills through interactive challenges found on Eagle Eye Citizen. These activities, geared toward middle and high school students, teach about American History using primary sources from the Library of Congress. The Solve link provides challenge puzzles to learn about historical events, the big picture, and sorting information into categories. Use the Teach link to find ideas for lessons and units based on this site's components, assessment ideas, and quick activities for use at any time. This link also includes several rubrics for use with the Challenge activities.
In the ClassroomShare activities from this site to introduce civics and government lessons; be sure to point out links with additional resources included after problem-solving activities. Share a link to this site on your class website for students to use at home. Replace written notes and help students organize information using a mind mapping tool like Coggle, reviewed here. Use Coggle to create and share colorful diagrams with included text and images. As students continue through the unit, have them enhance their learning by including their diagram on a website sharing their knowledge of civics concepts or discussing the historical event studied. Webnode, reviewed here, is a free website creator offering premade templates and easy to use tools. Transform student learning at the next level and ask them to create a book for younger students to teach them about the event studied using Book Creator,reviewed here. For example, when learning about the three branches of government ask students to create a digital book explaining the functions of the three branches. Book Creator allows you to include videos, images, audio recordings, and more.
Grades2 to 8
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Texas Law Related Games provides many civics-related games, and many are not specific to Texas laws. Topics include American Symbols, branches of government, Constitution, Bill of Rights,...more
Texas Law Related Games provides many civics-related games, and many are not specific to Texas laws. Topics include American Symbols, branches of government, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and others. There is a pledge of allegiance that is TEXAS ONLY and one that is U.S. so be sure you click the one you want. There is also an interactive Safety game available in both Spanish and English. Click any game to begin play; most include short instructions. If using an iPad, be sure to choose the link to access game versions that work with iPads. There is a link for teachers to access Lesson Plans and Curriculum in the footer of the page.
In the ClassroomSeveral games require significant reading, so partner weaker and stronger readers if students work independently. Create a link to specific games on classroom computers as a center to use on President's Day, Constitution Day, or any class day studying U.S. Government. If studying your state's laws, use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast differences between your state and Texas.
Grades4 to 12
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Poster My Wall is a simple online tool to create posters and videos. Make and download simple posters for free and without registration. Note that free downloads are not high-quality...more
Poster My Wall is a simple online tool to create posters and videos. Make and download simple posters for free and without registration. Note that free downloads are not high-quality print resolution, so they may appear "fuzzy" if printed in large formats. The simple tools look and feel like a computer program. Choose or upload photos, backgrounds, Flickr photos, and clip-art. You can move and re-size using the floating symbols and add multimedia. Register to be able to email products to friends. (Registration requires email, but there is no waiting for a confirmation.) Obtain the poster or video URL by emailing to yourself. (In the email, click "view larger" to get the link). Check out the reviewer sample here . Enjoy the free teacher accounts where students don't need to register.
In the ClassroomHave students create posters to demonstrate understanding. After an assigned reading, have them create a poster to explain the text. Have students email their finished product to you as an informal assessment. Create a quick presentation of the best posters to share with the class when discussing the reading the next day. Offer posters as one of several options for students to share what they know with you and their peers. Of course, you will want to require proper credit for any images students use in their posters. Use student-made posters to reinforce class rules at the start of the year or to visually display concepts such as branches of government or story elements.
Grades2 to 5
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Learn about the West Virginia legislature in two ways with this site. First, all information can be viewed by following links on the site. Information is presented in several different...more
Learn about the West Virginia legislature in two ways with this site. First, all information can be viewed by following links on the site. Information is presented in several different ways such as short articles, matching games, and through images. The other way which is probably easiest adapted to most classrooms is the pdf version of information on the site. This 23 page booklet includes much more information than on the website, you can learn about the legislative process, branches of government, and view templates for students to use to write their own legislatures. The letter template doesn't have a state name on it so would be appropriate for any elementary age student to use.
In the ClassroomPrint and use pages from the website to share with students. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of your state's legislative process with that of West Virginia.
Grades6 to 12
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This collaborative website focuses on controversial contemporary issues, including juvenile justice, eco-topics, gun control, women's rights, voting rights, civil liberties in war,...more
This collaborative website focuses on controversial contemporary issues, including juvenile justice, eco-topics, gun control, women's rights, voting rights, civil liberties in war, and affirmative action (go to Browse Topics from the Home page to find these). Help students understand the role of the news media in a democracy. This website combines the radio broadcast resources of Justice Talking and written articles and features from the NY Times Learning Network. Lesson plans corresponding to each "hot topic" offer social studies, language arts, and science teachers opportunities to connect the real news with topics in their curricula. A glossary of words important to the democratic process and a link to the Constitution with a "what it says, what it means" feature allow students to understand authentic sources as well as historical references. "In Their Own Words" (accessible from the Site Guide) provides primary source documents and statements from each of the three branches of government, from the press, and from schools.
In the ClassroomUse this site to help students explore the branches of government in action as they address a "hot topic." Have groups of students listen to real broadcasts and analyze the issues as examples of the constitutional concepts you are studying. Make this link available from your teacher web page while studying the Constitution, the branches of government, and many other social studies topics. Use your interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share a video or audio clip to spark discussion on an issue or activate your lesson. Then, divide your class into teams and have a class debate about the issue. Have students prepare a pro/con wiki using links to the primary sources to support their position or create their own podcast commentaries with support for their opinions.
Too many resources to even summarize. I can't wait to share this resource. CONSTITUTION ON SEPT. 17.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
GradesK to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations,...more
Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations, first ladies, elections, and more.
In the ClassroomUse these resources to connect Presidents' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. This collection would also be useful during a unit on the three branches of government, specifically investigating the Executive branch.
Grades5 to 10
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra...more
iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and includes law professors and educators from around the country. iCivics.org provides detailed lessons designed for very specific judicial and constitutional concepts as well as for the executive and legislative branches. Some of the lessons have videos and links to other relevant websites. In addition to the lessons, iCivics features several engaging interactives on civics topics, democracy, branches of government, citizenship, elections and campaigns, and the constitution. Several include full teacher manuals (PDF) and a detailed report of student game performance -- very useful for assessment. There are webquests on civics topics, as well. In addition, iCivics.org has a useful feature that helps locate other websites with resources specifically correlated to your state standards. You can also search using grade level. The site continues to grow and add new materials and activities on an ongoing basis. Don't miss the interactive called "Cast Your Vote" to prioritize issues and evaluate candidates! Videos from iCivics reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
tag(s): bill of rights (24), branches of government (55), congress (37), constitution (88), courts (20), democracy (16), elections (75), game based learning (158), presidents (115), supreme court (25)
In the ClassroomAs you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option is to enhance student learning and modify classroom technology use by having students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right. If your class is remote learning, try using Zoom, reviewed here, or another video conferencing tool, to demonstrate or introduce your class to iCivics and the individual activities.
Grades7 to 12
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This site is affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and presents a lesson plan focused on Supreme Court nominations and the ongoing balance of power in the US ...more
This site is affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and presents a lesson plan focused on Supreme Court nominations and the ongoing balance of power in the US government. There are excellent discussion guides, a link to streaming video from the NewsHour, with an accompanying transcript that can be distributed, and a PDF version of a Chicago Tribune article on the issue. There is a nice vocabulary list. There is a good handout on the process of nominating a Supreme Court judge and a worksheet that accompanies it.
tag(s): supreme court (25)
In the ClassroomThere is a really nice "balance of powers" exercise that goes way beyond a simple discussion of the Supreme Court. Students look at all three branches of government and determine which branch has power in a variety of contemporary situations. This lesson plan is good as a stand-alone, but also provides a lot of jumping off places for further discussion and adaptation. Use a projector, as the plan suggests, to share the short video clips, available in several formats.
Grades5 to 8
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This ten minute video gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Display full screen for projection in the classroom or use with headphones in...more
Grades6 to 12
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies ...more
This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies of court decisions and their interpretation. Middle schoolers could use elements of this one for basic research about the separation of powers and branches of government; high school students should find many uses for the additional materials.