Civics Education Resources

Civics Enrichment for Kids Program

Presentation Topics

The Three Branches of Government: Balance & Separation of Powers

Lesson Plan

Classroom Handouts (Available as one set)

Class Activities (Available separately)

Introductory PowerPoint Presentation (Download as PPT) (Download as PDF Handout)

 

We hope these resources are helpful as you prepare for presentations. Please do not hesitate to contact the Tennessee Bar Association as you have questions or need additional information. 

Please contact Liz Todaro, Access to Justice/Public Education Coordinator at ltodaro@tnbar.org or 615.383.7421. 

 

Additional Resources for Civics and Law-Related Education Programs

Organizations across the country -- including bar associations, state agencies and educational groups -- offer resources for lawyers, judges and teachers to use in presenting civics and citizenship concepts to students and adults. The TBA Public Education Committee has compiled a list of these resources and is pleased to provide information about the groups and links to their online materials. Learn more below.

ABA Civics & Law Academy
Middle School-Adult
The academy is designed to aid young people in gaining the knowledge, skills, and values needed to function effectively in a pluralistic, democratic society based on the rule of law. A free Resource Guide has been developed to assist lawyers, teachers, youth workers and other civic leaders in planning and implementing the academy.

ABA Dialogue Program
High School & Adults
The ABA Dialogue program provides lawyers, judges and teachers with the resources they need to engage students, and community members in discussion of fundamental American legal principles and civic tradition. The purpose of the dialogue is to explore American civic values and traditions. Dialogues can be structured around hypotheticals that are outlined on the website. Detailed instructions for setting up a dialog can also be found on the website, as well as a checklist for organizing a Dialogue visit with a local school.

ABA Directory of Civics Law-Related Education Programs
K-12
A comprehensive state by state directory of civics and law-related education programs accessible to judges, lawyers and those who wish to conduct a Civics and Law Academy or simply want to know more about civic education in their community.

ABA Division for Public Education
 

Educate, Empower and Engage: The mission of the ABA Division of Public Education is to promote public understanding of law and its role in society. 

 

Belief Statements

The following beliefs set forth the underlying principles that guide the Division’s work.

  • Law provides an essential context for understanding society, institutions, norms, and values.
  • In order to maintain legitimate authority, law and legal institutions depend on popular participation and support.
  • Lawyers and judges have a special responsibility to foster public understanding of and confidence in the law and legal institutions.
  • Members of a democratic society seek to resolve conflicts peacefully and through the legal process.
  • Understanding, appreciating, and engaging an increasingly diverse society promotes effective civic participation.
  • An understanding of the role of law in various cultures enhances effective participation in global society.
  • Public understanding of the law promotes access to the legal system for all people to pursue justice through the legal process.

Annenberg Classroom
High School
This web site connects the award-winning, comprehensive curriculum on the Constitution and its amendments to daily civics news and student discussion. Twice daily, nonpartisan writers sift through national and local news and select current events expressly for social studies classrooms. And twice weekly, they write an article on a portion of this news with links to the site's multimedia curriculum. These articles--called "Speak Outs"-- can be used in classrooms or online. When students "Speak Out" at AnnenbergClassroom.org, they participate in a moderated, national dialogue of their peers. The website publishes 10 news stories a day, many media resources each year, and two Speak Outs and a podcast each week. Search by keyword or by subject area for online lesson plans.

Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
K-12
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office. A civic education website designed for kids. The site is divided into K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 and also has a section for parents and teachers.

Bill of Rights Institute's eLessons
Middle school- adult
The Bill of Rights Institute provides free eLessons on its website. Lessons help demonstrate the connection between America's founding principles and students' lives. Each eLesson includes historical content, classroom activities, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading.Topics include: Bill of Rights in the News, Landmark Supreme Court Cases & the Constitution, Bill of Rights in Times of Crisis, etc.

C-SPAN Classroom
Middle School & Hight School
The Classroom includes social studies related videos and discussion questions linked to national standards. The site also provides an array of videotaped speeches given by government leaders to students around the country.

Center for Civic Education
K-12
The site has many free educational resources, including We the People and Project Citizen curriculum materials, K-12 curriculum & lesson plans on topics such as voting, national holidays (Constitution Day, Presidents' Day). The Center for Civic Education focuses on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; American political traditions and institutions; civic participation; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens

Center on Congress at Indiana University
K-12
This site contains resources for learning about Congress, teaching with primary sources, and Interactive Learning Modules such as How a Member Decides to Vote, the Impact of Congress, the Dynamic Legislative Process, and Federal Budget Allocation

Choose Law: A Profession for All
Middle & High School
A project developed and implemented by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division to educate high school and junior high school students about lawyers and the legal profession, and to encourage students of color to consider a career in the legal profession. Includes brochures, curriculum and a film.

Citizenship Counts
Middle & High School
Citizenship Counts is dedicated to inspiring today's youth through curriculum that teaches them to appreciate the value and responsibilities of citizenship. Their core curriculum, The Path to Citizenship, promotes pride in American citizenship and encourages students to be involved in their communities

Constitutional Rights Foundation
K-12
Site provides student programs, teacher resources, curriculum, and other materials, including civics lessons for high school, middle school, and elementary school students.

Harlan Institute
High School
The Harlan Institute features FantasySCOTUS, a fun and interactive Supreme Court fantasy league. This free resource allows students to make predictions about Supreme Court cases, write analytical blog posts about them, and compete against other students across the country. Includes comprehensive lesson plans on cases of interest for students that are currently before the Supreme Court.

icivics
Middle School
icivics (formerly Our Courts) is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. The programs is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support.

Justice Teaching
K-12
The goal of this program is to pair a legal professional with every elementary, middle, and high school in the state of Florida. The program aims to benefit students in the following ways: promote an understanding of Florida's justice system and our laws, develop critical thinking abilities and problem solving skills, and demonstrate the effective interaction of our courts within the constitutional structure. Website includes lesson plans & games for children of all ages.

Kids.gov
K-8
Kids.gov is the official kids' portal for the U.S. government. It links to over 2,000 web pages from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations, all geared to the learning level and interest of kids. ids.gov is organized into three audiences: Grades K-5, Grades 6-8, and Educators. Each audience tab is divided into educational subjects like Arts, Math, and History. Within each subject, the websites are grouped as either government sites (Federal, state, military) or other resources (commercial, non-profit, educational).

Landmark Supreme Court Cases
Middle School-Adult
Website provides a full range of resources and activities to support the teaching of landmark Supreme Court cases, helping students explore the key issues of each case. Depending upon the amount of time you have to teach the case, you may want to use one or more of the "Resources" or "Activities" in conjunction with one or more of the general teaching strategies. The general teaching strategies include moot court, political cartoon analysis, continuum exercises, and Web site evaluation.

National Center for State Courts
Varies
Shows how courts can strengthen their relationships with the communities they serve and provides references to specific collaborative programs, such as community-outreach efforts, community courts, volunteer service programs, and court-community advisory councils.

Our Courts Colorado
Adult
Provides nonpartisan information programs to adult audiences around the state to further public knowledge and understanding of the state and federal courts in Colorado.

Tennessee Center for Civic Learning & Engagement
K-12
Website designed to enhance the teaching of Tennessee civics, law, justice, citizenship, history, government and humanities in Tennessee K-12 schools through professional development programs for Tennessee teachers and legal resource people, and through statewide civic and law-related programs for students.

Tennessee History for Kids
K-12
Most public school students in Tennessee have no Tennessee history or civics textbook, even though students in about half of the grades are required to learn parts of the subject every school year. Because of this, it is more important than ever that students have a place to go for information on Tennessee history. The website includes information about civics and geography.

They Had a Dream Too: Young Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement
11th & 12th Grade
Consists of a 28 minute film highlighting the achievement of a few of the thousands of young people who made a difference in the 1950s and 1960s when the struggle for civil rights reached its peak in the United States. The film includes interviews with people who as young adults helped changed their world. The film also contains a component that educates students about civil rights struggles that have occurred since the 1960s and challenges young people to become leaders today. Additionally, educators are provided with a curriculum. They Had a Dream Too: Young Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement is a project designed to assist educators, challenge and inspire students and help build future leaders. The film & curriculum may be downloaded from the website.

 

AttachmentSize
CE-Lesson_Plan-3Branches-November2014.pdf109.53 KB
CE-PPT-3Branches_Introduction-November2014.ppt452 KB
CE-PPT_PDF-3Branches_Introduction-November2014.pdf510.2 KB
CE-ACTIVITY-3Branches_GAME-Trading_for_the_Branches-November2014.pdf837.39 KB
CE-ACTIVITY-3Branches_Role_Play-November2014.pdf152.97 KB
CE-ACTIVITY-3Branches-HANDOUTS_All.pdf547.79 KB
CE-ACTIVITY-3Branches-WORKSHEETS_All.pdf1.48 MB