The Michigan Center for Civic Education serves as the Michigan coordinator for iCivics, a program developed as a result of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s recognition of both the vital need for civic education and a new way to reach America’s students.
iCivics offers a host of exciting, interactive, free and standard aligned resources including games, more than 40 lesson plans, virtual classrooms, and opportunities for students to get involved with and impact their communities—digitally. The 14 games, curriculum units and lesson plans in the growing library cover topics ranging from politics and public policy to foundations of government to foreign affairs and diplomacy.
Sample Units include:
The Judicial Branch: Students will learn about the federal and state courts and what they do. They will explore the courts’ role in fairly settling disputes and administering justice, and the unique role of the U.S. Supreme Court in interpreting the U.S. Constitution.
Citizenship and Participation: Students will learn what it means to be a U.S. citizen and how citizenship is obtained. They will compare and contrast personal and political rights with social responsibilities and personal duties. Students will explore global citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in other countries. They will also learn about community engagement by selecting a problem of their own and creating a plan to solve it.
Persuasive Writing: In this unit, students learn how to “argue on paper” using a fictional case about a school dress code rule against band t-shirts. The lessons take them through the process of writing two persuasive essays: one supporting the rule and one opposing it. After the essays, students can play the game Supreme Decision to see how these arguments relate to issues of freedom of speech in schools.
Check out iCivics at www.iCivics.org!