Civics Lessons

Lesson Topic: Democracy

Freedom of Expression

Deliberting in Democrcay lesson which gets students to deliberate the question–Should our democracy block Internet content to protect national security?

Appreciating Democracy

This lesson is designed to teach students to appreciate the most basic practices of democracy in the United States: The lesson can be taught in three or four 45-minute class periods. At the heart of the lesson are three easy-to-teach activities (or simulations).

Juvenile Justice

Deliberating in Democracy lesson which gets students to deliberate the question-Should violent juvenile offenders be punished as adults?

Becoming an Informed Voter: Preparing for the General Election

This lesson focuses on a voter’s need to be fully informed prior to casting a vote on Election Day and how to acquire the necessary information. Students learn what a yes or no vote or a decision to abstain means on a ballot. Students learn the definitions of amendment,initiative, and referendum. Students are given the opportunity to think critically and to learn firsthand why voters need to be fully informed about ballot questions.

Moot Court : An Appellate Court Simulation People of the State of Michigan v Booker T. Hudson, Jr.

Students learn about the Michigan Supreme Court, developing oral arguments about an actual case examining Fourth Amendment rights related to search and seizure,

What is Democracy?

In this lesson, students will identify essential components of a functioning democracy. They will be presented with “borderline” countries – hypothetical nations that exhibit some, but not all, of the characteristics of a democracy. Through discussion and group work, students will expand their understanding of democracy and see different manifestations of democratic practices.

Voir Dire Simulation

In this lesson, students will role play real lawyers as they carry out a voir dire simulation for jury selection. They will draft lists of favorable characteristics of jurors beforehand to aid in their questioning. Students will think critically about important juror characteristics, and identify factors – such as race, socio-economic status, and age – that may have influenced the voir dire process.

The Constitution in Today’s America

This lesson teaches students about the development and role of the Constitution of the United States. Students will learn about the relationship between the Constitution and a democratic government

The Need for Laws: Planet Lawless

This activity will help students understand the need for rules, the rulemaking process, and the role of the student / citizen. Students will be introduced to the relationship between rules and laws and how citizens can establish laws in their communities, much like rules in the classroom, to help them live together.

The President’s Roles and Responsibilities: Communicating with the President

Through several activities, students learn about the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. president and their own duties as citizens of a democracy

What Is A Good Rule? Creating Our Ballot Questions

This lesson offers students the opportunity to play the role of voters with special interests. Students draw up initiatives for new classroom or school rules. Working in groups of four or five, students share their ideas and rationale for new rules.

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