14 Examples of High-Quality Civic Learning Opportunities (2023)

14 Examples of High-Quality Civic Learning Opportunities (1)

I'm a social studies teacher at San Marino High School (CA), best known for teaching the 12th grade US Government course (aka the Civics course).

As a government professor, my job is to provide quality citizenship learning opportunities to the students in my class. Is there nothing he or she can do?

The teacher of mathematics, science, drama, language arts or special education, for example? And you? Are you the PTA school secretary, counselor or parent?

At first glance it seems like a hopeless case, although there is actually a lot they can do.

For example, you can:

  • Let school leaders and teachers know about your desire to provide citizenship learning opportunities for high school students. In most secondary schools, an explicit willingness to serve often leads to an invitation to serve.
  • Educate high school students, their parents, teachers and administrators about upcoming quality citizenship learning opportunities. Often these opportunities are missed just because of lack of notification.
  • Find someone willing to help oversee the implementation of citizenship learning opportunities. So many are available today that teachers simply don't have the time to oversee their implementation.
  • Find someone willing to act as a tutor/mentor/coach for students working on citizenship learning opportunities. In most cases, this does not have to be a teacher. The fact is that most quality civic education programs today allow someone other than a teacher to teach/supervise/coach students. Even better, many of these opportunities don't require sitting time in the classroom. They are increasingly structured to allow a tutor/mentor/coach to work with students outside of school via Google Docs, even remotely in some cases.
  • Create an award for a teacher (other than a social studies teacher) who provides quality citizenship learning opportunities to high school students.
  • Create an award and/or scholarship for a senior who has participated in a large number of civic learning opportunities.



The following are options that I am aware of. I'm sure there are others out there that are just as good and I look forward to hearing what the Edutopia community has to offer.

1. Foundation for Constitutional Rightscitizen action project(LID)

CAP, according to the CRF website, is "a project-based citizenship learning opportunity designed to give students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the real world and make an impact on an issue important to them."

CAP is currently being implemented in more than 700 secondary schools across the country.

2. OYMCAsYouth and Government Program

(Video) Why is Civic Education important?

This program enables high school students to serve in model governments at the local, state, national and international levels and currently operates in 38 states and Washington, DC.

Model government programs include the judiciary, legislature, and executive branches of government, run by teachers, volunteers, or youth government staff.

3. Student Research Worker Program

This program allows eligible high school seniors to serve as poll workers on Election Day. Student election workers learn first-hand how elections work and provide the necessary support at the polling stations. You'll end the day with a better understanding of the importance of voting and the important role poll workers play in the smooth running of our elections.

The district election officials can appoint up to five seniors as poll workers in each constituency. Students work under the direct supervision of appointed adult elected officials.

The Student Poll Worker Program is currently active in 33 states and Washington, DC.

To serve as a high school electoral officer, a student typically must:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Be at least 16 years old on election day
  • Attend a public or private school
  • Have at least a 2.5 point average
  • Get permission from your parents and school
  • Take a training course

In addition to learning firsthand how elections are conducted, student poll workers can receive a stipend, typically ranging from $65 to $150 depending on the district.

To encourage high school students in California to serve as campaign workers, the California Secretary of State invites students, teachers, school activities directors and others to mail, email, or distribute the high school campaign worker recruitment flyer.

4. MyVote student mock election in California

The MyVote Mock Student Election, led by Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to encourage students to become active voters once they are old enough to vote, invites middle-school students, teachers and principals and high school a Vote in the MyVote California sham student election held this year on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, just a week before the November 4th general election in California.

5. Foundation for Constitutional RightsAnnual simulated test competition

A mock trial is a mock or mock trial. It is similar to a mock courtroom, but the mock trials simulate trials in lower courts while the mock court simulates appeal hearings.

The CRF Mock Trial Competition is a simulation of a criminal trial in which students portray each of the main characters in the courtroom (lawyers, witnesses, bailiffs, bailiffs, etc.).

To enter the simulated competition, simple

(Video) The Importance of Civic Learning

  • a trainer
  • the suitcase package
  • Twelve students

The first task - finding a trainer - should be relatively easy. History shows that as soon as a school shows interest in entering the competition, one or more local lawyers step forward to be trained.

On the other hand, it is not necessary to have a legal coach. I'm not an attorney and I coached the San Marino High School's sham team for years. We do it well enough.

For information on how to obtain a copy of the annual case pack, go to: http://www.crf-usa.org/materials-catalog/mock-trials-cases.html

To find enough students to form a team, I suggest putting a flyer out in the school hallways. I also recommend starting with 12 students. . . one student in the role of

  • Pre-Trial Attorney of the Prosecution Team (to file the Pre-Trial Motion and serve in the role of Witness #1)
  • Trial Counsel for Prosecution Team #1 (to make the opening statement and make two straights and a cross)
  • Trial Attorney for Prosecution Team #2 (to make the final statement and give a right and two crosses)
  • Prosecutor #3 (to deliver a straight and a cross)
  • Prosecutor/unofficial stopwatch
  • Journalist/photographer for the prosecution team
  • Witness for prosecution #2
    Witness for prosecution #3
  • Witness for prosecution #4
  • Defense Team Pre-Trial Counsel (to file the Pre-Trial Motion and serve in the role of Witness #1)
  • Trial Counsel for Defense Team #1 (to make the opening statement and deliver two straights and a cross)
  • Trial Attorney for Defense Team #2 (to make the final statement and get a right and two crosses)
  • Trial Counsel for Defense Team #3 (to deliver a street and a cross)
  • Defense Witness #2
  • Defense Witness #3
  • Defense Witness #4
  • Defense Team Bailiff/Unofficial Stopwatch
  • Defense staff journalist/photographer

6. Gymnasium San MarinoMeet-and-Greet-Civic-Learning-Programm

The SMHS Civic Learning Meet and Greet Program is a program that offers students the opportunity to listen to and learn from individuals who appear in textbooks or newspapers and are related to the subjects of government, law, history, politics and education.

A typical meet and greet is designed to last no longer than 50 minutes. It's in a format similar to a television talk show, where the host, sometimes a student, sometimes the editor of our local home newspaper, and sometimes a teacher, opens the meet and greet with a series of introductory questions before asking the students give them the opportunity to ask their own questions.

7. Global ClassroomUnited Nations Model Program

Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral body that introduces students to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision-making.

At Model UN, students take on the role of ambassadors for UN member countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. The students, better known as 'delegates', discuss topical issues on the organisation's extensive agenda. They prepare draft resolutions, develop strategies, negotiate with supporters and opponents, resolve conflicts and follow UN rules of procedure - all with the aim of solving problems affecting the world.

Before assuming their duties as Model UN Ambassadors, students research the specific global issue to be addressed. The problems are drawn from today's headlines. Exemplary UN delegates learn how the international community works on peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development and globalization.

8. Foundation for Constitutional RightsExpanding Horizons internship program

(Video) Engaging Students for an Informed Democracy: The Role of K-12 Schools

The Constitutional Rights Foundation's Expanding Horizons Internships (EHI) is a rigorous program that places high school students in professional settings as paid interns. EHI offers students the opportunity to gain work experience by helping employees in companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies. In addition, students participate in interactive seminars designed to help them prepare for college, careers, and community life.

9. The senior citizen project with a civic component

A senior project, also known as a culmination project, is a project written by a senior (or in some cases, a junior) student that will be completed sometime during the student's senior year and that attempts to lead the student to the following to challenge:

  • Become an expert on a specific topic.
  • Do something related to the subject that (a) causes the student to “expand” themselves both personally and academically, and (b) leaves the student with a memory that will not only last a lifetime, but will be remembered the student will remember for life one of their great high school memories.
  • In front of an audience (usually made up of adults), share both the knowledge and experience gained.

10th Annual LegiSchool Writing/Photography/Visual Art Competition

LegiSchool is a civic education collaboration between California State University, Sacramento, and the California State Legislature and is administered by the Center for California Studies. Its mission is to engage youth in issues of public policy and state government and to provide opportunities for students and heads of state to meet and exchange ideas on issues affecting Californians.

Organized by the Judicial Council and the California Courts Administration Office, in partnership with the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the California State PTA, the National 1st How to help young people about the role of the justice and their role as future jurors.

Judging criteria are based on students' understanding of the First Amendment, their creativity, and their artistic merit.

There were 783 entries for the 2014 competition.

Icivics is a web-based educational project that offers a variety of free, high-quality, interactive educational games and activities for students.

iCivics was founded by US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Judge O'Connor initiated the web-based education project because she feared that students' low scores in civics were due to insufficient information and tools needed for civic participation and that civics teachers needed better materials and support.

(Video) civic worksheet

To date, iCivics has released twenty-one different computer games.

do i have a right

in Do I have a right? the player controls a law firm specializing in constitutional law. The player must decide if potential clients have a right guaranteed by the US Constitution, and if so, put them in touch with the right attorney. The more clients we look after, the faster the law firm grows.

Argumentative wars

Argument Wars is a simulation of a courtroom argument. Players will test their persuasive skills by representing real Supreme Court cases and convincing a judge that the law is on their side.

supreme decision

In Supreme Decision, the player is a Supreme Court clerk for a fictional judge who detains him on his way to a hearing in a case involving a student's right to wear a banned band shirt. The court splits 4 to 4. The game breaks the First Amendment case into four questions, which are explained through the conversations of the other eight judges. The player compiles the necessary legal analysis to decide the case.

This annual competition gives students the opportunity to simulate a congressional hearing.

The contest judges are professors of history, political science, law and education, members of the legal community and others with knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

In preparation for the competition, whole classes of students learn about government and study the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The necessary teaching materials were developed by the Center for Civic Education.

14. The Annenberg ClassroomThe best civic websites for teachers

A good place to learn more about additional quality policy learning opportunities.



(Video) Equity and Equality

Citizenship learning is anything that provides students with the knowledge, skills and values ​​they need to be informed and engaged participants in our democracy.

Research supports the effectiveness of the six best practices in citizenship learning:

  • Classes teach government, history, law, democracy and economics
  • Discussion of current events and controversial issues
  • Service learning in connection with curriculum and instruction
  • extracurricular activities in connection with the school, community and local government;
  • student participation in school leadership
  • Simulations of democratic processes.


What are some examples of civic learning? ›

Examples include local clean-ups, tutoring, donating blood, membership in community associations, voting, census participation, writing lawmakers, protests, and civil disobedience.

What are the 8 types of civic engagement? ›

  • Community problem solving.
  • Regular volunteering for a non-electoral organization.
  • Active membership in a group.
  • Participation in a fundraising run/walk/ride.
  • Other fundraising for charity.
  • Run for political office.
  • Symbolic non-participation.

What are some examples of civic engagement for students? ›

Civic participation encompasses a wide range of formal and informal activities, such as voting, volunteering, participating in group activities, and community gardening.

What civic activities can high school students get involved in? ›

Examples of civic and community activities:
  • Participate in a protest.
  • Attend a town hall meeting.
  • Organize a community event.
  • Volunteer for a local cause.
Mar 3, 2022

What are 5 examples of civic duties? ›

Examples of civic responsibility include voting in elections, signing up for the military, volunteering in the community, participating in government politics, and holding public office.

What are the 4 types of civic education? ›

In order to answer these questions, a new typology of the term civic education shall be presented, encompassing four main aspects: Political Knowledge, Normative Values, Individualistic Civic Behavior and Communal Civic Behavior.

What are the 10 areas of community engagement? ›

Consultation and decision-making
Apr 7, 2012

What are the 9 areas of community engagement? ›

Core Principles of Community Engagement
  • Careful planning and Preparation. ...
  • Inclusion and Demographic Diversity. ...
  • Collaboration and Shared Purpose. ...
  • Openness and Learning. ...
  • Transparency and Trust. ...
  • Impact and Action. ...
  • Sustained Engagement and Participatory Culture.

What are 2 examples of civic engagement and why are they important? ›

Volunteering, national service, and service-learning are all forms of civic engagement. According to the 2006 National Civic and Political Health Survey, seven percent of 15- to 25-year-old Americans participated in 10 or more community engagement or political activities within the previous year.

What are 3 ways we can learn civic education? ›

The education can take very different forms, including classroom-based learning, informal training, experiential learning, and mass media campaigns. Civic education can be targeted at children or adults, at the local, national or international level.

What is an example of civic training in school? ›

Students can also learn civic practices such as voting, volunteering, jury service, and joining with others to improve society. Civics enables students not only to study how others participate, but also to practice participating and taking informed action themselves.

What is civic learning? ›

The policy defined civic learning as the acquisition of the knowledge, the intellectual skills, and the applied competencies or practical skills that citizens need for informed and effective participation in civic and democratic life.

What are four examples of civic duties? ›

The United States has four civic duties that are required by law. They are obeying the law, paying taxes, serving on a jury when summoned and registering with the Selective Services. These Civic duties ensure that the democratic values found in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are upheld.


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