Ch 5: American Civics Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

Prepare quality lessons that will boost your students' comprehension of American civics using informative lesson plans. Enjoy access to lesson instructions, discussion topics, class activities and other lesson planning resources in this chapter.

American Civics Lesson Plans - Chapter Summary

This chapter offers teacher resources you can use to create a comprehensive American civics syllabus and enrich class instruction. Lesson plans provide you with learning objectives, suggested materials, lesson instructions and other helpful tools. These plans are accompanied by related lessons you can share with students to strengthen their understanding of American civics. Topics covered include:

  • Citizenship and civil society
  • Pledge of Allegiance meaning and history
  • Social Security issues and legislation
  • Veteran's Day basics
  • The jury trial, mock trial and selection in civil litigation
  • Formats of debate

The process of researching and developing your American civics lessons can be time-consuming, which is why it's good to access lesson planning ideas and tools in one location. Plan your lessons at home, in class during your planning period or anywhere with an Internet connection!

How It Helps

  • Provides approximate lesson duration: Helps organize your class periods by estimating the time needed to teach lessons
  • Suggested materials: Offers lists of materials you should acquire when teaching according to ideas presented in the lesson plans
  • Curriculum standards: Aligns the American civics concepts covered in this chapter with education standards

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning American civics lessons easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific topics like citizenship, debate and jury trial you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your American civics class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related American civics lessons for each lesson plan with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important social studies concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant social studies-related activities, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

42 Lessons in Chapter 5: American Civics Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Citizenship Lesson Plan

1. Citizenship Lesson Plan

While many people may take citizenship for granted, anyone need only turn on the news to see just how important it is. This lesson plan will help make sure your students understand not only citizenship, but their role in civil society. Find a video lesson that outline

Civil Society and Citizenship

2. Civil Society and Citizenship

Citizenship and civil society are important concepts in the study of political science. In this lesson, you'll learn what citizenship is and what it means for people that hold it. You'll also learn about the important role of civil society in a democracy.

Social Security Lesson Plan

3. Social Security Lesson Plan

Given your role in preparing students for the real world, it only makes sense that they should know where their Social Security contributions go every paycheck. This lesson plan can help with that.

Social Security: Legislation and Issues

4. Social Security: Legislation and Issues

Passed as part of the New Deal in 1935, the Social Security Act established benefits for retired and unemployed people. This lesson generally explains the Social Security Act and the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

What Is a Veteran? - Definition & Importance

5. What Is a Veteran? - Definition & Importance

Veterans include those with much experience in a specific field, and those who served in the military. Regardless of their type, veterans play an important part in American history and culture, as we will discover in this lesson.

Debate Lesson Plan

6. Debate Lesson Plan

Is it a classroom or a court room? Introduce two types of debate for students to act out. This lesson plan makes use of a Study.com text lesson on the different kinds of debate to assist you in your instruction. Additional ideas for related activities and lessons are included for future study.

Understanding Different Debate Formats

7. Understanding Different Debate Formats

The rules and structures for debate forums can be confusing. This lesson will explain the rules, structures, and challenges associated with two major debate formats to 'keep you in the know.' Read on for details.

Veterans Day Projects for Elementary Students

8. Veterans Day Projects for Elementary Students

Veterans Day is almost always a school holiday, but often we do not take note of it in the classroom. This lesson gives you some ideas about how to teach students about Veterans Day using projects.

Rights & Responsibilities Lesson Plan

9. Rights & Responsibilities Lesson Plan

Are you teaching your students about the process to U.S. citizenship? Use this lesson plan to explain the naturalization process, from acquiring a green card to becoming a citizen. Students use nonfiction text reading strategies to deepen understanding, then apply concepts to your classroom community.

US Citizenship: Rights, Responsibilities & Naturalization Process

10. US Citizenship: Rights, Responsibilities & Naturalization Process

In this lesson, we will consider the expectations placed on U.S. citizens, particularly immigrants who undergo naturalization. Learn the specific rights of citizens as well and what makes citizenship different than permanent residency.

Liberty Bell Games & Activities

11. Liberty Bell Games & Activities

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American freedom. Its history, significance and appearance have inspired generations of students. These games and activities are designed to do just that for your students.

American Symbols Lesson Plan

12. American Symbols Lesson Plan

What symbols represent American culture? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to outline key points and introduce important American symbols. An activity challenges students to create their own symbol to represent America.

Understanding the Meaning & History of American Symbols

13. Understanding the Meaning & History of American Symbols

America is a country that loves symbols, and it has many. Learn about the meaning and history of some of the most important American symbols. Afterward, test your knowledge with a quiz.

Civil Liberties Lesson Plan

14. Civil Liberties Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will provide you with a quiz, activity, and discussion questions and topics that will help students better understand their civil liberties.

What are Civil Liberties? - Definition, Examples & Cases

15. What are Civil Liberties? - Definition, Examples & Cases

What are civil liberties? How are they different from civil rights? How do we know exactly what (and when) they are? The issue of civil liberties began with the Constitution and continues with the U.S. Supreme Court.

State of the Union Address Lesson Plan

16. State of the Union Address Lesson Plan

What is the State of the Union Address and why is it delivered? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to summarize important points about the State of the Union Address. An activity gives students the chance to review examples of actual State of the Union Addresses.

What is the State of the Union Address? - Definition & Purpose

17. What is the State of the Union Address? - Definition & Purpose

This lesson will teach you about the State of the Union Address. You will learn what it is, why it occurs, when it happens, who attends, and how it has changed throughout history.

American Ideals Lesson Plan

18. American Ideals Lesson Plan

What ideals represent the United States of America? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain typical American ideals and symbols. An activity provides a fun and meaningful takeaway for students.

American Ideals & National Symbols

19. American Ideals & National Symbols

In this lesson, we will look at some of the core American ideals and key national symbols. We will explore how these relate to the American national identity, and we will interpret their meaning.

Civic Values Lesson Plan

20. Civic Values Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about some of the civic values that help communities function. By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to list some civic values and describe them using content-specific terms.

Civic Values: Definition, Importance & Examples

21. Civic Values: Definition, Importance & Examples

In this lesson, you'll learn about some of the civic values that are vital to maintaining a free and prosperous society. These values help keep our society functioning and hold together a town, city, or state.

Popular Sovereignty Lesson Plan

22. Popular Sovereignty Lesson Plan

This lesson introduces students to popular sovereignty. Students will create a poem, skit, song, or puppet show about popular sovereignty, and they'll participate in a historical mock debate over the issue of slavery in Oregon.

Popular Sovereignty: Definition & Examples

23. Popular Sovereignty: Definition & Examples

As the U.S. expanded and acquired new territories, Congress was forced to carry out the delicate balancing act of adding free and slave states. Various proposals were made in an attempt to keep the balance sturdy, including popular sovereignty. Learn about its place in the debate over the expansion of slavery.

National Park Service Lesson Plan

24. National Park Service Lesson Plan

Educate your students about the National Park Service with this lesson plan. Students will watch a video, take a follow-up quiz, and participate in activities that reinforce main concepts.

National Parks in the US: Governing Agencies and Areas of Concern

25. National Parks in the US: Governing Agencies and Areas of Concern

The U.S. national parks are governed by the National Park Service, which is an agency within the Department of the Interior. Learn about the national parks of America and the current issues they face.

What is Citizenship Education? - Definition & Types

26. What is Citizenship Education? - Definition & Types

In this lesson, we discuss citizenship education, what it means, what it's for, and different types of citizenship education that can be combined to provide a comprehensive program for teaching students to engage in a civilized society.

Citizenship Education: Goals & Importance

27. Citizenship Education: Goals & Importance

Explore the goals and importance of citizenship education from both theoretical and practical perspectives. In so doing, you will learn fundamentals of service learning and developmental factors of 21st Century skills.

Civic Duty Lesson Plan for Elementary School

28. Civic Duty Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Help your students understand the concept of civic duty with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains what civic duties are, check their understanding with a quiz, and then work actively to explore this concept in their own lives.

Civic Duty Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

29. Civic Duty Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Citizens have responsibilities to the country where they live, and we call these responsibilities civic duties. This lesson will teach you about civic duties and why they are important to the society we live in.

Civic Duty Lesson Plan

30. Civic Duty Lesson Plan

Federal, state and local governments mandate civic duties we all must follow. This lesson plan explores examples of civic duties and penalties. Students will watch a video, answer questions, complete an activity and take a quiz.

Civic Duty: Definition & Examples

31. Civic Duty: Definition & Examples

Civic duties are legally mandated responsibilities that all citizens are required to fulfill. Failure to fulfill these obligations could result in legal punishment. We'll look at some examples in American society.

Patriotism Lesson Plan for Elementary School

32. Patriotism Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Celebrate your patriotism with this action-filled lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson explaining what patriotism is and ways to show it, then filter through stations to create a patriotic classroom.

What is Patriotism? - Lesson for Kids

33. What is Patriotism? - Lesson for Kids

Do you love your country? Are you proud to be an American? Well, then you are a patriotic person! Come and learn about what patriotism is, how you can be patriotic, and how you can go the extra mile to honor your country on holidays.

Dorothea Dix Lesson Plan

34. Dorothea Dix Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan, our students learn about the life and work of Dorothea Dix before using it as a starting point to investigate the mental health laws and practices of today.

Citizenship Activities & Games

35. Citizenship Activities & Games

If your students are studying United States civics, it's important for them to understand citizenship. Use these activities to help students understand what it means to be a citizen of the U.S. and the various pathways to citizenship.

Census Lesson Plan for Elementary School

36. Census Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Census records are useful snapshots of a population at a given time. This lesson plan will help you teach students about the census and includes an activity gives students a chance to collect census data for themselves.

Censorship Lesson Plan for Elementary School

37. Censorship Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Help your elementary students understand censorship with this lesson plan. It includes a text lesson, an opportunity to identify types and examples of censorship, and a short quiz.

What is Censorship? - Lesson for Kids

38. What is Censorship? - Lesson for Kids

Censorship has been used for hundreds of years. In this lesson, learn about the origin of censorship, different types of censorship, and ways that censorship has been used throughout history.

National Symbols of the United States Lesson Plan

39. National Symbols of the United States Lesson Plan

National symbols are an important part of US patriotism. Your students will learn about some of these symbols by reading and discussing a text lesson. Applying the concepts behind national symbols, students will then create their own national symbols.

Veterans Day Lesson Plan

40. Veterans Day Lesson Plan

Give your instruction on Veteran's Day new meaning with the help of a Study.com text lesson and in-class gratitude project. To take instruction further, utilize the supplementary activities and related lessons.

American Symbols Project Ideas

41. American Symbols Project Ideas

These project ideas can help get your students thinking and talking about national identity, history, and political ideas. National symbols are everywhere, so it's important for students to have outlets for interacting with them.

Veterans Day Discussion Questions

42. Veterans Day Discussion Questions

In the United States, Veterans Day is a federal holiday celebrated on November 11 each year. Use this guide in your middle and high school history classes to help students think critically about the holiday.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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