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Teachers’ Tools

March Civil Rights Books Lesson Plans

The Rendell Center procured a collection of the March books and donated copies to schools in the Philadelphia School District

The Rendell Center procured a collection of the March books and donated copies to schools in the Philadelphia School District

The Rendell Center has developed classroom lessons and activities that tie in with March Books One through Three. These downloadable lessons are designed to educate about civil rights and lead to engaged discussion through their focused activities.

The March trilogy is a set of informative, eye-catching graphic novels about the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, told through the perspective of civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman John Lewis. The trilogy is written by Congressman Lewis and Andrew Aydin and is illustrated and lettered by Nate Powell.

We hope you will find these lessons beneficial not only during Black History Month but also all year long.

Download March Book One Lesson and Activities

Download March Book Two Lesson and Activities

Download March Book Three Lesson and Activities

 

The 2017 Preamble Challenge on Sept 18th

RC Children 1What is the Pennsylvania Preamble Challenge? Perhaps one of the best and most fun civics learning experiences this school year! Students across Pennsylvania are asked to take those all-important 52 words in the Preamble to the Constitution and recite them, turn them into a rap, sing or dance to them, create a video, or a skit. Put their creativity on display!

The Rendell Center wants at least 230 classrooms registered and participating on Monday, September 18, 2017 to mark the 230th milestone anniversary of our Constitution!

Learn more: Visit our friends at The Civics Renewal Network to register your class and download your FREE Preamble Challenge Toolkit

 

 

We the Civics Kids Literacy-Based Lesson Plans

rc-literatureWelcome to the We the Civics Kids teachers’ materials. In celebration of our belief that reading is our First Freedom, we have developed these literacy and civic literacy tools for Kindergarten to 3rd Grade to support educators like you and your civics teaching practices. These materials are designed to build basic civic knowledge and promote engagement, as well as give your students practice in democratic deliberation.

Our annual Citizenship Challenge is geared toward 4th and 5th grades in the Philadelphia area and exemplifies how many of our literacy-based lessons can be used to further engage our young people in civics.

Lesson Plans by Grade

For each grade level, you will find carefully selected literature titles, which can be used as “read alouds” or can be read individually by your students. Each literary selection has a corresponding lesson plan tied to one of the following civics themes:

  • Building Community
  • Rules Rule
  • Choices and Voices
  • Who We Are as American Citizens
  • Leadership
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Conflict and Compromise
  • Kids Roll into Action

For example, during a read aloud and class discussion of Carl the Complainer, students will learn about the importance of becoming active involved change agents in their classrooms, schools, homes and communities. Carl did not get the change he wanted until he realized that he needed to use his responsible voice to address the change, as opposed to complaining about it.

If you have questions about any of the materials, or need further guidance in their implementation, feel free to email us at info@rendellcenter.org.

Kindergarten – Download the following materials:

  • Building Community
  • Rules Rule
  • Choices and Voices #1 and #2
  • Who we are as American Citizens
  • People Matter
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Conflict and Compromise
  • Kids Roll into Action

1st Grade – Download the following materials:

  • Building Community
  • Choices and Voices
  • Who we are as American Citizens
  • People Matter
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Conflict and Compromise
  • Kids Roll into Action

2nd Grade – Download the following materials:

  • Grade 2 Scope and Sequence
  • Building Community
  • Community #1
  • Community #2
  • Rules Rule
  • Choices and Voices
  • Who We are as American Citizens
  • People Matter – Leadership #1
  • People Matter – Leadership #2
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Conflict and Compromise
  • Kids Roll into Action

3rd Grade – Download the following materials:

  • Building Community
  • Rules Rule
  • Choices and Voices
  • Conflict and Compromise #1
  • Conflict and Compromise #2
  • Kids Roll into Action #1
  • Kids Roll into Action #2
  • People Matter: Leadership of a City Council
  • People Matter: Leadership of a Mayor
  • People Matter: Leadership of a Governor
  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Who We Are as Americans – Our Constitution

 

Monthly civics themes for the school year

tcMake civics come alive in the classroom when you introduce a civic theme through children’s literature that is tied to each month’s civic holidays.

Each monthly theme features discussion activities that are designed to bring literature to life. The activities make the civic holidays more meaningful for our youngest citizens by promoting basic civic knowledge, encouraging active citizenship, and strengthening the skill of democratic deliberation.

Visit our list of monthly civics themes for the school year below.

 

Monthly Civics Themes

Each link opens to civics readings and exercises designed to get your classroom engaged in thoughtful civics discussions and activities.

  • September the beginning of school and the anniversary of the beginning of our Constitution.
  • October a month-long celebration of Hispanic Americans and discussing the diversity of our Nation and the on-going need for acceptance.
  • November – a month of action! We vote and we say thank you to the men and women in our military.
  • December we reflect on our rights and responsibilities and celebrate our Bill of Rights!
  • January  we honor Dr. Martin Luther King by becoming active and engaged in our home, school, and community.
  • February celebrate African American History Month and President’s Day. Discuss the struggles we faced as a diverse nation and continue to face for racial equality.
  • March discuss women’s suffrage and the work then and now to achieve gender equality.
  • April we pay our taxes and discuss the history of taxes in our country. We also focus on another great resource—the earth—and what we as citizens can do to preserve it.
  • May we honor all men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for America over many generations.
  • June a summer break month where reading and study can focus on the history of the Stars and Stripes—the flag that serves as the symbol of the United States of America.
  • July a summer break month where we celebrate our independence and stop to think about how each of us can contribute to creating a brighter future for our country.
  • August the final summer break month where every American, young and old, can read about and discuss the importance of having voting rights for all Americans.

 

 

Tools for teaching the American Presidency

kids-guide_prezLooking for a way to teach the American Presidency? You’ve found the right resources here! Our teachers’ tools include literacy-based exercises and materials to support your efforts in the classroom. Download the Presidential Election Teachers’ Tools Information sheet.

Download the following materials and get started today!

Cases on Presidential Power: Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances (Grades 8-12)

This scholarly white paper authored by Francis Graham Lee, Professor of Political Science (Emeritus) from St. Joseph’s University, is designed to give educators a more in-depth view of Executive power and the parameters of this power. Through select cases, such as Korematsu v. United States, Clinton v. City of New York, Rasul v. Bush, and others, teachers can examine the historical facts of the cases and their outcomes. Essential reading for educators looking to teach the Presidency and the power of the office.

A Kid’s Guide to Running for President (PDF) – Grades K-6

Presidential Election S.T.A.R. Screens

Literacy-based Presidential Exercises