September 21, 2018

Wanted: Teachers for Lesson Pilot Now Through July 2018

Citizen U Lesson Pilot

Citizen U

Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress as part of its Teaching with Primary Sources program, the Barat Education Foundation, in collaboration with the DePaul University College of Education and the Constitutional Rights Foundation, has been developing materials that integrate civics with other academic subjects as part of a larger initiative, Citizen U®. Using a series of curated lessons as spark and inspiration, our ultimate goal is to work with educators like you to integrate civic learning across the curriculum for students in grades 3-12, using methodologies such as primary source analysis to help ground our country’s future civic discourse.

The Ask

If this seems like a mission you can support, we’ve initially created eighteen short ELA, math, science, and social studies lessons, all of them:

  • correlated to standards
  • grounded in inquiry and primary sources from the Library of Congress
  • designed to help students develop and activate civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

We’re looking for teachers to field-test a lesson with students and give us feedback by July 20.

To thank you for your feedback, we’re offering a $75 stipend.

Here’s what we need you to do.

  1. Browse the Citizen U lessons in your subject area(s) by clicking the links below.
  2. Choose one lesson to implement for the grade and subject that you teach.
  3. Teach the lesson to students by the end of the school year or in summer school.
  4. Fill out an online survey by Jul. 20, giving us feedback on lesson design and implementation.

Questions? Contact us.

The Lessons

The lessons below are in draft form only, subject to your feedback.  Many are in the form of lesson packets, and come from multiple providers, resulting in some differences in format from lesson to lesson (ultimately we hope to work with a plethora of educators like you in building out full curricula with civics integrated).

English/Language Arts

Working With Others To Create Change
Grades 3-5

Using primary sources, students explore the experiences of Mexican-American farmworkers and how they worked with others to improve conditions, then reflect, in an assignment, on their own ability to work with others to solve problems.

Building Coalitions To Change Society
Grades 6-8

Students explore the experiences of farmworkers, analyze additional sources focused on Dolores Huerta, a leader of their movement, including a poem celebrating her life, and write a poem about a time they worked in a coalition with others to solve a problem.

Inspiring Civic Responsibility
Grades 9-12

Students follow the progress of the United Farm Workers, using primary sources that document conditions at different times to provide context, and write a poem, speech, or letter to the editor about a social movement that inspires or has inspired them.


Using Math To Build Community
Grades 3-5

Using their knowledge of fractions and percentages, students examine data on bullying from the US Department of Health & Human Services and create a campaign for the school community to produce data on the problem in their own school.

Mathematics Civic Action
Grades 6-8

Students define types of bullying, use percentages and graphing to analyze US Health & Human Services data on the issue, then create a poll for the school community to generate findings on the problem in their own school.

Data And Civic Action
Grades 9-12

Students use statistical analysis (graphing, categorization) and critical thinking skills to interpret data on school-related violent deaths, and use knowledge of civic life and government to discuss potential civic engagement on the issue.


Communicating To Belong
Grades 3-5

Students use primary sources to examine the science of communication and its role in building community, explore eletrical communication by creating their own telegraph, and evaluate the role of digital communication in the modern world.

Science Of Empowerment And Civic Action
Grades 6-8

Students learn the connection between the scientific method, democratic rights, and civic action by delving into the history of school safety in our country, school-related violence, and legislative efforts to address this issue.

Civic Environmentalism
Grades 9-12

Students connect environmental science with civics, using primary sources and EPA data to identify our impact on climate, measure their own carbon footprint, and create an action plan to effect change at multiple levels.

Social Studies

Extra! Extra! Journalists And A Free Press
Grades 3-5

Students learn the critical role played by the media in our society via exposure to the First Amendment, primary source material from key journalists throughout our history, and the process of creating their own newspaper.

Suppressing The Press? The Alien & Sedition Acts
Grades 6-8

Students explore press freedom by examining sources related to press censorship, in particular the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798, discuss its ongoing relevance, and create a poster promoting freedom of the press today.

A Free Press In Wartime
Grades 9-12

Students use primary sources, including political cartoons, to analyze press censorship before and after the Sedition Act of 1918,  then compose and send an email letter to the editor to share their views of the importance of press freedom in wartime.


How Can We Work Together?
Grades 3-5

Students learn through historical examples and supporting primary sources the role young people have played in coalition-building to effect social change, then learn how to build coalitions and collaboration themselves.

Find Your Freedom
Grades 3-5

Students analyze primary sources to identify rights and freedoms, review the Bill of Rights, match amendments against the freedoms they found in sources, and propose a new amendment to secure rights and freedoms not already protected.

What Can We Do To Bring About Positive Change?
Grades 6-8

Students deepen their understanding of civic action via primary source-based analysis of student activities initiated by the Columbine shootings, creating an action plan for a current problem they feel particularly passionate about.

Find Your Freedom
Grades 6-8

Students analyze Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms and the Bill of Rights, identify amendments related to two of the Four, and work together in small groups to write an amendment protecting rights not already Constitutionally guaranteed.

We Can Make A Difference
Grades 9-12

This lesson provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of civic commitment by using primary sources to identify characteristics of civic activists and by creating an action plan to address a current problem they feel passionate about.

Going Viral: Four Freedoms
Grades 9-12

Students analyze Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, explore primary sources to judge its impact on our culture at the time, then write their own version, outlining four freedoms they believe Americans should keep front-of-mind today.

Interested? Learn more or complete this quick Google form to register now!

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