Teacher Resources

The following are links to resources and materials that educators and organizations are willing to share to promote student civic literacy.

  • The Fight for the Vote

    Contemporary Americans may take it for granted that women should enjoy an equal right to vote, but for much of our history that was not the case. New Jersey initially allowed women to vote, but rescinded the right in 1807. The following links provide historical background regarding the long struggle to ensure equal access to the vote, regardless of gender. Advanced students may wish to explore the Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (preview) from Rutgers University Press.
  • Media Literacy

    If students are to become the engaged and effective citizens necessary to sustain our democracy, they must first be well-informed. In today’s complicated and partisan Internet and social media environment it is crucial that students become media literate.
  • Teaching the Election in a Highly Partisan Era Workshop

    • The Process Matters document suggests that one way to handle the controversial nature of this election is to help students identify American ideals prior to any instruction about the candidates and issues, and to use these ideals as parameters for classroom discussions and to focus on that which unifies us as a nation.
    • An Ounce of Prevention provides suggestions for addressing controversial issues.
    • The Classroom Activities to Encourage Active Listening discusses methods to establish civil discourse within the classroom by helping students understand and respect opposing viewpoints.
    • How Schools Can Address Fake News looks at the current issue of “fake news”, the history of the problem, and provides web sites and information to help students become more media literate.
  • Elementary and Middle School Resources

    Active and informed citizenship begins in the elementary classroom, and multiple resources exist to assist elementary and middle school teachers. The links below are not a complete list, but rather a starting point for teachers researching lesson plans and materials for their students. It is suggested that prior to any instruction about government, candidates, or the issues, teachers help students identify American ideals based on our nation’s founding documents and symbols. Adherence to these ideals can help establish a civil climate for any subsequent class discussions.

  • Center for Civic Education Lesson Plans

    The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit organization. Their mission is to “promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries.”

    The Center for Civic Education has posted a link to their Foundations of Democracy program, which offers a lesson on “How We Should Choose People for Positions of Authority.”

    It has been adapted for Upper elementary, Middle school, and High School students.

    They also have lessons available by grade on how to be Citizens, not Spectators.

    Finally, they have sample lessons on New Jersey’s history and politics.

  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Election Material

    Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) mission is to:

    1. Instill in our nation’s youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
    2. Educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society.

    The CRF has a lot of election-related material, which can be accessed here.

  • "It’s the Economy!" - Lessons from the Council for Economic Education

    For those who subscribe to the idea “It’s the economy, stupid!”, check out these Council for Economic Education Election Links.

  • Eagleton Institute of Politics

    The Eagleton Institute of Politics explores state and national politics through research, education, and public service, linking the study of politics with its day-to-day practice. The Institute focuses attention on how the American political system works, how it changes, and how it might work better.

  • The iCivics Game

    iCivics exists to engage students in meaningful civic learning. They provide civics teachers well-written, inventive, and free resources that enhance their practice and inspire their classrooms. iCivics’ mission is to ensure every student receives a high-quality civic education, and becomes engaged in – and beyond – the classroom.

  • Vote Smart

    Vote Smart’s mission is to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials to ALL Americans. Take a look at their home page.

  • Gilder Lehrman Institute For American History Electoral College

    Gilder Lehrman Institute For American History Electoral College, Grades 10-12.

  • National Archives Resources

    The National Archives have several resources covering elections: