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ONLINE RESOURCES:

STRENGTHENING CIVICS EDUCATION

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The following resources are aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. This page will be updated periodically.



NYSED Curriculum, Instruction, and Instructional Technology Team

Participation in Government (Grade 12 core curriculum):  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/partgov.pdf

Additional print resources available from the Publication Sales Desk:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/pub.html 



Law, Youth, and Citizenship Program (LYC) Program
The LYC Program promotes citizenship and law-related education in schools throughout New York State. LYC assists educators in creating opportunities for students to become effective citizens able to participate fully in our democratic society. LYC is a joint program of the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Education Department. http://www.lycny.org

Helpful law-related education/civics links (PDF file)


Brown v. Board
www.brownvboard.net

This website is the result of a project in 2005, sponsored by the New York State Bar Association and minority Bar Associations, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

To encourage study of this important decision, the Law, Youth and Citizenship Program of NYSBA undertook the development of this web site based on the decision, in partnership with the Youth Outreach Committee of the New York State Bar Association and several dedicated consultant teachers, to help bring the case to middle and high school students through dynamic lesson plans incorporating primary documents and the 2005 commemoration testimony. The site provides a wealth of standard-aligned lesson plans and primary source documents for middle and high school levels.


Mock Trial
www.lycny.org

The annual Statewide High School Mock Trial Tournament provides students with hands-on opportunities to further their understanding of our law, court procedures, and our legal system. It is a program of the New York State Bar Association.


National Law Day
www.lawday.org

From the American Bar Association:

"2009 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, regarded by many as our nation’s greatest and most eloquent president. Lincoln, who devoted much of his adult life to the practice of law, was the quintessential American lawyer-president. His background in the law informed both his actions and his oratory.

For Law Day 2009, we encourage efforts nationwide to commemorate Lincoln by exploring this rich and resonant theme – A Legacy of Liberty."


New York State Consortium for Civic Learning
http://www.nyscms.org/

This web site presents a preK-grade 12 civics education scope and sequence for New York State teachers, supervisors, and curriculum developers. This includes the following components: concepts, content understandings, learning objectives, knowledge goals, learning skills, and civic dispositions. This site provides a wealth of ideas and lesson plans for each level, all linked to New York State Learning Standards.


Project Citizen and We the People Programs
www.civiced.org

Sponsored nationally by the Center for Civic Education and in New York State by the Law, Youth, and Citizenship (LYC) Program, these programs are intended to improve knowledge, skills, and civic attitudes in our representative democracy. LYC is the New York State administrator for the Congressionally-funded We the People Program and Project Citizen Program.

The following PDF files align these programs to specific New York State Learning Standards.  These programs were aligned to the 1999 ELA Resource Guide with Core Curriculum, not to the most recent document, the English Language Arts Core Curriculum (2005).

For more information, please contact the LYC at lyc@nysba.org.

Project Citizen

Levels 1 and 2

We the People

Level I (Upper Elementary)

Level II (Middle School)

Level III (High School)


State Court Watch
www.statecourtwatch.org

This website is a resource for teachers and students interested in enhancing social studies curricula by making connections between state case law, famous U.S. Supreme Court cases, and topics covered in U.S. Government and citizenship classes. These connections make real the concepts of federalism and separation of powers that are important components of U.S. government at all levels of instruction.



Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS)
Courtesy of the NYSED Office of Educational Television and Public Broadcasting
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The following information provides access to PBS resources that have a special emphasis on civics education:

PBS Civics Educational Resources

Background

The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) has developed, and continues to develop, a diverse array of educational resources.  This document will specifically address resources for the NYSED Civics Education Toolkit, but note should be taken of the applicability of these resources for other subject areas.

Resource

The primary key to these resources is the PBS homepage, accessible at http://www.pbs.org/.  PBS has endeavored to link virtually all its resources to this site.  The resources available are: lesson plans, offline activity/projects, interactive activity/projects, and videos. 

Use

As this is PBS, information about a local PBS station is interspersed throughout its web pages.  It is suggested, but not required, to first set the page to show the user’s local public television station.  Approximately 2/3 of the way down the left-most column on the initial screen there is a link to “Find another PBS station.”  By clicking on the link and following the directions, the entire resource will reflect the user’s local PBS station.

The right column of the page lists four primary links:

PBS Teachers, the most recent addition, is the optimal tool for finding resources for this civics education toolkit.  Click on the PBS Teachers link.  PBS Teachers (http://www.pbs.org/teachers/) has a log in option on the upper navigation bar.  Logging in is not required but is recommended.

The left column headed STANDARDS BASED RESOURCES is the key to specific resources.  Click on the “Social Studies” link.  The top drop-down asks for a grade range.  Highlight the desired range.  Once a grade range is indicated, click on the subject drop-down.  Depending upon the grade range, there are a number of “Civics” choices; for example: “Civics: Community and Citizenship” and “Civics: The Law.”  Choose a drop down and the index of specific resources is displayed.

The heading indicates subject area, grade level, and topic, the three variables requested by the user.  Following the request confirmation is a count of the total number of resources available and tabs for each of the four types of resources: lesson plans; offline activity/projects; interactive activity/projects; and videos.  The default highlighted tab is lesson plans.

As PBS Teacher is growing and evolving, you will note that the resources vary -- some go into greater detail than others, some have embedded video, and others suggest the purchase of a PBS-produced video.

Getting Started

The Supreme Court:  http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/ 
This television program debuted on PBS in January 2007.  The site includes lesson plans, a discussion guide, and links.  This collection of resources is targeted towards grades 9-12, but aspects may be appropriate for lower grades. There are no costs for using the web site and its resources.

The Democracy Project:  http://pbskids.org/democracy/ 
A web site for grades 3-6.  This is an introduction to the various levels of government (federal, state, and local) and voter participation.  This web site has online activities and lesson plans.  There is no cost to use this site.

Access Islam:  http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/accessislam/lessonplan1.html
For middle school students, an online lesson plan for exploring the First Amendment of the Constitution within the context of Islam in America.  This lesson plan includes three short videos from the broader program Access Islam.  There is no cost to use this site.