Resources for Teachers

A listing of useful online resources for teaching and thinking about Civic Education

Primary Sources and Content Materials
  • Harry S. Truman Library and Museum -
    A sites for documents, images and related resource from the Harry S. Truman Museum.
  • Making of America -
    Making of America (MOA) is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology.
  • Internment of San Francisco Japanese - Museum of the City of San Francisco -
    Record of Japanese Internment as recorded in The San Francisco News from March 2, 1942 to April 30, 1942. Includes complete newspaper articles from period and links to related resources.
  • American Memory -
    American Memory is an online resource compiled by the Library of Congress National Digital Library Program. With the participation of other libraries and archives, the program provides a gateway to primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. Over one million items from the American Memory historical collections are currently available online. In the coming years, the National Digital Library Program plans to digitize more of the Library's American history collections and make them available to teachers, students, and the general public over the Internet.
  • The Oyez Project - The U.S. Supreme Court Multimedia Database -
    Maintained by Northwestern University, Oyez provides complete records of Supreme Court cases, biographical information on justices and a virtual tour of the Supreme Court building.
  • The Freedom Channel -
    Sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Freedom Channel is a free, nonpartisan site that offers video-on-demand of current political candidates and issue groups. It allows voters to dial up the candidates they are interested in, on the issues they care about, all at times of their own choosing.
  • Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress -
    The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents. The collection is organized into three "General Correspondence" series which include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material. Most items are from the 1850s through Lincoln's presidential years, 1860-65.
  • 19th Century Schoolbooks and the Nietz Collection Bibliography - -
    The resource includes full-texts of thirty schoolbooks from the Nietz Old Textbook Collection, one of several well-known collections of 19th Century schoolbooks in the United States. This resource also includes a searchable bibliography of the Collection's 16,000 volumes.
  • My History is America's History - -
    An initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities designed to encourage users to explore their personal histories. This site provides a place for sharing family stories and for users getting help in their historical discoveries.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Digital Archive - -
    This site provides scholars, teachers and students access to part of the collection of documents, photographs and video recordings found at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York. This resource includes a K-12 learning center and over 10,000 digitized documents relating to the Roosevelt presidency.
  • DoHistory -
    Constructed by the Film Study Center at Harvard University this is an experimental, interactive site where you can explore the process of piecing together the lives of ordinary people in the past. It features a case study based on the research that went into the book and film A Midwife's Tale, which were both based upon the 200 year old diary of midwife/healer Martha Ballard. Although DoHistory is centered on the life of Martha Ballard, you can learn basic skills and techniques for interpreting fragments that survive from any period in history.
  • Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids -
    Ben's Guide to U. S. Government for kids is a service of the US Government Printing Office that provides electronic access to information about U. S. history and government. This site is organized by grade levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and a link for parents and teachers.
  • The Papers of George Washington -
    The site provides access to the University of Virginia's collection, "The Papers of George Washington." It includes letters written to Washington as well as letters and documents written by him.
  • Canadian War Museum -
    An on-line version of the Canadian War museum, this site is dedicated to the education and remembrance of participants in Canadian wars. Along with links to other related sources, this site provides links to the museum's public and educational programs, a "Teacher's Activity Kit," and an interactive story of life in the trenches during World War One.
  • CivNet Archive -
    Part of civnet, an international resource for civic education and civil society, this resource page, links to the full-text of "great documents", including The Magna Carta and The Federalist Papers. This site includes links to teaching resources and links to other sites related to civic education and civic society.
  • International Archive of Civic Documents -
    This resource organizes links by international region (Asia, Africa, United States) and topically (mathematics, women, teaching, war). The linked pages provide a series of connections to specific historical information about the region or topic. For example, among the resources available from the Canadian page you can find "Asian Canadian Resources," "Canadian Heritage," and "Teaching and Learning about Canada." Each page includes a search box from which you can look for specific historical information.
  • Valley of the Shadow -
    This site is a digital history project sponsored by the Virginia Center for Digital History. The Valley of the Shadow Project documents two communities, one Northern and one Southern, through the experience of the American Civil War. The project is a hypermedia archive of thousands of sources for the period before, during, and after the Civil War for Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Those sources include newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, maps, church records, population census, agricultural census, and military records. Students can explore every dimension of the conflict and write their own histories, reconstructing the life stories of women, African Americans, farmers, politicians, soldiers, and families. The project is intended for secondary schools, community colleges, libraries, and universities.
  • Matrix Collection of Humanities Resources and Archives -
    Developed by Matrix - The Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, this resource provides extensive links to online resources in all of the above areas as well as links and tutorials for web publishing and research.
  • Supreme Court Collection -
    Sponsored by the Legal Information Institute, this resource offers Supreme Court opinions under the auspices of Project Hermes, the court's electronic-dissemination project. This archive contains nearly all opinions of the court issued since May of 1990. In addition, the collection includes over 600 of the most important historical decisions of the Court available on CD-ROM and over the Internet.
  • Congress at Work - The Library of Congress Congressional records -
    This is a resource page for the Library of Congress designed to give complete access to congressional legislation. This site can be searched by specific House and Senate Bill numbers or by a word or a phrase. This site also includes a series of related links under the headings Legislation, Congressional Records, and Committee Reports.
  • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) -
    NARA is an independent Federal agency that helps preserve our nation's history by overseeing the management of all Federal records. NARA's mission is to ensure ready access to the essential evidence that documents the rights of American citizens, the actions of Federal officials, and the national experience. This site includes multiple links to NARA's nationwide holdings including: Records Management; Federal Register; Online Exhibit Hall; Digital Classroom; National Historical Publication and Records Commission Grants; and technical information for Archives and Preservation of Professional records.
  • Library of Congress -
    The Library of Congress site offers a searchable, digital collection of resources from the Library of Congress' American historical collections as well as its catalog, text and images from major exhibitions, the THOMAS database of current and historical information on the US Congress, and a Learning Page for K-12 students and teachers. This site includes a National Digital Library Program which offers access to key documents, films, photographs and sound recordings of our nation's history in the American Memory Historical Collections.
  • Time and the Presidency -
    Time and the Presidency is a multimedia site featuring articles and photographs about U. S. Presidents. This site includes links to a Virtual Exhibit of Presidential photos and information, a Presidential Quiz, and a search engine for information on specific U. S. Presidents.
  • The Avalon Project at Yale -
    The Avalon Project includes digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy, and Government from the 18th to 19th centuries. The site includes a wide variety of documents, such as collections related to the American Constitution; Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Documents; the Cold War; Indochina; Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941; and the United States concerning Native Americans and Slavery.


Teaching Resources for Civics
  • The Common Good -
    Sponsored by C-SPAN and Time Warner, this site provides commercial-free coverage of the American political process. This resource features learning opportunities for students through partnerships developed with school administrators and teachers. This site also includes links to Lesson Plans, Teaching By Topics and Classroom resources for instructors, parents and students.
  • Decisions, Decisions Online -
    This site features discussions of current events and issues that might be adopted for classroom use. Each month, Decisions, Decisions showcases a live action video that presents the clashing viewpoints behind a controversial social issue drawn from today's headlines. Some examples of topics include Internet Censorship, Juvenile Crime and Cloning. Students can role-play legislators faced with making decisions about these issues.
  • American Memory Lesson Ideas for Using Primary Sources -
    Lesson Ideas offers strategies and lesson plans developed by education professionals to help integrate primary sources, especially those in American Memory, into the classroom. The main page features lessons grouped by topics in American history like the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the Conservation Movement.
  • Civitas - A Framework for Civic Education -
    This site provides a curriculum framework to revitalize civic education in schools throughout the nation. It sets forth a set of national goals to be achieved in a civic education curriculum, primarily for K-12 public and private schools, but with extended applications in communities and in higher education, specifying the knowledge and skills needed by citizens to perform their roles in American democracy. The intended audience for CIVITAS is educators at state and local levels concerned with the development of civic education curriculums in the schools. Teachers may also find the framework a useful resource and reference book. It is designed to improve textbooks, instructional materials, methods of teaching, assessment and testing, and the preparation of teachers.
  • CivNet Teaching Resources -
    This site features resources for CIVISTA’s goals for civic education. This resource provides links to a comprehensive bibliography of civics information and lesson plans for classroom application. Resources are available in English, Spanish and French.
  • Comparative Lessons for Democracy -
    Comparative Lessons for Democracy is designed to strengthen education for democracy in the United States through the use of curricular materials about the history and government of several Central and Eastern European nations. Analyzing issues and events related to these emerging democracies encourages students in the United States to clarify assumptions and principles upon which democracies rest. The content of the lessons are divided into four major sections including, Historical Connections, Transitions: Comparative Trends, Constitutionalism and Democracy and Citizens' Rights and Civil Society. Comparative Lessons is designed to raise questions, not only about countries in Central and Eastern Europe, but also how these same issues relate to American society and politics. In this manner, students are able to identify the elements common to democracies everywhere and those dimensions that are unique to the United States.
  • Democracies Online -
    In contrast to most listservs that are organized by topics, this site provides instruction for setting up email lists and web archives based on geographic location and democratic principles. This resource outlines step-by-step procedures for individuals to host and moderate participatory discussions.
  • Public Achievement Project -
    This site provides information about Public Achievement, a National project created in 1990 to promote community action for students who learn to become effective citizens while doing real public work. Students develop projects in teams, develop problem-solving strategies and take action. This site links to additional information and resources related to K-12 civics education.
  • Learning Adventures in Citizenship -
    This site offers students the ability to explore the intriguing history of New York, do activities to learn more about the history of their own towns, and participate in their communities. Kids can also submit their work to the Kids' Contest and view featured projects in the Kids' Lab. There are special sections for teachers and parents to learn how to get the most out of this rich resource.
  • Library of Congress Learning and Lesson Ideas -
    The Learning Page is a web site designed to help teachers, students, and life-long learners use the American Memory digital collections from the Library of Congress. The site provides guidance to finding and using items within these primary source collections. This site includes links to Activities and Whats New. In addition, this resource provides teachers with Educators Programs and Lesson Ideas.

State and National Civics and Curriculum Standards
  • Michigan Curriculum Framework -
    The Michigan Curriculum Framework includes standards focused on content, teaching and learning, assessment, and professional development for all fields related to Michigan public education. Standards under development will address teacher preparation programs. This site also links to Toolkits to guide the use of the standards under development. Toolkits in draft form address content discrepancy analysis, interdisciplinary connections, technology across the curriculum, and connecting with the learner. Additional toolkits and resources address specific content areas. These include additional vignettes, sample teaching and learning activities, instructional units, assessment guides, and professional development resources.
  • Michigan Content Standards for Social Studies -
    Sponsored by the Michigan Department of Education, this site outlines standards for Social Studies education in the state. In includes descriptions of specific standards for students to develop historical, geographic, civics and economic standards. Also included are standards for public education in the following areas: stand v. inquiry, public discourse and decision making, and "citizen involvement."
  • National Standards for Civics and Government -
    Sponsord by the Center for Civic Education (Center) this site develops voluntary National Standards for Civics and Government for students in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12). Supported by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education and The Pew Charitable Trusts, this site outlines National Standards for Civic and Government that are intended to help schools develop competent and responsible citizens who possess a reasoned commitment to the fundamental values and principles that are essential to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy.
  • National Standards for Social Studies Teachers -
    Sponsord by the Center for Civic Education (Center) this site develops voluntary National Standards for Civics and Government for students in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12). Supported by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education and The Pew Charitable Trusts, this site outlines National Standards for Civic and Government that are intended to help schools develop competent and responsible citizens who possess a reasoned commitment to the fundamental values and principles that are essential to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy.
  • The Current State of Civic Education -
    This site features a detailed report of the "current state of civic education." It also links to additional school improvement resources and programs.
  • The Role of Civic Education -
    This site was prepared by the Center for Civic Education and includes a report called "The Role Of Civic Education: A Report Of The Task Force On Civic Education." This report came from the Second Annual White House Conference On Character Building For A Democratic, Civil SocietyWashington, D.C., May 19 - 20, 1995.
Civic Education Organizations
  • Social -
    Social is designed to help quickly and easily find the information from the National Council for the Social Studies. Founded in 1921, National Council for the Social Studies has grown to be the largest association in the country devoted solely to social studies education. NCSS engages and supports educators in strengthening and advocating social studies. With members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 69 foreign countries, NCSS serves as an umbrella organization for elementary, secondary, and college teachers of history, geography, economics, political science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, and law-related education. Organized into a network of more than 110 affiliated state, local, and regional councils and associated groups, the NCSS membership represents K-12 classroom teachers, college and university faculty members, curriculum designers and specialists, social studies supervisors, and leaders in the various disciplines that constitute the social studies.
  • Ackerman Resource Links to Civic, Social Studies, and History Education -
    This site provides resourcess for social studies and civic education as part of the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship goal to assume a national leadership role in preparing new generations of American citizens. The center features links focused on providing programs, institutes, activities and resources for educators to implement more powerful citizenship programs and opportunities that result in active student involvement in schools and communities.
  • Center for Civic Education -
    This site provides instructional and professional development resources for civics teachers. It is maintained by the Center for Civic Education a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to American constitutional democracy.
  • Public Achievement Organization -
    The homepage of Public Achievement - a civic education initiative that gives students opportunities to learn about how to become involved citizens through public acts.
Government Agencies and Organizations
  • U.S. House of Representatives Home Page -
    This official Web Site of the U. S. House of Representatives includes various resources to learn about house rules, proceedings, votes, committees, and employment opportunities. The page also includes Educational Links and resource for writing to individual house members.
  • U.S. Senate Home Page -
    This Official Site of the U. S. Senate includes information about Senate activities, committees, and Bills. This resource also provides access to Senate Art, This Week in Senate History, and search capabilities for information about a individual state senators and legislative history.
  • White House Home Page -
    The official Web page of the U. S. White house, this site provides information on the President and Vice President, the Federal Government, histories of the White House and its inhabitants, and a Virtual Library of White House Documents.
  • U.S. Government Agencies Directory -
    This page is a comprehensive resource of U. S. Federal Government agencies indexed by Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches of government. This site also includes links to Independent Boards, Commissions and Committees, and other government agencies.
  • State of Michigan -
    This site is a portal to online resource for the State of Michigan. Included at this site are public policy documents, speeches, and news releases from Governor John Engler's Administration. In addition, you can explore links to Michigan's State Legislature, the Judiciary and every state department, as well as Michigan Compiled Laws and the Michigan Administrative Code. This resource also includes travel, tourism information, and a virtual tour of the State Capitol.
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Civics Online
Creation Date: 2/21/2000
Last Updated: 3/20/2005