Civics for All

Facing History content to support the New York City Curriculum Guide

This collection features all the Facing History resources recommended in the New York Department of Education’s Civics for All curriculum. Resources are organized according to the grade bands and themes in the Civics for All table of contents. Learn more about this partnership.

Resources for Grades 6–8

Resources for Grades 9–12

Grades 6–8

Foundations of American Government

  • Lesson: Defining Democracy
    Students brainstorm different definitions of democracy and consider democracy's relationship to their own communities and cultures.
  • Lesson: What is an Idealist?
    Students learn about idealism through the life and accomplishments of US statesman and activist Sargent Shriver. They create a “recipe for idealism,” identifying the factors that go into making someone an idealist and considering the relative importance of each of these factors.

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Lesson: The Challenge of Confirmation Bias
    Students will define confirmation bias and examine why people sometimes maintain their beliefs in the face of information that contradicts or challenges their understanding or assumptions.
  • Video: Defining Confirmation Bias
    Reporters and media professionals define the term “confirmation bias,” and discuss its effect on how people approach and evaluate news and other information.
  • Reading: Online Civic Participation
    Civic participation increasingly takes place online. Share with students political theorist Danielle Allen's ten questions to ask before choosing to take action online.
  • Reading: The Voices of Millions
    Learn about the advent of online activism and consider the internet's impact on civic participation.
  • Unit: Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age
    Help students become informed and effective civic participants in today's digital landscape. This unit is design to develop students' critical thinking, news literacy, civic engagement, and social-emotional skills and competencies.
  • Lesson: Free Press Makes Democracy Work
    Students explore the relationship between a free press and responsible citizenship by listening to interviews with journalists from the United States and South Africa.
  • Video: The Role and Challenges of a Free Press
    Reporters and media professionals discuss the functions and importance of a free press in a democracy.
  • Blog: Today's News, Tomorrow's History: Fake News in the Digital Media Landscape
    Resources to help students practice looking for the sources of news and reading like fact checkers.

Role of the Individual

Power and Politics

  • Lesson: Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations
    By acknowledging people's complicated feelings about race and creating a classroom contract, teachers and students can establish a safe space for holding sensitive conversations before introducing the events surrounding Ferguson.

Active Engagement

Grades 9–12

Foundations of American Government

  • Reading: We the People in the United States
    Learn how the US Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law has been questioned throughout US history in debates over issues such as women's right to vote and birthright citizenship.
  • Reading: What is a Nation?
    Consider the idea of what makes a nation using the opinions of philosophers, reporters, and the general public.
  • Lesson: Defining Democracy
    Students brainstorm different definitions of democracy and consider democracy's relationship to their own communities and cultures.

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Chapter: The Individual and Society
    How does our society shape the way we define ourselves and others? Explore some of the dilemmas people experience when others perceive them differently than they define themselves using the readings from a chapter in our resource, Holocaust and Human Behavior.
  • Blog: Choosing to Participate in a Digital World
    With digital tools increasingly being used in participatory practices, the Youth and Participatory Politics Action Frame can serve as a model, guiding young people to reflect on the moral and ethical choices they face when choosing to participate.

Role of the Individual

  • Reading: We the People in the United States
    Learn how the US Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law has been questioned throughout US history in debates over issues such as women's right to vote and birthright citizenship.
  • Lesson: Citizen Power Makes Democracy Work
    Students explore citizenship, power, and responsibility using the work of civic entrepreneur Eric Liu.
  • Collection: What Makes Democracy Work?
    Use this collection of lessons, podcasts and blog posts to teach your students about the fundamentals of democracy and the importance of engaged citizenship.

Power and Politics

  • Teaching Idea: Voting Rights and the Midterms
    Use this teaching idea to helps students explore the expansion and constriction of voting rights throughout US history.
  • Lesson: The Challenge of Confirmation Bias
    Students define confirmation bias and examine why people sometimes maintain their beliefs in the face of information that contradicts their understanding.
  • Blog: Citizenship and the U.S. Census
    Resources to help students examine how the questions about citizenship might affect the return rate of the 2020 US census.

Active Engagement

  • Downloadable Publication: Fostering Civil Discourse
    This guide provides strategies to help you navigate the challenging times and support your students to develop effective skills for civic participation. A login is required to download this publication.
  • Unit: Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age
    Help students become informed and effective civic participants in today's digital landscape. This unit is design to develop students' critical thinking, news literacy, civic engagement, and social-emotional skills and competencies.
  • Blog: Making Sense of Today's Political Tensions
    A collection of five brief readings, poems, and films that invite students to connect and to reflect on civic tensions and divisions through the lens of the theme “us and them”.

Want more teaching tips and strategies to address current events with your students?

Visit our Current Events page to see our latest teaching ideas and strategies for connecting breaking news stories to your curriculum.

About the Partnership

NYC DOE Civics for All Logo.Civics for All, an initiative launched in Spring 2018 by the NYC Department of Education, provides resources, programming, and professional learning to all NYC schools. Civic education is an essential part of every student’s core academic program. This initiative focuses on education models that are interactive, project-based, and relevant to students’ lives.

 

Logo with tagline: People make choices, choices make history.Facing History & Ourselves is a professional learning organization dedicated to fostering empathy and reflection in young people, improving students’ academic performance, reinvigorating teachers, and building safe and inclusive schools.

Through rigorous historical analysis combined with the study of human behavior, Facing History’s approach to teaching history and humanities heightens students’ understanding of racism, religious intolerance, and prejudice; increases students’ ability to relate history to their own lives; and promotes greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities in a democracy.

We offer both educator resources and professional development opportunities, online and in person. Contact us at [email protected] for additional training and support.

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