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From Reflection to Action: A Choosing to Participate Toolkit includes a flexible collection of activities, readings, lessons, and strategies that teachers can use to develop a civic action experience that meets their classroom’s specific curriculum objectives, grade level, and available time.
The resources in this guide are infused with the understanding that effective “action civics” depends not only on providing civic education—grounded in the study of history and literature—that nurtures students’ capacity for reflection and action, but also on supporting these essential practices:
Civic education begins in learner-centered classrooms that value students’ identities.
Civic education must confront bias and develop a sense of the common good.
Civic education must engage with the complexities of history.
Civic education must introduce current events and controversial issues.
This guide also contains sample projects and assignments that illustrate how teachers can structure their Facing History unit to meet the growing requirement for civic action projects in a way that leads to meaningful and long-lasting experiences for students. For more information on planning a civic action project, view our Project Planning Tool.
Explore additional teaching strategies and resources included in the guide.
Students explore the potential negative impact of images through the social media protest #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and develop a decision-making process for choosing imagery to represent controversial events.
Students examine how identity and biases can impact how individuals interpret images and experience the challenge of selecting images to represent news events, particularly connected to sensitive issues.
Students establish a safe space for holding sensitive conversations, before introducing the events surrounding Ferguson, by acknowledging people's complicated feelings about race and creating a classroom contract.
Students explore the role of social media in Ferguson, apply information verification strategies to social media posts, and develop strategies for becoming critical consumers and sharers of social media.
Students evaluate the differences among news accounts about Ferguson, develop strategies for verifying news and information, and understand the challenges facing journalists as they cover complex, fast-moving events.
Help students become informed and effective civic participants in today's digital landscape. This unit is designed to develop students' critical thinking, news literacy, civic engagement, and social-emotional skills and competencies.
Students identify the responsibilities of citizen watchdogs, summarize strategies for combatting confirmation bias and responsibly consuming and sharing news and information, and complete a culminating essay.
Students review the US Department of Justice report, revisit how confirmation bias impacts our understanding of events, and consider how to bridge the gap in understanding that often surrounds events like Ferguson.