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  • Alex Greer
    Alex Greer
    M.S. '12 and Ph.D. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
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    MPA '17 - Graduate's policy analysis and research aims to improve education funding.
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Library of Congress Teaching Civics with Primary Sources Grant Project

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Overview of Lessons

The Library of Congress Teaching Civics with Primary Sources grant project offers lessons and units for grades 9–12 that are aligned to the Delaware civics standards. Each lesson includes at least once primary source from the Library of Congress.

Development of the lessons described here is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.

Civics Standards: One | Two | Four

These materials are viewable/downloadable in either Microsoft Word or Adobe Reader.

Contact Us

Staff from The Democracy Project are available to offer guided practice in the use of the lessons. For more information, contact Fran O'Malley.

Civics Standard One [Government]



Structures of Governmentloc-structures-of-government_sarafaucett.jpg Faucett (POLYTECH High School) Civics Standard One 9-12aStudents will examine and analyze reasons for the structure of government of the United States. They will then role-play as representatives for an assigned interest group and explain the structure of government that would be most effective given the needs, history, culture, values, etc. of their group.<p>​<a target="_blank" href="">1. American Treasures of the Library of Congress – Top Treasures</a></p>
Structures of Government Case Study: Nigerialoc-structures-of-government-nigeria_lisaprueter.gif Prueter (Newark Charter School)Civics Standard One 9-12aStudents will analyze a timeline and thematic maps relating to the ideologies, cultures, values, and history of Nigeria and then recommend the best structure of government for the country. Finally, students will consider if Nigerians have been able to establish a successful government.<p><a href="" target="_blank">1. Nigeria in Maps</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">2. Nigeria, Languages and Dialects in Maps</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">3. Nigeria’s Ethnic Groups in Maps</a>​</p>

Civics Standard Two [Politics]



Liberty and Civility: Rules for Citizens in a Democratic Societyloc-civility-franomalley.jpg O’Malley (Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware) Taylor Domenici (Heritage)Civics Standard Two 4-5bStudents will examine George Washington’s Rules of Civility in preparation for learning how and why citizens in a free society are expected to exercise personal civility. Students then apply what they have learned to examples of incivility that are humorously illustrated in “Ricky Rude” comic strips.<p>​<a target="_blank" href="">1. George Washington’s “Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation”</a></p>
Executive Orders, Acts and Proclamations: A Dynamic Processloc-executive-orders-acts-and-proclamations-a-dynamic-process_scottbacon.jpg Bacon (Mount Pleasant High School)Civics Standard Two 9-12bStudents are introduced to the concept of the dynamic process of government through the use of executive orders, acts and proclamations over time. The big idea of the lesson is that, as the needs and desires of people change over time, Presidents have used their power to try and meet those needs.<p>​<a href="" target="_blank">1. George Washington’s Thanks-giving Proclamation</a>​</p>
Faction and Democracyloc-faction-and-democracy_mikefeldman.jpg Feldman (Smyrna School District)Civics Standard Two 9-12aThe focus of this lesson is on understanding the inevitability of factions in a democracy and the extent to which they affect the competition for power in a democratic system of government. Students will explore three primary source documents to gain an understanding of the challenges factions presented for our founders during the infant stages of American constitutional democracy.<p>​<a href="" target="_blank">1. George Washington’s Farewell Address </a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">2. Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address </a>​</p>
The Formation of Political Partiesloc-formation-political-parties_erinsullivan.jpg Sullivan (Cab Calloway School of the Arts)Civics Standard Two 9-12aStudents will work in small groups to investigate a case study centering around the question “Why do political parties form?” Students will then have an opportunity to compare case studies in search of generalizations.<p>​<a href="" target="_blank">1. “Grand Democratic Free Soil Banner”</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">2. “People's Party Candidates for President and Vice President, 1892” Campaign Poster</a></p><p><a href="" target="_blank">3. “King Andrew the First”  Lithograph</a></p>
“Set in Their Ways” — Why Political Parties Rise and Fallloc-set-in-their-ways_franomalley.jpg O’Malley (Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware)Civics Standard Two 9-12aStudents will engage in a case study of the Progressive or “Bull Moose” Party to explore reasons why political parties emerge and collapse. The lesson focuses on reasons for the demise of political parties.<p>​<a href="" target="_blank">1. Puck Magazine’s “<em>Set in Their Ways</em>”<strong> </strong></a>​</p>
Considering the Need for Political Partiesloc-two-party-system_timhein.jpg Hein (William Penn High School)Civics Standard Two 9-12aStudents will analyze the goals, roles, principles, and purposes of political parties in the United States. They will then examine George Washington’s Farewell Address to consider the President’s views of parties. Finally, students will develop arguments around the question: To what extent are political parties necessary in the United States today?<p>​<a href="" target="_blank">1. George Washington’s Farewell Address </a>​</p>
Who Gets the Vote?loc-who-gets-the-vote_christinagallo.jpg Gallo (Lake Forest School District)Civics Standard Two 9-12aStudents will examine the Constitution to identify what it originally states about the right to vote and then examine primary source documents to understand how the right to vote has been interpreted and expanded over time. Specific areas of focus will be the expansion of the electorate with the addition of the 15th, 19th, and 24th amendments. Students are asked to consider why these changes were necessary and if there are currently other groups that are being excluded from the right to vote.<p>​<a href="" target="_blank">1. United States Constitution, Article V</a>​</p>

Civics Standard Four [Participation]



You Can’t Always Get What You Want (But If You Lobby Sometimes, You Might Find, You Get What You Need)loc-cant-always-get-what-you-want_franomalley.jpg O’Malley (Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware)Civics Standard Four 9-12aThis lesson offers tools and strategies designed to teach students how to lobby effectively so that their chances of influencing public policy increase. The tools and strategies offered here include those used by professional lobbyists. Students will practice using those strategies.<p>​<a target="_blank" href="">1. “Lobbyist Taboo at Capitol” </a></p>

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