Curriculum Unit: Civic Education

Civic Education
Project Name: “Got Power?” : The Future Citizen
Age Level: 12-14 (Middle), 15-18 (Secondary)
Length of Unit: 5 Weeks
Subject Areas: Social Studies, English & Language Arts, World Languages, Civics / Government

Unit Description

This unit explores power dynamics in society, in order to empower students to better understand their role as a future citizen in their own country and as well as a global citizen.   Students will explore various entities having power and how they obtained that power. Students will:

Identify the characteristics and practices of good citizens
Evaluate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Advocate for issues in their community
Explain how individuals acquire power through the election process
Reflect on how this unit impacted their understanding of individual civic empowerment
A globalized world requires an engaged globalized citizenry who are fully aware of their agency within their community and beyond.

Week 1 – People Power: What is the role of citizens in society?
Week 2 – Human Rights: How does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights give power to all people?
Week 3 – The Power of Agency: How can I advocate for issues in my community?
Week 4 – Power Source: What role do elections play in my government?
Week 5 – Reflection: How does government impact my life?

Essential Questions

Driving Question: Who has power and how do they get it?

  • What is the role of citizens in society?
  • How does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights give power to all people?
  • How can I advocate for issues in my community?
  • What role do elections play in my government?
  • How does government impact my life?

Examples of Final Outcomes

Service Learning Project – Find a local organization to support,  design and implement a service project. Create an annotated photo exhibition of your service project and a brief reflective statement about the impact this project had on your community and your understanding of good citizenship.

Global Citizen Video –  Using the information provided from your class and global peers on issues concerning citizenship, human rights, current events, and elections, create a video describing a good global citizen. 

Role Play – Imagine you are the Director of Citizen Affairs and your job  is to increase civic engagement in the community.  Create a 3 step intervention plan that would promote citizen participation in the following areas: voting, volunteering, civic education, community outreach and civic leadership (other areas of interest can be included).

Content Standards & Sustainable Development Goals

Content Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Global Competence Standards

  • Recognize and express their own perspective and identify influences on that perspective.
  • Examine others’ perspectives and identify what influenced them.
  • Listen to and communicate effectively with diverse people.
  • Select and use appropriate technology and media to communicate with diverse audiences.
  • Reflect on how effective communication affects understanding and collaboration in an interdependent world.
  • Identify an issue, generate questions and explain its significance.
  • Assess options and plan actions based on evidence and potential for impact.

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Project's Contribution to Others and the Planet

The future citizen project helps students to understand the political systems in which they live and their role within that system. Engagement in the project develops connections to and awareness of global issues and universal human rights. Students learn the characteristics, values, goals and skills of global citizen. Finally, participation in a civic learning project allows opportunities for students to have direct community involvement and practice the civic skills they learned about in class.