Unit 1: Civics and Citizenship explores both the rights guaranteed to Americans as well as the attendant responsibilities that come with those rights. Ultimately, the unit culminates with students writing, producing, and sharing a Public Service Announcement that defines, shows, and advocates for civic engagement. The goal of the lesson is that students actively assume the responsibilities of an engaged and thoughtful citizen. The lessons are backwards designed to align with the National Standards for Civics and Government, the Curriculum Standards for Social Studies developed by the NCSS, the Standards for English Language Arts developed by the NCTE and the IRA, and the National Educational Technology Standards developed by the ISTE. The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation utilizes a project based approach to civic education while advocating for the comprehensive exploration of primary sources to meet this objective. We hope that you and your students will also take advantage of the plethora of primary and secondary sources on the web to augment these lessons.
Unit 1 Primary Source Materials
- Quotes from a variety of historical figures
- “Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson
- “Bill of Rights” by James Madison et al.
- The United States “Oath of Allegiance”
- “Citizenship Day Proclamation” by Ronald Reagan
- “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau
- “Eulogy on Henry Clay” by Abraham Lincoln
- “Opening Statement to Foreign Relations Committee” by Condoleezza Rice
- “Statement on the Senate Reception Room” by Senator John F. Kennedy
- “What makes a good citizen?” from American Profile
- Propaganda Posters created by the United States Federal Government
- A selection of Public Service Announcements created in conjunction with the Ad Council