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NCSS Theme 10

Civic Ideals and Practices

John Stokes

NCSS Overview

Substrand 1 Civic Skills

Standard 1 Democratic government depends on informed and

engaged citizens who exhibit civic skills and values,
practice civic discourse, vote and participate in elections,
apply inquiry and analysis skills, and take action to solve
problems and shape public policy.
Substrand 2 Civic Values and Principles of Democracy

Standard 2 The civic identity of the United States is shaped by

historical figures, places and events, and by key
foundational documents and other symbolically
important artifacts.
Standard 3 The United States is based on democratic values and
principles that include liberty, individual rights, justice,
equality, the rule of law, limited government, common
good, popular sovereignty, majority rule and minority
Substrand 3 Rights and Responsibilities

Standard 4 Individuals in a republic have rights, duties and

Standard 5 Citizenship and its rights and duties are established by law.

List of Resources (Student games and teacher lesson plans) (Issue guides for democratic deliberation)

Summary of the Theme

The theme Civic Ideals and Practices 4 main points of what the theme is and

what should be covered under the theme. The first main point to be covered

in this theme is that students should understand civic ideals and practices in

order to have full participation in in society and is an essential component of

education for citizenship. With this point students in this theme should be

able to understand how to participate in society and how under this theme

that should be the main focus. With the focus on being an active citizen,

students should be able to identify differences between ideals in practices in

society over time and to compare and contrast these ideas. The second topic

under this theme is that student should understand how to apply civic ideals

by being a part of civic action. Students can do this by by exercising their

right to exercise for democratic freedoms and pursuit of common good.

Students should be able to understand their basic rights as a citizen and how

to apply this into everyday life. The third topic under this theme is students
should be able to answer questions such as what is a balance between rights

and responsibilities, how do citizens get involved and what is the role of a

citizen in the community and nation, to name a few. The fourth major topic in

this theme discusses where this topic should be covered in schools. Students

learn this topic in global studies, history and political science related classes.

Some strengths of this lesson is that it allows students to learn about being a

global citizen, this theme allows students to learn about how other countries

political systems work and to be able to compare the differences across

countries. This theme also teaches students what their rights are as both a

citizen of the United States and a global citizen. This theme is a very

important theme for students to learn as the understanding of the objectives

will allow them to think critically and know their rights and responsibilities in

this country and also gives them ways that they can action.

Some weaknesses of this theme is that it overlaps with other themes.

Although this theme specially mentions learning your rights and

responsibilities of a citizen this may be covered as part of the Individuals,

Groups and Institution and the Power, Authority and Governance Theme.

Another weakness of this theme is it doesnt apply or outline what specific

rights and responsibilities a state should include in their standards and some

states may fall short of implementing the theme and its overall meaning.

This theme also relates and is seen is various Minnesota State Standards for
social studies.
Some standards it relates to include both and Standard is about the bill of rights and making sure students understand the

first 10 amendments, while covers civic issues in the United States

and how it relates to demonstrating respect for others opinions.


Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1: What Responsibilities accompy our rights?

Objective: In this lesson you will discuss some important questions about the
responsibilities of citizens. You must develop your own answers to these questions. We
hope this lesson will help you develop good answers.


Minnesota Academic Standards K-12 Social Studies

Individuals in a republic have rights, duties and responsibilities.

Benchmark: Explain specific protections that the Bill of Rights provides to

individuals and the importance of these 10 amendments to the ratification of
the United States Constitution.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Strengths of this lesson include the ability for students to
learn about all the different rights that are guaranteed to them under the constitution of
the United States. This lesson gives students real world situations that express
Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, right to be treated equally, and the Right to
Vote. I like how this lesson gives students real world examples as by letting them learn
from these examples allow them to see how these rights affect their rights as a citizen
and how they can use them. Some weaknesses of this lesson is that most of the lesson
revolves around student participation and group discussion. With students with many
different skillsets it is hard for students to have a discussion with other students at their
same skill level and may take advance planning. Another weakness is that the
assessment is very basic and allows students to answer the questions without having a
great understanding of the lesson.

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2: Federalism US v. The States

Objective: This lesson with one-half hour video provides an overview of the
workings of federalism in the United States. In this unit, the complex and
changeable relationship between the national and state governments is
explored. By focusing on the conflicts between national and state powers,
the unit develops a deeper understanding of nature of governmental power
in the American system

Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards for Social Studies

The United States is based on democratic values and principles that include
liberty, individual rights, justice, equality, the rule of law, limited
government, common good, popular sovereignty, majority rule and minority

Benchmark: Define and provide examples of foundational ideas of American

government which are embedded in founding era documents: natural rights
philosophy, social contract, civic virtue, popular sovereignty,
constitutionalism, representative democracy, political factions, federalism
and individual rights.

Strengths and Weaknesses: A huge strength of this lesson is that it has a

video component to it to allow visual learners to learn and understand the
lesson and what is being asked of them. This series of videos allows the
student to see how they got the rights they have today and the struggle and
opposition there was to rights from when our first colonists came all the way
to today through this video series. A huge weakness of this lesson is that
there is no formal assessment technique although the teacher could make
one. Another huge weakness of this lesson plan is that students may not
follow along and pay attention during the series of videos and not
understand the lesson.