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According to the National Council for the Social Studies, an effective citizen is able to: Understand and embrace democratic ideals; Accept responsibility for personal, family and community well-being; Understand how individuals, history and traditions impact the world. Understand our nation’s founding documents, civic institutions and political processes; Develop an awareness of issues and events that affect people; Seek information from a variety of sources and perspectives to establish an opinion or solve a problem; Ask appropriate questions in the process of evaluating information; Use effective decision-making skills to solve problems; Collaborate in an effective manner and actively participate in groups. [1] NCSS further recommends that citizenship education happen at every level, be assimilated across the curriculum and that students be given various opportunities to participate in the community and school. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills suggests that Civic Literacy involves: Participating effectively in civic life through knowing how to stay informed and understanding governmental processes; Exercising the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, national and global levels; Understanding the local and global implications of civic decisions. Engage Your Students Students are actively engaged through the use of critical questions, where they are asked to take a position on an issue, support that position with evidence, engage in discussions about it with peers and then revisit to establish personal meaning.  To take it to the next level, students might present their positions to a policy board. The New Academic Content Standards for Social Studies in Ohio include Citizenship Participation and Skills that scaffold across K-12 instruction. Those skills are included under the Civic Participation and Skills topic of the government strand for K-8 and under the Civic Involvement and Civic Participation and Skills topics of the high school American Government course. K-2 Kindergarten 9. Individuals have shared responsibilities toward the achievement of common goals in homes, schools and communities.10. The purpose of rules and authority figures is to provide order, security and safety in the home, school and community.   Grade One 8. Individuals are accountable for their actions.9. Collaboration requires group members to respect the rights and opinions of others. 10. Rules exist in different settings. The principles of fairness should guide rules and the consequences for breaking rules. Grade Two 10. Personal accountability includes making responsible choices, taking responsibility for personal actions and respecting others.11. Groups are accountable for choices they make and actions they take.   3-5   Grade 3 9. Members of local communities have social and political responsibilities.10. Individuals make the community a better place by solving problems in a way that promotes the common good. Grade 4 15. Individuals have a variety of opportunities to participate in and influence their state and national government. Citizens have both rights and responsibilities in Ohio and the United States.16. Civic participation requires individuals to make informed and reasoned decisions by accessing and using information effectively.17. Effective participants in a democratic society engage in compromise. Grade 5 11. Individuals can better understand public issues by gathering and interpreting information from multiple sources. Data can be displayed graphically to effectively and efficiently communicate information.   ORC Resources to Support Instruction #14802 http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/TLRESOURCES/units/Gallagher2004fall/responsiblecitizen.pdf This teacher-developed unit examines the question, “How Can I Be a Responsible Citizen for the Common Good?” It is designed to increase student knowledge and understanding about the concepts, roles, responsibilities, and rights that align with U.S. citizenship through voting, flag etiquette, and service learning. #14797 http://www.beaconlearningcenter.com/Lessons/1448.htm “Citizenship For All” is a lesson that  helps students understand the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of United States citizenship. Students use a graphic organizer to display information about their rights and responsibilities and then apply what they have learned to write a persuasive essay. #15490 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html This US Central Intelligence Agency database provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. It features maps including major world regions, physical and political, standard time zones as well as flags of the world. Another valuable feature is the country comparison pages, which includes presorted lists of data. Students could organize this data to identify and describe various regions within the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.   6-8   Grade 6 9. Different perspectives on a topic can be obtained from a variety of historic and contemporary sources. Sources can be examined for accuracy. Grade 7 16. The ability to understand individual and group perspectives is essential to analyzing historic and contemporary issues. Grade 8 18. Participation in social and civic groups can lead to the attainment of individual and public goals.19. Informed citizens understand how media and communication technology influence public opinion.   ORC Resources to Support Instruction #15751 https://beyondthebubble.stanford.edu/assessments/perspective-slavery This constructed response question from Stanford University’s Beyond the Bubble requires students to examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of a document as evidence by considering the document source. The process modeled with this topic could be used with other sets of documents. #15136 http://www.learner.org/courses/amerhistory/units/4/themes/1.html This instructional unit, Revolutionary Perspectives, provided by Annenburg Media, highlights the relationship between the Enlightenment and the American Revolution. #15693 http://www.k12.wa.us/SocialStudies/Assessments/Elementary/ElemCivics-YouDecide-CBA.pdf In this classroom based assessment recommended for gradefrom Washington state, students are required to make an informed decision on a public issue after researching and discussing different perspectives on this issue. Students must provide specific details and commentary for each stakeholder’s position and explain how it relates to the common good. A local issue could be used.   American Government   Civic Involvement 1. Opportunities for civic engagement with the structures of government are made possible through political and public policy processes. 2. Political parties, interest groups and the media provide opportunities for civic involvement through various means. Civic Participation and Skills 3.  Issues can be analyzed through the critical use of information from public records, surveys, research data and policy positions of aadvocacy groups.4.  The processes of persuasion, compromise, consensus building and negotiation contribute to the resolution of conflicts and differences.             ORC Resources to Support Instruction #14900 http://congress.indiana.edu/e-learning-module-the-importance-civic-participation This e-learning module from the Center on Congress at Indiana University was developed for students as well as the general public. The interactive learning activity is designed to show how important individuals are to the American system of government. http://www.icivics.org/teachers/lesson-plans/students-engage In this lesson students brainstorm a list of local problems and action steps that they might take to solve these problems. After analyzing the concept of problem/solution alignment, students select a problem of their own and create an action plan to solve the problem. #14206 http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/links-to-the-news/24121/republican-democratic-convention-history-1856-2008/ This blog post provides resources about the US Republican and Democratic Party national conventions from 1856-2008. Resources include The Political Graveyard, candidate speeches, video clips as well as party platforms. The information is detailed, but could be adapted for use in the classroom.   The following resources may prove helpful as you plan lessons and activities around citizenship: http://congress.indiana.edu/e-learning-module-the-importance-civic-participation http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/TLRESOURCES/units/Gallagher2004fall/responsiblecitizen.pdf http://www.voicesofyouth.org/ http://pbskids.org/democracy/parentseducators/citizenshipcity.ht…   Also, be sure to check out the following resource collections at the ORC!   Constitution Day http://www.ohiorc.org/bookmark/view_a_folder.aspx?uid=28003&folderID=28227 Bill of Rights/Law Day http://www.ohiorc.org/bookmark/view_a_folder.aspx?uid=28003&folderID=26799   [1]Adapted from NCSS Position Statement Creating Effective Citizens, May 2001

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