Curriculum Planning

5-Minute Film Festival: Remixing Civics

Now is the time to start talking to your students about civic engagement. VideoAmy offers a collection of fun and energetic videos to get kids excited about their voice and our democracy.

September 21, 2012

September 17th was National Constitution Day, and with the elections fast approaching, it's a great time to start conversations with your students about civics. Several reports in the last few years have surfaced concerns that civics education is getting the short end of the stick in the American education system (read "Why Civic Education Needs a Boost" by Suzie Boss and "Let's Bring Civic Education to the Front Burner" by Anne O'Brien for more thoughts on this). And I probably don't need to convince anyone reading this about the value -- no, the absolute necessity -- of teaching young people to become engaged and active citizens.

The great news is that there are lots of tools to help shake off the stodgy reputation that civics has sometimes been saddled with. Forget those tedious textbook definitions -- with a bit of humor (the rabble-rouser's longtime partner!), a few hip videos, some game-based learning, and a couple hands-on projects, you can not only inform your students about civic issues, teach critical thinking, and squeeze in media literacy, you can get them excited about their own potential for making change in the world.

Video Playlist: Remixing Civic Education

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

More Resources for Teaching Civics

Social media has made grassroots activism of all stripes more accessible to anyone with a connection and a cause, so there's never been a better time for kids to be passionate about taking action, speaking up, and standing by their beliefs. Want to build a lesson around the upcoming presidential debate on October 3rd? Hungry for more resources for civics education? Read these two recent Edutopia blogs -- "Use Game-Based Learning to Teach Civics" by Andrew Miller and "Engage Future Voters with Election Projects" by Suzie Boss -- and then check out the links below for more ideas and materials.

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