iCivics in the Classroom and at Home
iCivics (formerly Our Courts) is a supplemental resource for educators designed to augment existing classroom curriculum for elementary through high school students.In order to align with the core standards in each state, iCivics is curated by themes such as the Foundations of Government, Politics and Public Policy, and International Affairs.The curriculum units and individual resources are designed to build on each other and are sequenced; and, the components of each curriculum may be interchanged or mixed and matched as necessary (iCivics.org, 2015). iCivics was designed for use in the classroom but is a great resource for parents to use at home!
What’s so great about iCivics? We’re glad you asked! iCivics is a powerful and innovative tool that taps into the native technology skills many students develop at an early age. Research studies have shown that iCivics can be used to increase civics subject-knowledge with the ultimate goal of creating engaged citizens. Imagine more students who vote, volunteer, and interact with their elected officials! Wow!
The 18 curriculum units are designed around video games that can be accessed online at any time for free at http://www.iCivics.org by both teachers, parents and students. Curriculum units include individual teacher guides that have student worksheets, presentations, online games, and a host of other resources built into the units.
Ultimately, the effectiveness of iCivics relies on the teaching methods and tools used by the educator. While, iCivics can stand on its own it is designed to supplement existing curriculum. It is perfectly suited to prepare students for a trip to a Presidential Library and Museum!
iCivics and Presidential Libraries and Museums
Field trips can be fun for everyone involved: the educators, chaperones, parents and especially the students! Presidential Libraries and Museums serve as repositories of federal records related to the administration of each President beginning with Herbert Hoover. Presidential museums tackle issues such as foreign policy and international diplomacy, effective leadership, and the foundations of government. Each presidential library is a snap shot in history of the Executive Office of President for a specific time period. It is the perfect place for students to apply what they learn online in-person and in action. Many Presidential museums have interactive components that allow visitors to campaign for office, role-play as government officials, and make important policy decisions in real time.
The iCivics curriculum along with primary source documents from the National Archives may be used to quickly prepare students for trips to Presidential Libraries and Museums. When visiting the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, we recommend exploring the below curriculum units on our website and on iCivics to help prepare for your trip:
Permanent Exhibit of the Museum
- iCivics: International Influence – A Cold War Case Study
- Reagan Library: Berlin Wall Worksheet
- Reagan Library: Museum Activities
The Situation Room Experience
- iCivics: The Role of the Media – What is the Media? What does it do?
Ronald Reagan, The Great Communicator
- iCivics: Korematsu v. United States – Describe Ronald Reagan’s national apology to those interred during WWII
- Reagan Library: The Great Communicator Files
The National Archives and Records Administration presents a National Conversation on Immigration: Barriers and Access in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California, on November 18-19, 2016. For more information, visit https://www.archivesfoundation.org/amendingamerica/conversations/immigration/