Civics and LRE Resources

iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support.

FantasySCOTUS - Supreme Court of the United States
FantasySCOTUS is a Supreme Court fantasy league in which players predict current case outcomes, and it is already a wild hit with law students, attorneys, and judicial chambers across the country. In the high school edition, Harlan selects cases of special interest to students. The students learn about fundamental legal principles, make predictions about these cases, compete and collaborate with other classes nationwide, and write analytical blog posts about them. The site is free for all teachers and students to use, and can be used as a classroom exercise, or in extra-curricular clubs like debate teams or Junior Statesmen of America clubs. FantasySCOTUS is effective for pedagogical purposes because it is real and relevant. Rather than focusing entirely on cases from the past, as all textbooks do, students address current cases that they read about in the news. The study of law is routinely presented as dry, dull, and irrelevant to most people; FantasySCOTUS elaborates on current cases which have immediate impacts on people's lives.

The Harlan Institute
The Harlan Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping high school teachers educate students about the United States Constitution and our legal system. The Harlan Institute's mission is to bring about a stylized law school experience into the high school classroom to ensure that our next generation of leaders have a proper understanding of our most fundamental laws. By utilizing the expertise of leading legal scholars and the interactivity of online games, Harlan will help teachers introduce students to the Constitution, the cases of the United States Supreme Court, and our system of justice. Visit The Harlan Institute's website ( to register your classroom and access free lesson plans on current Supreme Court cases, as well as interactive forums and chat rooms. While visiting the site, teachers may also contact staff at Harlan to discuss the program in more detail and how it can supplement their teaching plans.

Center for Civic Education
Please visit the Center for Civic Education's newly designed web site for excellent Constitution Day lessons categorized by grade level.

C-SPAN Classroom
The U.S. Constitution: Teachable Clips is a virtual U.S. Constitution. It features video clips taken from C-SPAN's Video Library with prominent political figures discussing various parts of the Constitution.

How to search the C-SPAN Video Library 
A short YouTube video produced by "Howcast" to help you search the C-SPAN Video Library

American Institute for History Education
The American Institute for History Education (AIHE) was established to provide engaging historical content and activities for social studies and history teachers to use in their classrooms. AIHE has developed products to dramatically increase students' academic achievements by boosting their comprehension of historical events, personalities and issues. Teaching American History Beyond the Textbook™ with CICERO, and other AIHE tools, improves critical thinking, reading and understanding skills. AIHE specializes in teaching history, professional development for teachers, curriculum design and teaching history products, school grant writing and more.

AIHE TV has videos for history teachers, students and history buffs.

60-Second Civics
60-Second Civics is a daily podcast from the Center for Civic Education that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation's government, the Constitution, and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation's history and government. The show's content is primarily derived from the Center's education for democracy curricula, including We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Project Citizen, Foundations of Democracy, and Elements of Democracy.

Annenberg Classroom
Annenberg Classroom offers a wide array of educational resources under a single umbrella. Educators can find curricula, lesson plans, multimedia programs, and other teaching materials all indexed and in conformance with the educational standards of their state. Search by keyword, by subject area, or by state standard to find one of the richest sets of teaching aids available in a single location.

The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952 - 2008
This is a great resource for teachers! The site has presidential election campaign commercials from 1952-2008 and includes lesson plans.

Justice by the People
These easy-to-use, turnkey lesson plans and student reproducibles are designed to help you teach students about the Sixth and Seventh Amendments to the United States Constitution and the critical importance of the right to trial by jury.

Resources from StreetLaw
New resources from the 2010 Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers
New and updated resources and teaching materials for recently decided Supreme Court cases are now available on the Institute's resource page.

About the Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers
Since it began in 1995, the Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers has brought together over 800 teachers from across the country to convene in Washington, D.C., for six days of educational activities related to teaching about the U.S. Supreme Court. The Institute is co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Teaching about Miranda warnings
During the 2009-10 term, the U.S. Supreme Court considered several cases about Miranda warnings. We have collected a variety of teaching resources, both on the original case of Miranda v. Arizona, and on the issues regarding these warnings over the past 44 years.

Children's Literature with Social Studies Themes
The Delaware Center for Teacher Education, Delaware Social Studies Education Project at the University of Delaware has developed an excellent web resourceillustrating how children's books can be used to teach social studies themes. Books are listed for grades K-2, 3-4 and 5-6 in the categories of History, Geography, Economics and Civics. Civics books are further categorized into Government, Rules and Laws, Values and Principles, Citizen's Rights and Privileges and Participation in Civic Life.

"Proud to Be an American" coloring page with ethnically diverse kids

Orb and Effy Learn about Authority (Elementary level)
A complete lesson on authority from the Orb and Effy Learn about Authority book. In this lesson, young children learn that when people have a right to tell others what to do in certain situations, they are exercising authority. When they do not have that right, they are exercising power without authority. Children learn some ways in which people earn the right to exercise authority. The lesson also illustrates problems that are likely to arise in the absence of effective authority. Children learn how and why authority is useful.
Washington State Courts Educational Resources Page includes information about the state mock trial program, judges in the classroom lesson plans from elementary through high school, We the People, and much more.
A fictional Mock Trial case for high school students. This case examines the rights of a student who appeals his expulsion for a variety of violations of dress and hair codes. A federal district court and an appeal court each rule on opposite sides of the case. Students now have an opportunity to argue before the Supreme Court. Written by Jay Postel.

Law for Kids

Constitution Daily
News stories. Videos. Online games. Lesson plans and activities. The National Constitution Center's new daily blog is dedicated to providing you with resources that will connect your students to current events and the Constitution. From celebrating civic holidays to current legislation and the latest government news, the Civic Learning Blog provides resources that can help you effectively teach current events with a constitutional connection the next time you enter the classroom.

A Career in Law
Life as a Lawyer: It's Not What You See on TV… It's Much More!
This four-page student handout from the Pennsylvania Bar Association talks about what it's really like to be a lawyer or judge, how to become a lawyer or judge, how to prepare for law school and what happens in law school, other legal career options to consider, and places to go for more information.

Preparing for a Career in Law in the 21st Century
by Bryan K. Fair, Thomas E. Skinner Professor of Law, The University of Alabama School of Law

What are my Rights?
High School 9 - 12
Time: Three 1-hour sessions
Author: Leslie Harper Blatteau New Haven, Connecticut
Studying the Constitution can seem less than vital to students who are most interested in issues that directly affect them. This lesson engages students in a study of the First Amendment by using it to explore youth curfews, demonstrating the impact that the law can have on their everyday lives. Using the text of the First Amendment as a starting point, students discuss whether youth curfews are constitutional. They then use a case study to closely examine both sides of the issue, debate the issue with their peers, hypothesize about the possibility of a youth curfew in their own community, and create a blog about the issue.

What Responsibilities Accompany Our Rights?
Teacher's version pdf
Student version pdf

Effectively Using Judges and Lawyers as Community Resources in Your Classroom: A Guide for Teachers pdf

Abraham Lincoln Coloring Pages
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