Preparing Students for College, Career and CITIZENSHIP: A Guide to Align Civic Education and the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects

This guide provides English-Language Arts teachers with a civic education context for improving literacy skills and also provides social studies teachers with a framework for building literacy competencies needed for civic life.  Lesson activities in each of the grade spans follow a natural progression that build students’ historical knowledge of the foundations of democracy, an understanding of how America’s constitutional principles are reinterpreted over time, and the skills and dispositions needed for effective citizenship. Students are called to actively participate in activities that strengthen reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the context of civic dialogue, debate, persuasion and action.

For example, the “K-2 Reading Standards for Informational Text” call for students to identify key ideas and details, understand how craft and structure of text contribute to comprehension, integrate knowledge and ideas, and comprehend complex text. The Civic Education Connection example prompts teachers to utilize informational text about different Founding Fathers as a context for developing these literacy skills. Discussions about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson begin with a basic understanding of who they were and what they believed in. Students engage in writing, speaking, and listening activities to build content knowledge, develop civic skills and dispositions, and meet Common Core State Standards needed for civic competency.

NCSS logoPublished by the Los Angeles County Office of Education and developed in collaboration with the Trinity County Office of Education and the California Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.  This resource was recommended by the National Council for the Social Studies, an NCLE Stakeholder Organization.

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Common Core and Civic Ed Alignment Guide (pdf)1.02 MB

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