Resource Bank for Civic & Character Education

Updated July 21, 2020



Experiential Civics and Academic Service Learning: Links from Conference



Shared (or mentioned) by Joseph Kahne, PhD

Shared by Panelists (Approaches to Experiential Civics)

Shared by Mary Ellen Daneels


Shared by Jane Lo, PhD


Directory of Nonprofits (mostly local) Prepared to Partner on Experiential Civics* Projects


*In most instances it is up to teachers and students to tie community service to civic learning.

Other Helpful Links Related to Experiential Civics

Reading and Reflection

CIRCLE (2017).  When Civic Skill Development Translates to Broader Youth Development: A Program Profile.

Dill, M. (2008). How to Implement Easy Service Learning Projects in Your Grade School Classroom.  Bright Hub Education.

Education Commission of the States (2019). 50-State Comparison: State Policies for Service-Learning.

Edutopia (2015). Service Learning: Real-Life Applications for Learning.

Edutopia (2019). Building Empathy Through Community Projects.

Sutherland Institute (2020) Muscle Up: Expert Panel discusses new civics and ‘Muscular Activism’ as it relates to Public Ed. 

Visit their Research Insights for more articles about civics education. 

Wolpert-Gawron, H. (2016). What the Heck Is Service Learning? Edutopia.


General and Introductory Resources


Reading and Reflection


Robert Austin (August 2017). “Overview of Civics in the Utah Core Standards for Social Studies,” YouTube video 

Carnegie Corporation of New York (2011). “Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools,”

Peter Levine and Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg (2017). The Republic is (Still) at Risk—and Civics is Part of the Solution. Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University.

National Council for the Social Studies (2017). C3 Framework.

Utah State Board of Education (2016). Utah Core State Standards for Social Studies.

Utah State Board of Education (2018). Social Studies Curriculum and Lesson Plan Toolbox.


Resource Centers and Learning Networks


American Enterprise Institute

Annenberg Classroom

The Bob Graham Center

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools

Center for Civic Education


The Lou Frey Institute

National Council for the Social Studies




Character & Social-Emotional Learning


Reading and Reflection


Jonathan Cohen (2006). Social, Emotional, Ethical, and Academic Education: Creating a Climate for Learning, Participation in Democracy, and Well-Being. Harvard Educational Review, 76(2), 201–237.

V. Clayton (2017). The Psychological Approach to Educating Kids. The Atlantic.

Patty O’Grady, PhD. (2015). 7 Habits of Happy Children. Psychology Today.

Smart Connection. (2018). Collin Kartchner Interview.

Pennsylvania State University. (2018). School Climate and Social and Emotional Learning: The Integration of Two Approaches.

Syvertsen, A. K., Wray-Lake, L., & Metzger, A. (2016). Civic and Character Development: Good Data Starts with Good Measures. CIRCLE.


Resource Centers and Learning Networks

CASEL: Sample-Teaching-Activities-to-Support-Core-Competencies

Character Education (Public Schools of North Carolina)

Morningside Center SEL and Restorative Practices: Classroom Activities



Classroom Instruction I: Foundations of Democracy

Reading and Reflection


ConSource. (n.d.). Give and Take to Create a Constitution (Lesson Plan).

Parker, W. C., & Lo, J. C. (2016). Reinventing the High School Government Course: Rigor, Simulations, and Learning from Text. Democracy and Education, 24(1), 6.


Resource Centers and Learning Networks


Annenberg Classroom

Bill of Rights Institute

Civic Action Project's Constitutional Rights Foundation

DocsTeach's The Constitution

Edsitement (National Endowment for the Humanities)

Foundations of Democracy Series

ICivics: Foundations of Government

National Archives DocsTeach

The Interactive Constitution (also an app)

Classroom Instruction II: Civic Responsibilities & Skills


Reading and Reflection

Kirlin, M. (2003). The Role of Civic Skills in Fostering Youth Civic Engagement.


Resource Centers, Learning Networks, and Apps









Controversial Issues Discussion/Current and Past Events


Reading and Reflection


Barton, K., & Levstik, L. S. (2004). Teaching History for the Common Good.

Better Angels Documentary (2018).

Campbell, D. (2008). Voice in the Classroom: How an Open Classroom Climate Fosters Political Engagement Among Adolescents, Political Behavior, 30(4), 437–454.

Civic Discourse at the Constitutional Convention (Lesson Plan).

Difficult Dialogues and Hot Moments in the Classroom (2017). Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

Episode 61 Civic Education & Bridging the Partisan Divide with Chris Clark.

Hess, D. (2011). Discussions That Drive Democracy. Educational Leadership, 6.

Journell, W. (2014). Teaching Politics in the U.S. History Classroom. The History Teacher, 48, 55–69.

Moodie, D. (n.d.). Current Events Lesson.

Nokes, J. (2019). Teaching History, Learning Citizenship. Teachers College Press.

Spiegler, J. (2014). Teaching about Controversial or Difficult Issues | Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility.



Resource Centers and Learning Networks


The Choices Program (Brown University).

The Civil Debate Wall

Deliberating in a Democracy—Constitutional Rights Foundation.

Facing History and Ourselves

Utah Education Network: Holocaust and Genocide Education

ISideWith: Voting guide for elections, political issues, candidates, and poll data.

Mikva Challenge

The Political Classroom: Resources for Teachers—Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues





News Literacy


Reading and Reflection


Barthel, M. (2018). Can Americans Tell Factual from Opinion Statements in the News? Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project:

Stony Brook Center for News Literacy. Course Pack:

Data Defenders (Grades 4-6). (2018). MediaSmarts:

I Don’t Buy It: Critical Media Literacy in the Fifth Grade. (2016). National Council for the Social Studies:

Newman, N. (2019). Overview and Key Findings of the 2018 Digital News Report.

Part of a Community Online. (2017, September 25). Teaching Tolerance website:

Sensible Consumers. (2017). Teaching Tolerance:

TEDx Talks. (2018). Can flip phones end our social media addiction? | Collin Kartchner | TEDxSaltLakeCity.

The Media Insight Project. (2018, June 11). Americans and the News Media: What they do — and don’t — understand about each other. American Press Institute:

The News Literacy Project. (2014). Connected Classrooms Summer PD: Virtual Learning with the News Literacy Project.

Vanessa Otero. Choose Your News: Bias and Quality in the U.S. Media.



Resource Centers and Learning Networks


Civic Online Reasoning | Stanford History Education Group

NetSafe Utah


News Literacy Project (See Checkology resources, which require a subscription)




School Climate & Community


Reading and Reflection

Cohen, J. School Climate: Engaging the Whole Village, Teaching the Whole Child. The Challenge, 16(4).

Numbers Tell a Story: Using School Climate Data to Drive Student Engagement and Motivation. WestEd:

Scanlan, M., & López, F. (2012). ¡Vamos! How School Leaders Promote Equity and Excellence for Bilingual Students: Educational Administration Quarterly.

Thapa, A., & Guffey, S. (2012). SCHOOL CLIMATE RESEARCH SUMMARY: August 2012. National School Climate Center, 21.

Pennsylvania State University. (2018). School Climate and Social and Emotional Learning: The Integration of Two Approaches.


Resource Centers and Learning Networks


Anti-Defamation League: Anti-Bias Tools & Strategies

Teaching Tolerance: Topics that Shape Student Lives.

Utah Education Network: Supporting Students New to America

Utah Education Network: Equity & Advocacy Parent & Student Toolkit

Simulations of Democratic Processes & Extracurricular Activities​

Reading and Reflection


Beard, D. (2017). Civics and Expanded Learning Opportunities. School’s Out Washington:

Kawashima-Ginsberg, K. (2014). Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville—Portraits of American Teenagers’ Extracurricular Involvement and Implications for Educational Interventions (No. 80). CIRCLE.

Research and Evaluation—We the People. (web page of studies).

Thomas, R. J., & McFarland, D. A. (2010). FEATURED: Extracurricular Activities May Increase Likelihood of Voting.  CIRCLE.


Resource Centers and Learning Networks

4-H Hands-On Learning & Education Programs for Kids

Better Days 2020 Projects

Future Business Leaders of America

Future Educators – Helping America’s Future Teachers

Future Farmers of America

Junior Statesmen of America (Be the People)

Spy Hop in Schools

Utah High School Activities Association Speech & Debate.

Utah Film Center Media Education: For Teachers and Students

Utah History Day – Utah Division of State History

Utah Law Related Education—home of We The People, We The People, Mock Trials, and more.

Utah League of Cities and Towns

Key Club: Service Program for High School Students

National Model United Nations





Student Voice


Reading and Reflection

Alberty, E. (2019). After students describe racism at a Utah high school, advisory committee says ‘Redmen’ mascot should go.  The Salt Lake Tribune

Pace, Judith L. (2016). Cultivating Student Voice and Civic Engagement in Elementary School. Theory and Research in Social Education, 44: 277-282

Mitra, D., Serriere, S., & Stoicovy, D. (2012). The role of leaders in enabling student voice: Management in Education.


Contact us

Tel: 385.355.4332

© 2020 by Policy Catalyst   Proudly created with