Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Three Recommended Resources for Teaching Civics and Government

Yesterday I received an email from a reader who was looking for my recommendation for a few resources for teaching a government or civics course. The following are the recommendations that I made.

iCivics is an excellent source of educational games related to various topics in civics and government. iCivics has steadily grown over the years to now offer twenty-one educational games for students. All of the games require students to take on a decision making role. To succeed in the games students have to apply their understanding of the rules and functions local, state, or Federal government. Some games require an understanding of the U.S. court system and or the Constitution.

Case Maker is a free service designed for middle school social studies teachers and their students. Case Maker uses primary sources from the Library of Congress as the basis of activities in which students have to build a case in response to real civics scenarios. For example, the first cast that I tried was about anger toward immigrants. In that scenario students had to use evidence in the form of primary sources to support the claim that many of those who are angry toward immigrants come from families that were once immigrants themselves.

Let's Talk Politics is an Alexa app designed for reviewing and learning about U.S. government. Let's Talk Politics is an interactive game in which Alexa asks you questions about the U.S. political system and you speak your answers. The app provides explanations of the correct answers after you reply to each question. Unlike typical online games in which students pick a level to play, Let's Talk Politics adjusts the difficulty of t the game in response to how players are answering questions. Watch the following video to see a demonstration of Let's Talk Politics.