Civitas

A Newsletter for the CCS K-12 Social Studies Community

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Special Edition - Constitution Day and Election 2016

Volume 3, Issue 2, Special Edition


Inside this edition:


  • Constitution Day Lessons on the Web
  • Newsela Leveled Text Collections on the American Founding and Election Issues
  • Constitution Games and Interactives
  • Kids Voting DoubleClick Democracy Election and Curriculum Resources
  • INFOhio Spotlight - Points of View Reference Center

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Constitution Day Law

September 17 is Constitution Day. The purpose of Constitution Day is to commemorate the signing of the supreme law of the land in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Federal law requires that all schools receiving federal funds hold an educational program for their students on September 17 of each year. Since September 17 is a Saturday this year, Constitution Day should be recognized on Friday, September 16, 2016 in all schools.


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Constitution Day Lessons on the Web

Constitution Day Collection (Share My Lesson) - A collection of lessons from leading civic education partners. Grades K-12 (Create a free account to download resources)


Why Are 200 Words Meaningful? (Teachers Curriculum Institute) - Students analyze key vocabulary from the Preamble as they discuss the importance of the Constitution in the lives of people today. Grades 4-12


Constitution Day Lessons (Center for Civic Education) - A collection of lessons on the Constitution for all grade levels, K-12.


Constitution Day Lessons (Constitutional Rights Foundation) - A collection of lessons on the Constitution for all grade levels, K-12.


Constitution Day Lesson (iCivics) - Lesson on the functions and powers of each branch of government and checks and balances. Grades 4-12


Seven Ways to Teach the United States Constitution - An article outlining strategies for teaching the Constitution

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Newsela Leveled Text Collection on Founding Documents and Election Issues

Newsela provides news articles, primary sources, and secondary readings adapted for multiple reading levels. Each article includes a writing prompt and text-dependent questions.


Newsela includes several primary sources on the Constitution and American founding era. These sources are compiled into a single text set collection here: https://newsela.com/text-sets/106721/constitution-day


A text set on election issues is also available on Newsela here: https://newsela.com/text-sets/#/tag/election:2016?tag=election:2016


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Constitution Games and Interactives

Have students learn about the Constitution in fun and interactive ways!


Check out the games and interactives below:



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Kid Voting and Election 2016

All CCS students in grades K-12 will have the opportunity to participate in the Kids Voting DoubleClick Democracy election. The ballot for the November general election will be available beginning October 17 and running through Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, 2016. School Library Media Specialists will have the information on how to participate.


To prepare your students to discuss the election and related issues, you can access the Kids Voting USA curriculum through CCS Blackboard. Additional election resources are available on the Kids Voting Central Ohio website: http://www.kidsvotingoh.org.



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Points of View Reference Center

INFOhio Spotlight: Points of View Reference Center and Election 2016

INFOhio is Ohio's PreK-12 digital library. The comprehensive collection of resources are useful for all grade levels. For secondary teachers, the Points of View Reference Center can be especially helpful in teaching about issues that dominate the news in Election 2016.


The Points of View Reference Center is a full-text database that provides students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of today’s most controversial scientific, social, economic, and political issues. Each of the more than 340 topics features the following four main essays:


  • Overview–an objective background description.
  • Point –the arguments supporting one side of the issue.
  • Counterpoint –the arguments supporting the opposing side.
  • Guide to Critical Analysis–questions and tips to helps students analyze the issue in depth.


In addition, the Points of View Reference Center lets students easily search leading political magazines from both sides of the aisle, newspapers, radio and TV news transcripts, primary source documents, and reference books for more information. POV is updated twice a day.


Access the Points of View Reference Center here: https://www.infohio.org/students/er/item/points-of-view. Working from school, you will automatically be logged in. Contact the Social Studies Department for the district username and password for home access.



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Columbus City Schools Social Studies

Mission: Support, build capacity, and empower all members of the teaching and learning community to increase student achievement


Matt Doran, 6-12 Social Studies Coordinator

Lynda Ray, K-5 Social Studies Coordinator

Chris Weatherholtz, K-5 Science/Social Studies Coordinator