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This lesson plan helps students understand what civic engagement is, its vital role in democratic societies, and the ways in which ordinary people can take part in civic life.

Day One

Students define civic engagement, discuss its vital role in a democracy, and consider a wide variety of actions and behaviors that can count as civic engagement. They then work in small groups to research one American whose civic engagement has had an effect on democracy in the United States.

Day Two

Students take turns presenting their case studies of civically engaged Americans then watch two short videos profiling civically engaged students. For homework, they compose a written reflection that explores the way(s) in which they themselves might become more civically active.

Extension Activities

Use these extension activities to extend the lesson and reinforce understanding.

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