Classroom Resources for Civic Engagement

How to Use these Resources

The resources below can help you:

  • Teach the foundations of the American democratic system.
  • Promote voting participation as an essential, non-partisan component of representative governance.
  • Examine the societal issues facing a dynamic, multifaceted society.
  • Strengthen communication, collaboration, consensus, and coalition building across differences
  • Engage students in all stages of planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Provide educational methods and materials to support school social studies standards which place emphasis on civic engagement.
  • Create a network of colleges, universities, and high schools.
  • Promote socially just education for all students, with emphasis on participation of students from areas that are too often economically disinvested and racially segregated..
  • Produce a statewide Youth Issues Agenda through consensus building and voting activities

Resources by Topic

Tools and resources about voting history, laws, suppression, & more.

Election Day is coming, are you prepared to vote?

Through this online game from iCivics students will discover what it takes to become an informed voter — from knowing where they stand on important issues to uncovering what they need to know about candidates. Cast Your Vote allows your students to:

  • Learn about the importance of local elections.
  • Watch candidates discuss important issues in Town Hall debates.
  • Identify issues that matter to them and rate candidates’ stances.
  • Collect their own notes on candidates within an in-game app.

Click here to view a slideshow containing a set of conceptual frameworks for understanding the history of racism in the United States. 


This resource comes from our friends at CIRCLE!

Click here to view a timeline of the history of voting rights in the United States. It includes brief narratives and images to help explain our history.

This resource comes from our friends at the rom Carnegie Corporation.

Looking to learn more about voter suppression? Check out this great resource from the ACLU.

Free our lesson plans for free below!


You can download the Teaching about Elections lesson plan here.


You can also download the

Youth & Voting Rights lesson plan here.




Tools to help students register to vote, check their registration status, work at the polls, & more.

Are your students unsure if they’re eligible to vote in Michigan? They can find the answer here!

If they’re ready to register to vote, they can follow this link to register online or by mail. The site also has FAQs about voting in Michigan.

Students can visit 411 Vote to:

  • Verify their registration status.
  • Find what’s on their ballot.
  • Find answers to common questions about voting.

Students can visit When We All Vote to:

  • Pledge to be a Voter.
  • Register to Vote.
  • Check their registration status.
  • Request a ballot.

Students can apply to be a poll worker here throughout different parts of Michigan or apply to be a poll worker in Detroit here.

A reference page with information on voting, polling, and opportunities for engagement and leadership. Check out the opportunities through M-DICE here.

Local chapters of The League of Women Voters are a resource for teachers to contact for classroom speakers, voter registration, and more.

You can find the contact information for the Lansing LWV here.

You can find the contact information for the Ann Arbor LWV here.

Tools for identity work, social justice work, stronger than hate, models of conflict resolution, and more.

Check out this Peace Building Toolkit for Educators from the United States Institute for Peace.

Tools for improving media literacy, understanding bias in journalism, identifying and evaluating primary vs. secondary source documents.

Share this interactive tool with your students to help them understand and evaluate the bias and reliability of different news sources.

These resources are intended to help students understand where to go to get their needs met (local, county, state,  & national levels explained).

How can young people change the world? How can we use digital media effectively and safely when we “choose to participate”?


This resource is a unit of lessons from the Democratic Knowledge Project & Harvard University to help you ask 10 Questions to students to inspire work and critical thinking in civic engagement. 

Do It Yourself
Resources for Teachers

Teacher-Led Activities for Students

Needs Identification Lesson

Check out this NDR model to help students with needs identification and more from our partners.

Engaging Youth in Elections Free Workshop

Sponsored by the National Education Association and the Michigan Council for the Social Studies, this workshop is free for educators looking for elections lessons and professional development.

Common Ground for Action

The Common Ground for Action (CGA) online forums allow you to exchange views with others about important issues facing the country.

The Project Citizen Curriculum

The Project Citizen Curriculum is anchored in student voice, public policy knowledge, and advocacy. Students work collaboratively to identity issues that matter to them and how to organize for meaningful positive community change.

Project Citizen is divided into four components with civic lessons and reflection integrated throughout the project.  Each area of study requires collaboration, consensus, and situational awareness. Presentation components include:

  • Identifying problems of concern to community, students, and public policy. Explaining a problem/issue of importance.
  • Examining possible solutions and alternative policy options.
  • Proposing public policy action.
  • Developing a public policy action plan.

This foundation provides excellent foundation to become change agents.

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