- Documents, Worksheets and Handouts
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Use these civics and government worksheets for kids to get a full picture of how the United States's rules were formed and how they are implemented today.
Links to the Ohio Constitution, the laws of Ohio, election statistics, and municipal and federal rosters of elected officials. Includes voter turnout records stretching back to 1940, proposed constitutional ammendments from 1912 to the present day, and statewide issue history from 1998 to present.
Ohio was admitted as a state on March 1, 1803, becoming the 17th state in the USA! "Ohio" derives from the Iroquois Indian word meaning "good river" or "large river." This site offers lists of state facts and printable handouts about Ohio and the United States such as printable map quizzes, "label me" Ohio map worksheet, presidential birthplaces in Ohio, and more!
A database provided by the Ohio Historical Society. Includes the Ohio History Connection's library, archives and museum databases (books, serials, pamphlets, maps and newspapers); the Ohio History Connection State Archives (manuscript, and photograph collections); and over 140,000 records from the library (archaeology, history, and natural history collections). More than 20,000 records include images.
"We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution." PDF of the state constitution from the Secretary of State’s office.
Government in Action: A Content Manual for Teachers with Classroom Applications by Dr. David Naylor and Dr. Bruce Smith of the University of Cincinnati. Content of the manual includes the nature of government, our federal System, Ohio’s history and Constitution, the three branches of Ohio government, and more.
Provided by the Ohio State Bar Foundation, Constitution Classroom provides teachers with useful tools to teach the U.S. Constitution, including updated case law, lesson plans, power points, and lawyer assistance. In addition, lawyers are available as resource speakers in the classroom!
In Partnership with the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, the Divided Community Project has published the new guide, Speaking Out to Strengthen the Guardrails of Democracy. Strengthening democracy requires a multi-pronged approach. This guide focuses on one prong – “speaking out” – as a strategy for strengthening democracy.
Chief Justice Moyer Legacy Fund Civility Project
Chief Justice Moyer Legacy Fund - Middle School Civility Project
These lessons and activities are designed to help students to gain knowledge and skills to start a Service Learning Project in their school or community. Students will document research, guest speaker notes, and field trip notes. Students/classes that use these lessons are strongly encouraged to utilize OCLRE's Youth For Justice Program to showcase the work they have done to benefit the community. Support resources are included where appropriate and further references are also given as well.
Civility in Elections: A Three Lesson Plan Series
This publication was funded by the Ohio Civility Consortium and Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer Legacy Committee in preparation for the March 2016 "Text, Talk, Civility Matters." The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Civility Consortium, and no endorsement of these views should be inferred.
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Office of the Attorney General, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the ACLU of Ohio Foundation. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors, and no endorsement of these views should be inferred.
For questions regarding these lesson plans, please contact Ryan Suskey at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Civics Renewal Network is a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the U.S. by increasing the quality of civics education in our nation's schools and by improving accessibility to high-quality, no-cost learning materials. On the Civics Renewal Network site, teachers can find the best resources of these organizations, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy.
These lesson plans, provided by the American Constitution Society, exist to help teachers teach individual amendments of the Bill of Rights and are separated by elementary, middle, and high school lesson plans for the fourth, sixth, and first amendments.
The Creative Learning Factory offers programming uniquely suited for professionals, from individual teachers and museum teams looking to expand their knowledge, all the way to administrators interested in offering district and museum-wide professional development for their staff. Through webinars, interactive video conferencing and face-to-face workshops, the Creative Learning Factory provides professional development solutions across the humanities, featuring creative learning activities and more.
This lesson plan, provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures, provides an introductory framework of the most basic practices of democracy in the United States with a focus on compromise in legislation, and is meant to be taught over three or four 45-minute classes.
The iCivics project is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. The project was developed by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to provide students with the information and tools they need for civic participation, and provide better materials and support for civics teachers.
The Capitol Square Foundation leads this joint effort with The Ohio State University John Glenn College of Public Affairs and iCivics to create an innovative resource for Ohio teachers and students. This partnership was established to create a web-based, interactive citizenship curriculum that focuses on Ohio civics education.
Lesson plans and games to help teach the Constitution and about trials and juries put together by “Justice by the People” – an education program sponsored by the Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
This resource is a compilation of lesson plans, games, and information to help you teach the Boston Tea Party to your students, and also how to connect it to modern day protests such as Occupy Wall Street, Immigration Reform, and Marriage Equality.
From the Library of Congress, this online resource enables educators to integrate primary sources into their classrooms by creating customized lesson plans based on documents and artifacts from the Library’s extensive collections. Applicable across grade levels and content areas, this project also allows educators to search the TPS database for content-rich activities.
Bring history to life for your students with DocsTeach! Use primary resources to teach about history and governement: build your own interactive activities, download thousands of primary documents, and create customized tools for teaching with primary documents in the classroom. Activities range from sequencing, making connections, seeing the big picture, weighing evidence and more.
The Ohio Resource Center enhances teaching and learning by promoting standards-based best practices in mathematics, science, English/language arts, and social studies. ORC serves as a trusted source of easily accesible, peer-reviewed, high quality, and effective resources.
This lesson plan, provided by the Ohio Department of Education, will allow students to investigate the Ohio Constitution. Includes cooperative learning activities: a role play, research and a vocabulary game. Using the Ohio Constitution as an example, students will be able to explain how a constitution provides a framework for government, limits the power of government and defines the authority of elected officials.
A virtual K-12 library that transforms teaching and learning by connecting education resources with the power of information technology. Information is broken down by grade level and subject on the user guide page. A school library log-in name and password is needed to access this site.
Most helpful INFOhio links for law and government teachers:
Our Ohio: Profiles in Government is a public affairs video series that profiles offices in state, federal, and local government and includes interviews with current officeholders and staff. It is available free to schools, is supported by positive teacher testimony, and is a particularly helpful resource for preparing for Ohio’s fourth grade proficiency test
Interactive games to reinforce knowledge about such Ohio symbols as the state flower, state bird, state motto, and more! Learning about your state's symbols is a rite of passage for all upper elementary kids. Remembering your state flower, your state bird, your state tree, your state motto and even nickname can be difficult, but learning with online games can make it much easier and much more fun!
A new online textbook with teaching tools, lesson plans, student activities, assessment tools, videos, primary documents, and an interactive map to support 4th and 8th grade history teachers, prepared by the Ohio Historical Society.
Produced by the Center for Civic Education, 60-Second Civics is a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution, and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history and government.
This website provides several quizzes to test your students’ knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, as well as a few relating to the founding fathers. There is also a link on the side of the page to bulk order pocket-sized constitutions.
Democracy Class is a fun 45-minute lesson program that uses video, a discussion and a mock election exercise to equip young people with the skills they need to navigate the elections process and participate as active citizens. Rock the Vote launched Democracy Class with the vision of engaging young Americans in elections through a high school civics education program.
This website run by the federal government has poster, video and quiz/game resources grouped by grades K-5 and 6-8 for learning about the presidents, our government, and how laws are made. Click the “Teachers” tab at the top, and then the “government” link to find specific resources about the U.S. Census, citizenship, state legislatures, and voter registration among other topics.
Available free as an iPad app and on the Web, “Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act of 1964” is a game-based interactive learning module from the IU Center on Congress that explores the relationship between the civil rights movement and Congress’s passage of civil rights legislation.
Don’t just learn civics - play civics! Run for president. Pass new laws. Argue real cases. Students can play games including Do I have a right?, Branches of Power, Cast Your Vote, Argument Wars, Activate, and Supreme Decision.
This map from CIRCLE, The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, features voting and population data on young people (age 18-29) and older adults in each congressional district, plus statistics from the latest midterm and presidential elections, data on economic, social, and demographic indicators, and more. Visit the CIRCLE website for more maps and voting data!
OSBA “Going to Court” Video
The Ohio State Bar Association produced the following video, which follows an animated character who explores the third branch of government and some of the differences between the state and federal court systems. The video is also available on the OSBA YouTube channel and is an appropriate teaching resource for secondary students.
Closed since 2019, the Newseum's 250,000-square-foot museum in Washington, D.C. was dedicated to the news and offered visitors a state-of-the-art experience that blended news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum's innovative digital classroom NewseumED features interactive timelines, archival videos and downloadable historic front pages with cross-disciplinary lesson plans for middle, high school and college teachers and students.
The Ohio Channel provides unedited, commentary-free coverage of Ohio Statehouse and Supreme Court of Ohio activities to give students an unbiased perspective on government activities. Students can watch live streams of floor sessions in the Ohio House and Senate and oral arguments in the Supreme Court. The most helpful links for law and government teachers from The Ohio Channel are the searchable video library and the live feed.
The Redistricting Game allows your students to get hands-on experience drawing district lines within towns and cities and learn through practice about gerrymandering and equality in representative government.
The Ohio Statehouse, located in Columbus, Ohio, houses the Ohio General Assembly and the ceremonial offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and Auditor. Completed in 1861, the building is one of America's finest examples of Greek Revival architecture and is one of the oldest working statehouses in the United States. The Statehouse website includes virtual tours, an online museum collection, details on state governors, county flags, and much more!
The OSBF has put together videos and resource materials which will help to
prepare youth when they become involved with the legal system, engage caregivers and facilitators in best practices and protect the rights and responsibilities of all during their “day in court.”
O.P.E.N. Court Resource Guide
The mission of the ACLU of Ohio is to aid in maintaining and extending constitutional and other fundamental rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities, and to take all legitimate action in furtherance of that object without political partisanship. It engages in education and litigation, grassroots organizing and lobbying activities to promote civil liberties.
Introducing a free new educational tool for Ohio government classes – a series of five new videos on topics including state public policy and citizen engagement. The videos were produced by the Attorney General's office with the help of current and former state officeholders. The topics for the videos were identified by a panel of Ohio high school teachers and align with state standards.
Discover Chronicling America, the Library of Congress’s free digital newspaper database. Access millions of American newspaper pages, including 300,000 Ohio pages. Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.
The home of Los Angelos County's Mock Trial program, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) seeks to instill a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights and to educate young people to become active and responsible participants in society. The CRF's website offers free online lesson plans, textbooks and materials for purchase, CRF educational websites on immigration, public policy, religious freedom and much more, and links to additional online teacher resources.
Court News Ohio is a service of the Office of Public Information of the Supreme Court of Ohio - an exclusive source for legal news and case information in Ohio, it is the news bureau of the Ohio Judicial Branch. Watch and download archived Supreme Court Cases, previews of upcoming cases, features on court programs, profiles of judges and court officials, and other news and information.
“Inspire citizenship and develop leadership” is the mission of the Glenn College. The school prepares professionals for public service, challenges our students and the general public to be involved in the civic life of their communities. In addition, the Glenn College provides applied research that directly benefits the citizens of Ohio and the nation.
Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger's "Justice Judy" blog offers simple, straightforward explanations of judicial concepts and processes, as well as discussions about current developments in the legal profession and the law. Teachers and students can interact and post questions for Justice Lanzinger, herself a former teacher.
Justice Teaching is an initiative of Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis; the ultimate goal of this program is to pair a legal professional with every elementary, middle, and high school in the state of Florida. The website offers legal education games, lesson plans and classroom activities for elementary, middle school and high school.
Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is a place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools. Order free Learning for Justice film kits, classroom lessons, access professional development materials and more.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill. Their mission is to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures, promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures, and ensure state legislatures a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system. The Research section of the NCSL website offers extensive info and details about the state and federal legislative system, voting, and much more.
Every year in September there is a National Voter Registration Day. It’s become a national holiday of sorts, with voter registration events in communities across the country. The website offers lots of materials to celebrate the day, including tool kits and links to celebrations around the country. The League of Women Voters of Ohio also offers assistance with coordinating a school National Voter Registration Day event.
The Ohio Council for the Social Studies advocates for the vital role of social studies and assists educators through professional development for the delivery of effective and innovative instruction. The website offers advocacy and membership details in addition to publications, legislative updates, teacher resources, free Ebooks, online professional development, and more.
The State of Ohio's website offers portals to employment information, tax forms, voter information, state agencies and online governement services, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the state education system, the Ohio State budget, Constitution, laws and legislature, State, city and county government sites, and much more, plus Ohio facts and history, sites for kids, and activity and coloring books.
The Ohio Secretary of State website offers detailed voter and election information, leglislation and ballot issues, redistricting information, campaign finance details, and much more, plus Profile Ohio: an interactive overview of the people, places and events that make Ohio unique, complete with an interactive quiz.
Tens of thousands of school children visit the Statehouse every year. A Statehouse field trip brings lesson plans to life on such subjects as history, civics, architecture, and more. The Ohio Statehouse Museum Education Center provides guided tours geared to a school group's grade level and curriculum.
Built in 1933, the Thomas J. Moyer Judicial Center was restored to its original glory and dedicated as the new home of the Supreme Court of Ohio in 2004. A Visitor Education Center features interactive exhibits, graphics and video clips, and murals, plaques, inscriptions and symbols throughout the Judicial Center tell the story of the people who built Ohio. Staff and volunteer guides engage students, leading activities and answering questions. Pre- and post-tour activities: the Educator's Briefcase and Extra Credit Classroom study of a Supreme court of Ohio Case enhance the visit's impact.
Street Law is a nonprofit organization that creates classroom and community programs that teach people about law, democracy, and human rights worldwide. Street Law's online resource library has compiled hundreds of teaching activities and methods, case summaries, mock trials, and articles—many of which are free—and organized them by topic, audience, and type. Street Law publications and sample lesson plans are also available on the website.
The Avalon Project of the Yale Law School Lilian Goldman Law Library is an online archive of primary documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. The digital documents encompass texts from ancient to modern times and contain links to supporting documents.
“What does Congress do?” “How does it affect my life?” “And how can I let Congress know what’s important to me?” The Center on Representative Government answers these questions—and many others—to help Americans of all ages understand how our representative democracy works and their role in our government. The website has a great collection of lesson plans and classroom resources.
The Law & You was prepared by the Ohio State Bar Association and funded by the Ohio State Bar Foundation as part of their ongoing joint program to improve public understanding of the law and the legal system. Available as eBook, PDF and hard copy, the book is a survey of law for the non-lawyer; it explains what the law is and how it got that way. Subjects covered include the sources of law, organization and operation of the courts, legal procedure, criminal law, school law, online law and more.
The Ohio Historical Society is now the Ohio History Connection. The Ohio History Connection champions all Ohio history, including the 50+ historic sites in the Society's network throughout Ohio. The website offers extensive resources to Explore Ohio history through stories, photos, videos, and events, including online archives, geneology information, and an Ohio archeaology blog.
Making laws is more than just a legislator having an idea for a bill. The Legislative Service Commission is the nonpartisan research and bill drafting agency that serves the Ohio General Assembly.
The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality Tour of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices.
Past issues of the OCLRE Newsletter, formerly known as The Reporter, can be accessed below. Currently, OCLRE sends subscription-based e-bulletins to teachers, legal advisors, volunteers, and alumni. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Cathy at email@example.com.
Fall 2018 Reporter by OCLRE on Scribd
Resources for Talking with Students About Race, Privilege, and Power
This list of resources is compiled for teachers, parents, and community members who are seeking help in having difficult conversations with young people about the systemic racism and inequities present in our society.
Remote Lesson Plans
Click on the lesson titles below to access the lesson plans. Please note, some of these links take you to Google Drive to download multiple lesson components (student texts, PowerPoint slides, etc.).
1. Fifteenth Amendment Inquiry
This resource is a structured inquiry (four "lessons") that invites students to analyze the Fifteenth Amendment and how the United States has expanded (and contracted) the right to vote over time.
2. How free is the Freedom of Press in the United States?
This inquiry is designed to help students explore the right to freedom of press articulated in the First Amendment. Students will look at several U.S. Supreme Court cases and contemporary examples to draw conclusions about the limits on free press, and how those limits have changed over time.
3. How should history remember Thomas Jefferson?
This resource is a focused inquiry that helps students explore the legacy of Thomas Jefferson regarding the practice of slavery in the United States. The Lesson uses a technique called empathy mapping to help students analyze and organize primary sources.
4. "Who the h*** is Diane Nash?"
A direct quote from Attorney General Robert Kennedy about this important civil rights leader is the springboard to an inquiry for students about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the Freedom Rides through to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The inquiry is split into two "tracks" to accommodate the differences in American Government and American History standards.
Our teacher resources from around the web bring citizenship to life with primary sources, interactives, videos, lesson plans and more.
Some of the links listed below leave the website. The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is not responsible for the content of these pages.
If you have questions about or submissions for OCLRE Teaching Toolbox, please contact Caleb Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 614-485-3509.