Teaching Civics in the Library

An Instructional and Historical Guide for School and Public Librarians

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About the Book

Civics education is “on the books” in all 50 states, yet civic illiteracy is widespread. Only one third of 12th graders are able to explain the significance of the Declaration of Independence, and fewer than half of 8th graders know the purpose of the Bill of Rights. This instructional guide explores the foundations of civics education—and the reasons for its demise—with commentary from civics education leaders and scholars across the nation.
Questions for eliciting civics discussion are provided for all grade levels, along with detailed civic action and service projects and reading plans. Best practices and grant writing options are included. The author argues for a return to early 20th century civics education and details the traditional and present-day role of America’s libraries in developing a civic-minded populace. School and public librarians are urged to utilize trade books and carefully evaluated websites to integrate civics within educational and youth services offerings.

About the Author(s)

Reneé Critcher Lyons is an assistant professor in the School Library Media Program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. She lives in Boone, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Reneé Critcher Lyons
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos & illustrations, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9672-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2092-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

I. The Importance of Civics Education: Are We a Nation of Participants or Spectators? 3

II. History and Current Status of Civics Education in Public Schools 12

III. Anticipated 21st Century Progression 19

IV. Traditional Role of School and Public Libraries in Civics Education 33

V. 21st Century Role of School and Public Libraries in Civics Education 43

VI. Collection Development for Civics Education Integration 54

VII. Thematic Integration: Introduction and Activities and Resources, ­Pre-K to Grade 1 74

VIII. Thematic Integration: Activities and Resources, Grades 2–4 82

IX. Thematic Integration: Activities and Resources, Grades 5–6 90

X. Thematic Integration: Activities and Resources, Grades 7–8 103

XI. Thematic Integration: Activities and Resources, Grades 9–10 115

XII. Thematic Integration: Activities and Resources, Grades 11–12 124

XIII. Civics-Related Reading Promotion Plans 137

XIV. Lesson Plans in Association with Foreign-Born American Patriots: Sixteen Volunteer Leaders in the Revolutionary War 152

XV. Ask for Support: Civic Organizations, Resource Centers, Civic Institutes and Support Networks 178

XVI. Closing Tips and Thoughts 188

Appendix A: Discussion 191

Appendix B: Civic Action 198

Appendix C: Civic Service 203

Bibliography 205

Index 207

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—ARBA.