K-12 Civic Literacy

Building experience and knowledge for college, career and civic life

GenerationNation’s educational tools and programs offer students in kindergarten through high school a wide range of opportunities to learn about government, citizenship, leadership and more.

Classroom activities introduce K-8 students to civic learning through social studies, math and language arts and further strengthen civic knowledge and skills in high school World History, Civics & Economics, US History and other courses. The resources are tied to Common Core and other educational goals, and support 21st century learning including – but not limited to – civic literacy. Hands-on activities enable students to experience civics and leadership in action – the best way to learn.

Why does it matter?

Students need to understand how our governments and communities work, the roles of citizens and leaders, the impacts of policies and decisions, and be able to evaluate information, think critically and make decisions. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has defined ‘Government and Civics’ as a core subject and theme essential for student mastery in the 21st century. Further, civic literacy is highlighted as an interdisciplinary theme to be woven into core subjects for higher level competency.

Learn how civic literacy ties into each grade through Common Core and NC Essential Standards

Read about the College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework – how does social studies tie in with Common Core?


Classroom resources are standards-based, easily used, smart, fun and engaging

  • Useful tools that connect real-life experiences and current events with the classroom education to increase student interest and comprehension
  • Interdisciplinary, integrating the study of government, citizenship and leadership into different contexts
  • Tied to Common Core and NC Essential Standards for Social Studies
  • Easy to use, flexible and adaptable, plug into existing lesson plans, fit time requirements and curriculum goals
  • Organized in one place – you don’t have to search the web for content
  • Relevant, usable and regularly updated throughout the year
  • Non-partisan and non-political

Variety of themes and concepts, including:

Civic literacy, leadership, skills Informational literacy, critical thinking, decision making, analyzing data, civic leadership, career exploration (government, public service, media, business), civility, civic building blocks
Democracy Citizenship, civic rights and responsibilities, civic engagement
Elections and voting Election process, suffrage/right to vote, informed voting, candidates/debates
Events and holidays Constitution Day, Elections and Conventions, Veterans Day, Inauguration Day, MLK Day, Presidents Day, Black History Month, State of the Union
Government Local government, state government, federal government, branches of government, federalism, President, Congress, roles of governments, local government leaders, local government budgets, policies, opportunities for civic engagement, Governor, judicial system, General Assembly, US and NC Constitutions
History Democracy, leadership, government, political systems, citizenship, Founding Documents
Law Court system, US Constitution, laws and ordinances, Supreme Court, NC Constitution, legislation
Media literacy 1st Amendment, informed citizenship, reading information, current events