New Thematic Educator Guide: Teaching Civic Engagement

By Kaitlyn Spotts | October 24 2022 | GeneralEducation & Professional Learning

In a 2021 Carnegie Corporation article titled “What We Owe Our Children,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned, “Civic duties and behaviors are learned, not inherited. If the seeds of lifelong, prepared, and engaged participation are not planted… they will never grow.” How, then, do we plant the seeds of citizenship in young children?

This thematic guide and the books included in it focus on the concept of civic engagement by addressing the following line of inquiry: What does it mean to be a citizen in the twenty-first century? What role can I play? Students will learn about democracy through a study of elections and the people who have changed their communities for the better. Teachers can choose one or any combination of books and strategies to use with whole-class instruction, reading circles, or independent reading as they teach young students how to make a difference, accept differences, and be an engaged citizen in today’s world.

Download the free guides for elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Browse additional civics titles for elementary school, middle school, and high school.

DK Reader Level 2: What Is an Election?
Packed with facts, kids will love learning about elected leaders from around the world, from Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela, and how they came to power.With this nonfiction politics book, children will learn about where and how democracy began and how it has developed over the years.What is an Election? is a new Level 2 title in the engaging four-level DK Readers series, aimed at children who are beginning to learn to read. Developing a lifelong love of reading, DK Readers cover a vast range of fascinating subjects to support children as they learn to read.DK Readers are assessed by both Fountas & Pinnell and Lexile levels, and are ideal for learning to read while building general knowledge. What is an Election? explores a topic that will inspire and educate children, encouraging reading for pleasure which is linked with improved reading and writing abilities, as well as a wider vocabulary and greater self-confidence.
$4.99 US
Jul 14, 2020
48 Pages
DK Children

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! "[Doesn't shy] away from the hard truths of Sotomayor's childhood . . .[and] discusses real-world issues like racism, privilege, and affirmative action." --The Washington PostDiscover the inspiring life of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, in this middle-grade adaptation of her bestselling adult memoir, My Beloved World. Includes an 8-page photo insert and a brief history of the Supreme Court.
$10.99 US
Sep 17, 2019
352 Pages

Change Sings
A Children's Anthem
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller A lyrical picture book debut from presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long  
$18.99 US
Sep 21, 2021
32 Pages
Viking Books for Young Readers

Peaceful Acts That Changed Our World
As a new wave of protests sweeps the nation and the world, young readers will be inspired by these accounts of activists who refused to be ignored.
$18.99 US
Sep 01, 2020
48 Pages
Neal Porter Books