Lesson Plan: Civics vs. History

Date: September 11, 2010

Objectives: The students will

I. Identify the characteristics of Civics and compare them with the study of History.
II. Examine the Gettysburg Address for examples of Civics-History relationship.
III. Identify how the Gettysburg Address supported the systems of democratic government and the federal system.

This lesson is based an a promethean board flipchart created by the webmaster.

Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): Defining Terms

A) Distribute the worksheet entitled Civics vs. History: What's The Difference?

B) Have students brainstorm the definitions for Civics and History. Students should write their definitions on their worksheets.

Main Activity: Venn Diagram and Analysis

A) Have students discuss and answer the question: "How are these disciplines similar and different?"

B) Have students place differences in the circles and similarities in the overlapping section of the Venn diagram.

C) Possible answers include but are not limited to:

Possible answers for Venn Diagram


Examples (Modeling):

A) Have students form five groups. assign each group one of the ideas or events listed on the worksheet.

B) Allow students 3-5 minutes to identify the situation as either Civics or History or both and describe why they classified their problem the may they did.

C) Have groups report their answers. After one minute of discussion for each, display the suggested answer.

D) Have students complete the worksheet as the answer to each problem is revealed. Answers may include:|
Is It Civics? Is It History?

The president is commander- in-chief

of the US Armed


Article II of the Constitution

makes the president leader

of the armed forces.

The president has led

the US through wars from

Washington to Obama,

from the early 1800s to

Afghanistan and Iraq.

The process

whereby aliens

become citizens

is called


Naturalization is the process of becoming a US Citizen from immigration to taking the oath of allegiance.

Immigrants have helped

form a diverse nation

much like a "salad bowl"

rather than a melting

pot. Ellis Island was the

starting point for many.

The debate continues regarding US troop strength in Afghanistan.

Congress and the

President decide on

funding and strategy

for winning the war in


The level of US military

strength in Afghanistan

was increased after

the end of combat

in Iraq.

Women and minority groups use their right to protest to achieve equal rights.

Rights and freedoms are

protected by the 1st Am.

of the Constitution.


1920: Women's suffrage.

1963: March on Wash.

1964: Civil Rights Act.


Opposing groups

have taken sides

over the issue of

building a mosque near the site of the 9/11 terror attacks

in NY.

Groups have the right

to protest and to free exercise of religion.

Anti-Muslim feelings

after 9/11 have led to

an increase in hate

crimes against Muslims.

Americans must protect

the rights of minority



Guided Practice: The Gettysburg Address

A) Distribute “Civics and History: The Gettysburg Address” to students.

B) Read the speech out loud to students using The Illustrated Gettysburg Address by Michael McCurdy.

C) Have students interpret the images based on their knowledge of the Civil War and the speech itself.
E) Have students write Civics concepts that they can identify in the margin on the right next to the words of the speech on the left.
Include definitions if needed.

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure):

A) Instruct students to access TV news, newspaper, magazine or news website. Have them print, cut out or write about a current news story
that deals with government, politics, or foreign policy. have students write a one-paragraph research summary that describes the history of
their subject matter.

B) Have students share their topics and their analysis of the historical background they found for their topic.

Homework (Independent Practice):

Evaluation: The lesson will be evaluated by:
I. the accuracy of student's written responses;
II. student's scores on future tests and quizzes.

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