January 2022
Illinois Civics Hub Newsletter
A newsletter for Illinois teachers to support the implementation of the Illinois middle and high school civics course requirements and K-12 social science standards.
Engaging Student Voice to Recalibrate Classroom Practices
As educators and students return to school after winter break, there is an opportunity to reflect and co-create goals for 2022.

Providing students time and space to reflect on what is working this school year and opportunities for growth gives them ownership of classroom climate and agency to facilitate their own success. The Educating for American Democracy Roadmap advocates that constitutional democracy be taught as content AND practice.

Here are some Visible Thinking Routines from Project Zero you might use to start this process.
  • Compass Point Reflection has students identify something that is worrisome, exciting, a need to know, and a suggestion for moving forward.
  • Color, Symbol, Image has students share and explain a color, a symbol and an image they think represents the return to school.
  • 3-2-1 Bridge can be used to have students identify 3 ideas they have about being successful this school year, 2 questions they have, and 1 idea they have for improvement.
  • Claim, Support, Question can be used to have students make a claim about returning to school, support it with evidence from the past and ask a question or make a suggestion for the future.

Collect the responses and display them in a chart or word cloud. Discuss the responses. Engage in a proactive conversation about what can be done to address past issues and co-create new routines for success.

Visit our Civil, Brave, and Reflective Spaces Toolkit for more resources to engage student voice to create classroom norms, design questions for inquiry, reflect on learning, and more.

The Midterms as a Pathway for Civic Learning and Media Literacy

Join the Illinois Civics Hub this spring for a series of online webinars centered on using the midterm elections as a teachable moment for media literacy and civic learning. Each session is aligned to the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap and features academic experts and civic learning partners to explore: 
  • Strategies and tools that enrich your curriculum and provide students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for effective civic engagement. 
  • Media literacy strategies to help your students become wise consumers and producers of information. 

Our series begins on Wednesday, January 26th from 3:30-4:45 p.m. CT. with a webinar titled, Preparing to Teach the Midterm Elections with Dr. Shawn P. Healy: Dr. Healy, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at iCivics and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will explore how classrooms can use the midterm elections as a teachable moment to explore essential questions about power, representation, freedom, and justice. This webinar is aligned to Theme One (Civic Participation) and Seven (Contemporary Debates and Possibilities) of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap.

Each webinar is free and participants can earn professional development hours through the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

For a full schedule of offerings and to register, visit the Illinois Civics Hub Professional Development calendar.
Elevate Civics with Princeton University and iCivics

Would you like to know how big a difference your teaching makes for your students? Join the Elevate Civics Project.

The Elevate Civics Project is a nationwide initiative aimed at understanding and improving students’ interest and engagement with civics.
Participating teachers will:
  • Teach the provided lessons.
  • Record classes (using Zoom/Google Meet or a recorder mailed to you).
  • Administer short questionnaires to your students embedded in the lessons (available in English and Spanish).
  • Communicate with the research team.
You will get:
  1. A $150 Amazon gift card. 
  2. Ten expert-designed lesson plans.
  3. An assessment of your student's learning.
  4. Access to a vetted civic education resource repository.

Check out this website for more information.
Inclusive History with the Illinois Holocaust Museum

The Illinois Civics Hub is partnering with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center to provide professional development this winter to support educators in implementing the Illinois Inclusive History requirement.

On Wednesday, January 19 from 3:30-4:45 p.m. CT, join the Illinois Civics Hub and Amanda Friedeman, Assistant Director of Education at the Illinois Holocaust Museum to learn about the museum's newest exhibition, Rise Up! Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement, which explores the June 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn as the flashpoint that ignited the modern gay rights movement in the United States. In the fifty years since the Stonewall Uprising, America’s LGBTQ population has struggled for equal rights and representation under the law. Learn how you can use the Rise Up exhibition to share the voices and tell the stories of this movement to support the Illinois Inclusive History requirement. Walk away with resources to enhance your current practice. This webinar is aligned to Theme 5 of the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap- Institutional and Social Transformation.

The webinar is free and participants can earn professional development hours through the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

For a full schedule of offerings and to register, visit the Illinois Civics Hub Professional Development calendar.
Transform How U.S. History and Civics in Your District

EAD is an unprecedented effort that convened a group of over 300 scholars and educators from a diversity of viewpoints to create a Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy— an inquiry framework that states, local school districts, and educators can use to transform the teaching of history and civics to meet the needs of a diverse 21st century K–12 student body.

Learn more about the EAD Roadmap on Wednesday, January 5 from 6-7:30 p.m. CT for the first in a series of webinars on the roadmap. Introduction to the EAD Roadmap and Being an EAD Teacher is an introductory session that will provide those new to the EAD Roadmap with a foundational understanding of the seven themes, five design challenges, and six pedagogical core principles. Registration information is available on the Illinois Civics Hub Professional Development calendar.

If your district would like more support in implementing the Roadmap, iCivics, is launching an Educating for American Democracy (EAD) District Fellowship for middle school teachers. The activities under this fellowship, including teacher stipends, will be at no cost to the participating districts. Read the overview for more details. Apply by Friday, January 28, 2022
National News Literacy Week January 24-28

National News Literacy Week (NNLW) is an annual event that underscores the vital role of news literacy in a democracy and provides audiences with the knowledge, tools, and abilities to become more news literate. It also aims to inspire news consumers, educators, and students to practice news literacy and to strengthen trust in news media by reinforcing the role of credible journalism.

This year’s NNLW theme is “Care before you share,” and the week will include a series of events, including a national NewsLitCamp®, to help you, your students, and your friends and family members become more news-literate in simple and engaging ways.

The week is presented by the News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Company. National News Literacy Week (NNLW) will take place from January. 24–28, 2022. For more information, visit the NNLW website.
Understanding the Revisions to the Illinois Social Science Standards

The Illinois Civics Hub (ICH) is hosting a series of professional development opportunities to help stakeholders understand the revisions to the Illinois Social Science standards, scheduled to go into effect in the 2022-23 school year.

The ICH will host an afterschool webinar, Exploring Revisions to the Illinois Social Science Standards, on Thursday, January 6th to explore the context, scope, and implications of the revisions. Participants will collaborate with others as they engage in professional inquiry to incorporate these revisions into their practice.

On Tuesday, February 8, the ICH, in partnership with the DuPage Regional Office of Education, will host an online Administrator Academy, Exploring the New Illinois Social Studies and Civic Requirements K-12, open to district leadership and teachers to provide an overview of the framework of the new social studies standards K-12. Participants will explore how the revised standards incorporate both disciplinary concepts and inquiry skills that empower students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for success in college, career, and civic life. Explicit connections will be made between the revised standards, Common Core State Standards in ELA Literacy, SEL, and the Danielson Framework for Effective Teaching. There is a fee for this academy, and participants can earn either academy credit or professional hours.

For more information and registration links, visit the ICH Professional Development calendar.
O'Connor National Civics Challenge for Middle Schoolers

The third annual O’Connor Civics Challenge, an online civics competition for middle school students, is expanding its program in 2022.

Open to all students currently in 6th through 8th grade, participants are challenged to choose one civics topic from a list of options and express their knowledge of civics through various art forms. Categories include a short video, song, audio or video storytelling, poetry, written essay, or mixed media art, including a poster, painting, or sculpture via a photograph submission of the artwork. For those wishing to create a video, brief tutorial videos provide instruction to produce a civics video up to three minutes in length.

Finalists in each grade will be awarded Apple products, including a Macbook Pro for First Place winners. Registration is now open and entries may be submitted through March 26, 2022, the birthday of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Learn more or register at www.OConnorInstitute.org.
Bill of Rights in Action from CRF

Are you subscribed to the Bill of Rights in Action quarterly newsletter from the Constitutional Rights Foundation? Each issue shares lessons on topics related to law, economics, world history, U.S. History, and civics.

The latest issue provides timely resources on:
  • The Senate Filibuster: Abolish, Keep, or Reform?
  • The Life and Poetry of Phillis Wheatley
  • Buddhism in China

ABA/FJC Summer Institute

The American Bar Association and the Federal Judicial Center are excited to announce that they plan to be back in person for the 2022 Summer Institute!

The Federal Trials and Great Debates Summer Institute deepens participants’ knowledge of the federal judiciary and of the role the federal courts have played in key public controversies that have defined our constitutional and other legal rights.
  • Date: June 26th - July 1st
  • Location: Washington, D.C. (Reasonable travel and lodging expenses are covered by the Institute)
  • Featured Cases:
  • United States v. Smith and United States v. Odgen, Low Politics and High Diplomacy in the Early Federal Courts;
  • Olmstead v. U.S., the Prohibition Trial of a Seattle Bootlegger;
  • U.S. v. New York Times, the Pentagon Papers

Applications are due by March 4th, 2022. For more information, visit the ABA Teacher Portal.
Civic Learning Across the Disciplines: Student Voice 360

Join the students and educators from Chicago Public Schools Student Voice Committee to learn how you can embrace a “360” approach to student voice in schools that not only impacts classroom instruction, but schoolwide culture, climate, and engagement with the greater community. Students and educators are welcome to attend this event.
  • Date: January 13th from 4 - 5 PM
  • Educators, register here and share information with students interested in attending.
  • View more PD offered by the Illinois Civics Hub here!
Opportunity to Develop and Implement National Education Policy

The United States Department of Education designed the School Ambassador Fellowship program to enable outstanding teachers, administrators, and other school leaders to bring their school and classroom expertise to the Education Department and expand their knowledge of the national dialogue about education.

The School Ambassador Fellowship program has two tracks: a full-time fellowship, in which teachers, administrators, and other school staff members are based in residence at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, DC; and a part-time fellowship, which enables educators to collaborate with the Department while maintaining their regular school responsibilities in their home communities.

Applications for the 2022–23 cohort of the School Ambassador Fellowship are open through 11:59 p.m. (ET) on January 14, 2022.
Fostering Global Citizenship and Engagement Through Writing

Designed by educators at Harvard University, Write the World is dedicated to improving the writing of students aged 13–18 through a global online community, guided interactive process, and monthly competitions. Young writers are empowered to develop their voices, refine their editing skills, and publish on an international platform.

Educators can create an online private classroom writing space with prompts, assignments, and guided peer review tools. They can also start an online writing club using the platform and free resources.

Each month, Write the World holds a writing competition that focuses on a particular idea or genre of writing, such as poetry, fantasy, sports journalism, or flash fiction. The competitions encourage students to dig deeper into the writing process, try new genres, and share their work with eager readers. And because a first draft is never perfect, students have the chance to receive peer and expert feedback before submitting their final piece. From Poet Laureates to the President’s speechwriters, renowned and respected writers from across the globe judge the monthly competitions. The winning entrant receives $100, and the runner-up and best reviewer receive $50. Information about current, past, and upcoming competitions is posted online.
History-Social Sciences Teacher Symposium

Join ROE 17 in Bloomington, the Department of History at Illinois State University and the McClean County Museum on February 18, 2022 at Illinois State University for a timely conference on "Conflict/Resolution: Civics and Culture in the Social Studies Classroom."

Symposium themes include engaging in controversial conversations, promoting and assessing student inquiry, fostering multiple voices and deliberative discussions, and constructing an inclusive curriculum in an age of political polarization. 

For more information, including how to register, visit the ROE 17 site.
2022 Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant Application

In 2021, one in six children in the United States lives in households experiencing food insecurity. This is a problem that can be solved, and kids are a part of the solution! YSA and Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation are looking for the best ideas from young people about how they can provide immediate food aid to help end hunger today, while also going beyond food aid to help ensure people are not hungry tomorrow.
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grants of up to $500 will support youth leaders between the ages 5-25 across the U.S. to turn their ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger in 2022. There is also an option to apply for a fundraising match grant, which includes $100 for fundraising-related costs and a $400 matching grant to a local hunger-relief organization.

Earn Your Microcredentials: Become a Guardian of Democracy Educator

The Illinois Civics Hub has partnered with the Lou Frey Institute at the University of Central Florida to provide educators the opportunity to earn their microcredentials in the proven practices of civic education embedded in the middle and high school civics course requirements in Illinois. Courses include:
  • Current and Controversial Issue DiscussionsLearn from academic experts Dr. Diana Hess & Dr. Paula McAvoy as you explore the purpose, role, and function of discussion strategies as pedagogical tools to equip young people to be engaged citizens. This course will enhance the practice of educators with strategies and resources to create a classroom climate in which there are equitable opportunities for ALL students to engage in dialogue about essential questions across the curriculum.
  • Simulations of Democratic ProcessesLearn from academic experts Dr. Walter Parker & Dr. Jane Lo as you explore how democratic processes and procedures occur as part of the regular functioning of government, in each of the three branches of government, and at each level of government. This course will guide you through the purpose, planning, and implementation of three simulations: town hall meetings, legislative hearings, and moot courts.
  • Informed Action through Service LearningLearn from academic experts Dr. Joseph Kahne and Jessica Marshall as you explore the purpose, role, and function of informed action through service learning as a pedagogical tool to equip young people with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be active members of their community. In this course, you will interact with strategies and tools that you can use in your classroom to support student-centered informed action through service learning.

Registration information is available on the Illinois Civics Hub Professional Development calendarThose who successfully complete the 5-week online course will earn a Bronze Certified Guardian of Democracy Educator badge via Badgr and the University of Central Florida Center for Distributive Learning. Participants can earn 15 PD hours through the DuPage Regional Office of Education.

There are three strands of courses for each proven practice of civics education. Graduate credit is available through the University of St. Francis for completing all three courses. For more information, please visit the Guardians of Democracy homepage.

If you have already earned your Bronze Certified Educator Badge, Silver and Gold cohorts will run this winter and spring. Visit the Illinois Civics Hub Professional Development calendar for more information.

Monthly SEL Series for School Leaders

The past year has been emotionally and physically taxing on school leaders around the country. Now, more than ever, the social and emotional health of those working in and with schools needs to be a priority. Throughout this monthly series, principals, superintendents, and school leaders will learn self-care strategies and science-based techniques to master mindset, embrace their emotions, and channel their energy while promoting their own mental, physical, and emotional health. Meetings will be facilitated by Greg Wolcott, Assistant Superintendent in Woodridge #68 and author of Significant 72: Unleashing the Power of Relationships in Today's Schools. There is a one-time registration for all meeting times. For more information, a complete list of dates, or to register, click here.

Street Law’s 2022 Classroom Champion Award

Acknowledging and celebrating the valuable contributions of teachers is important. Since 2005, Street Law has recognized extraordinary educators through its annual awards program.

Street Law is seeking nominations of exceptional classroom teachers who:
  • Use student-centered interactive methodologies.
  • Use Street Law-developed materials in engaging ways.
  • Further Street Law’s mission of advancing justice through education.

The teacher selected as the 2022 Classroom Champion (and one guest) will receive a trip to Washington, DC, to attend the Street Law Awards Gala on May 4, 2022.

Apply to be part of the iCivics Educator Network
The iCivics Educator Network is an energetic group of educational professionals who represent iCivics with outreach and training and, just as importantly, provide the organization with invaluable insights and guidance relating to the field, the profession, and the realities of the classroom.

The group first launched in 2011 with 8 ‘Teacher Council’ members, and iCivics had 2,742 registered teachers. Now, more than 150,000 teachers have registered with iCivics, and the Educator Network now has 150 members, including classroom teachers, social studies supervisors, technology specialists, and administrators. The iCivics Educator Network has been amplifying our message by training hundreds of their colleagues, presenting at workshops, hosting social network events, participating in grant opportunities, and advising iCivics staff as they developed new instructional resources.

If you are interested in joining the iCivics Educator Network, learn more at this link. The application deadline has been extended to January 21, 2022.

Get a Jump on Summer PD Plans
The Council for State Social Studies Supervisors has complied a list of the wealth of professional development opportunities available to social studies educators in the summer of 2022. A special thanks to all of the organizations who contributed to this work and to the many organizations who are offering high-quality social studies professional development for social studies teachers across the country. Many of the opportunities are offered for free or at a low cost. Please email Stefanie Wager at stefanie.rosenbergwager@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or to add programs to this list.
Try Something New in 2022!

As we enter into 2022, we asked some of our Illinois Civics Hub Regional Instructional Coaches to share a resource, strategy, or tool that transformed their practice that you might consider exploring this new year. Here are their suggestions

  • Jason Artman (LaSalle, Putnam, Marshall, Woodford, Peoria, Tazewell, and Mason Counties): So many teachers were disappointed when Flash was no longer supported and The Redistricting Game no longer provided an interactive method for teaching gerrymandering. I love Game Theory’s Gerrymandering game; it leads students through “packing” and “cracking” voting power as they draw districts in increasingly challenging levels. I encourage students to screenshot their particularly cleverly drawn districts and follow up with a reflection in which students can defend or decry today’s practice of redistricting, which seems so much more important as Illinois’ new congressional map makes news.
  • Candi Fikis (South Cook, Will, Kendal, Grundy, Kankakee, and Iroquois Counties): One thing we learned from interviews with our students this fall was remote learning did not give many opportunities for students to talk to one another. They said they need more safe opportunities to talk to one another, and my go-to is Think, Pair, ShareIt allows students to think about something (a scenario, problem, or even an SEL topic) and then gives them a chance to talk it through with a partner so they feel more comfortable before reporting to the entire class. I use it daily, and it has helped increase overall participation in class
  • Tracy Freeman (Livingston, McClean, Ford, Champaign, Vermilion, Piatt, Macon, Dewitt, and Logan Counties): I start with mostly new students in January. I am using What's Your F.R.A.M.E.? from Learning for Justiceborrowing an idea from Candi Fikis to have students make an actual frame. (For students I had the first semester that already did this activity, they can tweak or add.) I have added a reflection piece where they determine HOW their F.R.A.M.E. changed from semester one. If you have the same students and didn’t do this to start the year, it allows them to be even more open than an August assignment when they don’t really “know” you yet.
  • Chris Johnson (Mercer, Warren, Henderson, Knox, Fulton, McDonough, Schuyler, Cass, Morgan, Scott, Brown, Pike, Adams, and Hancock Counties): Moot courts! If you haven’t taken the Guardians of Democracy Simulations courseStreet Law has a great set of resources to use for moot courts. These simulations are great if you can find a case that engages students. They investigate tough issues, do great research, and then debate these ideas with their peers. Some topics lend themselves better for older vs, younger students, but this is a tool that you can use in middle school and high school with great success.
  • Heather Monson (Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside, Bureau, Henry, Stark, and Rock Island Counties): Using hexagonal shapes in Hexagonal Thinking, students think through ideas/concepts and connect them. The multiple sides demonstrate complex thinking. This is a great tool to have students talk through their thought processes. I used this with the amendments and did a specialized one with the Rights of the Accused amendments, too. This can be done in class on paper or with various shapes in google slides.

Connect with your Regional Coach today! Visit our website to find out more and reach out to get on their monthly regional email listserve.

This monthly newsletter from the Illinois Civics Hub, hosted at the DuPage Regional Office of Education, provides educators with timely professional development opportunities and classroom resources. For weekly updates on emerging research on civics, “teachable moments,” and related materials, follow our blog.