November 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.
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Preparing Future Voters Committment with TFDA

Preparing Future Voters is a promise made by K12 school and district leaders to: 

  • Recognize the role of teaching about voting and elections in creating a more informed citizenry; and to
  • Commit to strengthening civic instruction in their schools.

School leaders who sign the commitment will receive access to civic instruction lesson plans, resources, and opportunities to tap into the Teaching for Democracy Alliance (TFDA) collective network.

You can sign the Preparing Future Voters Commitment on the TFDA site.

News Literacy Project Launches Rumor Guard

The News Literacy Project has launched a new resource to help you stay informed and push back against misinformation. 

RumorGuard empowers you to recognize and resist dis- and misinformation. You’ll find posts that debunk viral rumors. You’ll also learn how the RumorGuard team determined exactly why a rumor doesn’t hold weight, and you can use that knowledge to decide when to share credible information and stop a rumor in its tracks.

Join the RumorGuard: Subscribe to receive emails about how you can take action to stop the spread of misinformation online.

Take Action to Build a Better World

Looking for ways to engage students in authentic learning, build positive relationships in the classroom, and help students make a difference in their communities?

Register for the Ciena Solutions Challenge, a global design challenge for middle and high school youth to design solutions addressing issues they care about. The Ciena Solutions Challenge is flexible and adaptable and can be integrated into the curriculum you are already teaching this year. Participants receive professional learning, mentoring, and funding opportunities to sustain and scale students' work. 

Register for the Ciena Solutions Challenge today and mark your calendars for our next #CienaChallenge Twitter Chat on civics education with @DigitalPromise@ShawnMcCusker, and @IL_CivicsHub on Thursday, November 10 at 7pm ET / 6pm CT / 4pm PT. 

Administrator Academies Support Implementation of Revised IL SOcial Science Standards

This past July, the revised Illinois Social Science standards and new course mandates went into effect for the 2022-23 school year.

Our work to support the implementation of the revised standards and course mandates continues this fall with a series of Administrator Academies, offered virtually to give school-based teams equitable opportunities to enhance their practice.


These Academies are open to administrators and teachers for either academy credit or PD hours. School-based teams are encouraged to participate and will have an opportunity to collaborate and reflect on learning through each session. Individual participants will have the opportunity to work with affinity groups in breakout rooms.

Visit the Illinois Civics Hub for more information on professional development to support rigorous and relevant civic learning.

iCivics Relaunches People's Pie Budgeting Game

From setting tax rates and funding projects, to keeping residents happy and avoiding burdensome national debt, People’s Pie helps students learn what goes into balancing the federal government's budget.

Since we are talking about delicious pie… Enter to win a PIZZA PARTY 🍕 for your class! All you have to do is play People's Pie with your students before November 28, 2022, and share the most memorable moments of the gameplay experience. When you share, you’ll be entered to win a $50 gift card to host a pizza party for your class. Ten winners will be chosen and announced on December 1, 2022.

Click here to learn more!

MyImpact Challenge with BRI

MyImpact Challenge is a civic engagement contest hosted by the Bill of Rights Institute. The goal is simple: foster a robust understanding of citizenship and get students active in their communities now!

Student service projects can win up to $10,000, with $40,000 in total prizes available to students and teachers. Every project that meets the entry guidelines will be rewarded with a digital Civic Achievement badge.

Click here to learn more!

Inquiry is Elementary with Private i History Detectives

iCivics released a new inquiry-based civics and history curriculum just for K–5 learners — Private i History Detectives. Private i History Detectives places young learners in the center of the action by challenging them to act as history detectives. They’ll dive into exciting historical investigations that illuminate essential and often untold stories while building content knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Tune in to the Private i History Detectives Launch Event on November 1 at 7pm ET. Get introduced to the components of these new inquiry-based lessons, learn to center historical events and civic concepts for students in grades K–5, and walk away with free resources and new connections to help elementary students succeed. 

NIF Issues Call for Grant Proposal Around Community Dialogue

Applications are now being accepted from individuals interested in being considered to receive a Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grant.

The Taylor L. Willingham Fund was established to honor the work of Taylor Willingham and is administered by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI). 

Throughout Taylor's public work, she encouraged countless newcomers to develop their capacity to convene and moderate deliberative forums. In that spirit, this award is intended to support the learning and leadership of those relatively new to deliberative dialogue as they work to increase opportunities for Americans to examine and address public issues.

Grants are provided to individuals to develop an understanding of deliberative democracy and launch one or more deliberative dialogues in their communities and organizations to advance NIFI's overall mission, promoting public deliberation about national issues. Grants are expected to be in the range of $500-1,000.

Click here to read more and for application links.

You Are Invited To The November EYPC Implementation Training!

Would you be interested in implementing a youth-focused civic engagement program within your community? Through Engaging Youth through Positive Change (EYPC), youth will work on real social and community change projects such as smoke-free public spaces, healthier school foods, greenways and parks, safer public events, and others. EYPC aims to give young people the skills, confidence, and experience they need to become effective advocates for positive social change.

The training will take place on November 8, 2022, from 9am-12pm via Zoom. You can register using this link.

Read more about EYPC on their website

NEW SCOTUS in the Classroom Case from Street Law

Hot off the presses, get Street Law's first SCOTUS in the Classroom Case of the Term (and it’s a twofer!): Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC.  

These cases tackle the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions policies at higher education institutions.

These cases are being argued on October 31, and teachers are encouraged to hold moot courts or mini-moot courts of the case the same weeks the Supreme Court hears arguments. 

Check out the latest SCOTUS in the Classroom Cases TODAY.

PACE Releases New Report: America + Civic Language

The words Americans use to describe, debate, and examine our civic values, ideals, and practices are also the words we use to connect, share, and co-create our community and national future. What can we know about how aligned we are on our language choices related to our civic lives? Another concern underlies this question: Are we talking past each other about values we think we share? 

This was the core inquiry that animated Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE)’s Civic Language Perceptions Project. In November 2021, PACE and Citizen Data surveyed a nationally representative sample of 5000 American voters to understand their perceptions of 21 commonly used terms in democracy and civic engagement work and whom they associate using those terms. In March 2022, PACE released the data to the public and embarked on an effort to analyze and disaggregate the data from multiple angles and perspectives. PACE has now combined the quantitative and qualitative analysis to highlight key findings their new report, America + Civic Language. 

To learn more about PACE’s Civic Language Perceptions Project,

please visit

Civics in Real Life: The Docket Series Returns

The first Monday in October marked the beginning of the annual term of the U.S. Supreme Court. Through the Court’s power of judicial review, its decisions have a lasting impact on “We the People.” So what is the Court hearing this session, and how might the justices rule?

Throughout the 2022-2023 term, CRL: The Docket series will highlight cases for students to help expand civic literacy. You can check out The Docket Preview to see some of the cases that will be highlighted throughout the school year.

Invitation: Principal PD on Student Media

Teach for Chicago Journalism is leading a professional development webinar for Illinois school administrators on the benefits of student media on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 3 pm, and we would love to have your principal join us.  


News You Can Use: How Student Media Can Engage Your School Community

Scholastic Media Programs are civic participation in action. They provide leadership and job training and strengthen the school community through news literacy. In this webinar by Medill’s program specialists, you’ll learn why your school should have this elective/enrichment and what you need to get started.


Register here.

Join Asian Americans Advancing Justice for Free PD to Support the T.E.A.A.C.H. Act

With its historic passage in April of 2021, the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (T.E.A.A.C.H.) Act amended Illinois School Code, ensuring every public elementary and high school student in Illinois learns about the contributions of Asian Americans to the economic, cultural, social, and political development of the United States.

Beginning with the 2022-23 school year, every public elementary school and high school shall include in its curriculum a unit of instruction studying the events of Asian American history, including the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the Midwest, as well as the contributions of Asian Americans toward advancing civil rights from the 19th Century onward.

The Illinois Civics Hub is partnering with Asian Americans Advancing Justice to offer FREE PD hours to K-12 educators looking to deepen their own understanding of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) history as well as classroom resources to support cross-cultural education for all students in Illinois aligned with the revised social science standards.

Educators can click the links below to choose from the following webinar opportunities:

Elementary/Grades K-5

Secondary/ Grades 6-12.

Be sure to visit the Asian Americans Advancing Justice site for more resources to implement the T.E.A.A.C.H. Act.

Resources for National American Indian Heritage Month

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose. November is National Native American Heritage MonthThe Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration have joined together to create a web portal of resources for classrooms to teach Native American history.

Heather Monson is the Illinois Civics Hub Civics Instructional Coach for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Ogle, Lee, Whiteside, Bureau, Henry, Stark, and Rock Island Counties. She is a Golden Apple Teacher of Excellence Award Winner with Master's degrees in History, Museum Studies, and Political Science. We asked Heather for some of her recommendations for teaching Native American history in November and beyond. Here are some of her recommendations:

  • What Native land are you on? This interactive map from NPR helps students explore the various indigenous groups in the United States.
  • Indigenous Peoples Resources This website includes resources for teaching about indigenous groups in the United States. It includes an excellent list of films, books, maps, and an interesting section on the various flags of the indigenous groups.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian has wonderful resources and professional development opportunities. This is one of the Smithsonian museums, so you know the educational materials are top-notch. 
  • List of Supreme Court cases involving Native American Tribes from Wikipedia is a place to start exploring SCOTUS issues ranging from statehood, criminal law, property rights, liquor sales, gambling, citizenship, and more.
  • McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020). This ruling established that Oklahoma could not prosecute crimes that occurred on Indian lands; they would have to be handled by the Federal government.
  • Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta (2022) ruled that both federal and state courts had the right to prosecute non-Native Americans for crimes that occurred on Native lands.

Connect with your Regional Coach today! Visit our website to learn more, and reach out to receive their monthly regional email.


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. Follow our blog for weekly updates on emerging research on civics, “teachable moments,” and related materials.