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Description of the Civics Academy

The Civics Academy is a group of judges and attorneys who have been specially trained to deliver civics education to elementary-aged students. The Academy visits elementary school classes from grades 4 to 6 to present a 50-minute lesson plan that has been developed to help young students understand their role in our society.

Civics Academy Lesson Plan

The first section is Rules and Fairness; the second, Representative Democracy; and the third, Democracy and You. Each part of the lesson features activities to help the ideas contained within come to life for young students.

How to Prepare for a Civics Academy Visit

Because the lesson plan is self-contained, classroom teachers do not need to prepare their students for the visit by Civics Academy faculty. The student-centered curriculum is fun, interactive, and structured in way that avoids creating extra work for teachers.

Feedback

The program has been very well received by students and teachers alike. One fifth grader said, "The most important thing I learned about during the presentation was the value of fairness. I think that is important because if we treat everyone fairly, there will be no fighting and everyone will be safe."

Another fifth grader said, "I don't know what the most important thing was, the entire experience was amazing. I did like the questions at the end though, we got to see what the other kids were wondering and what the people were doing and thinking. Overall it was very interesting/fun and it would be nice to do something similar in the future."

A third fifth grader said, "[W]e are part of democracy. We can help do something to change what is unfair. Even if we are kids, we still have that power. Other kids have done it, so can we. I think this part is important because we can take action when something isn't right, we can make a difference."

How to Schedule a Visit

To schedule a visit, please e-mail Alison Chandler, Program Manager for Education and Outreach at alison.chandler@jud.ct.gov.

Civics Academy in the Media

A Connecticut judiciary program gets fifth graders involved in civics.