In order to raise civic-minded children, we must first educate our children on the business of civics.
Understanding how our government and its branches work – and pointing out the direct line between those functions and their impact on people in the real world – is the surest way to engage children in the political processes that help shape their day to day.
From books to videos to websites, there are a host of tools available to parents, teachers and caregivers that will help children gain the knowledge they need to become their own best advocates. Here are just a few:
iCivics Founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the site offers a slew of interactive games and teaching tools designed to boost kids’ understanding of government and foster civic engagement.
We the Civics Kids Videos, games and downloadable lesson plans on topics such as voting rights, civic engagement and relevant historical figures and activists.
- Video & DVDs
- 1776 (1972) After debuting on Broadway, this musical comedy about our country’s struggle for independence and the critical days leading up to July, 4, 1776, hit the big screen. Rated PG; sexuality, strong language.
- All the President’s Men (1976) This Oscar-winning film explores freedom of the press and political corruption against the backdrop of the Watergate scandal. Rated PG; strong language, cigarette smoking.
- Iron Jawed Angels (2004) A based-on-true-events depiction of the women’s suffrage movement that powerfully drives home the importance of exercising the right to vote. Not rated; forced feeding.
- Selma (2014) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s history-making march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in support of voting rights for all is chronicled in this intense film. Rated PG-13; sexuality, cigarette smoking, strong language, racial slurs, violence.
- America Schoolhouse Rock! In addition to “I’m Just a Bill,” the beloved educational series of animated shorts also includes other civics and government lessons, such as “Fireworks” and “The Preamble.” Find them on DVD at the library or search for individual clips on YouTube.
All videos/DVDs listed are available via the Miami-Dade Public Library System.
- The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully Ages 3-7
- If I Were President by Catherine Stier Ages 4-8
- We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow Ages 5-8
- Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio Ages 5-9
- We the People: The Constitution of the United States by Peter Spier Ages 5-9
- The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson Ages 5-10
- Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh Ages 6-9
- A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution by Betsy Maestro Ages 6-10
- That’s Not Fair!: Getting to Know Your Rights and Freedoms by Danielle McLaughlin Ages 7-11
- How the U.S. Government Works by Syl Sobel Ages 8-11
All books listed are available via the Miami-Dade Public Library System.