June 1, 2023
Civic Life Project partners with educators to teach civics through a unique digital storytelling curriculum. Students are tasked with creating well-researched, empathetic, compelling, and balanced videos about social and political issues they care about. In the process, they become aware of the importance of their civic voice and participation. The program is easily tailored to existing civics and social studies classes, while also integrating storytelling, digital media, and literacy.
In collaboration, Civic Life Project and National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) have launched Compelling Interviews for Civic Engagement, a civics inquiry unit designed to help students develop informed, diverse perspectives on social issues by exploring compelling questions, evaluating primary sources, and discussing issues with their peers.
Over the course of four 50-minute lessons, students identify a social issue they are interested in researching, analyze a primary source related to the issue, engage in civil discourse with their peers, and conduct and then analyze recorded interviews to better understand the diverse perspectives on their selected issue. Throughout the lessons, they apply critical thinking skills, as well as interview and filmmaking skills, and continue building community with their peers.
Each lesson plan uses the workshop model, an instructional practice that consists of three parts: a mini-lesson, a workshop, and a reflection or debrief. The inquiry format supports increased student engagement and aligns with The Inquiry Arc of the NCSS C3 Framework.