Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

There are many excellent instructional resources available to assist civics instructors with their citizenship lessons. In the links below, teachers, volunteers, and program administrators will find free lesson plans and materials as well as related research articles and additional websites for further guidance on teaching civics in the classroom.

Please note that the links provided below are meant to serve as a resource for educators. This linking does not constitute USCIS endorsement of the content of these websites or of their respective policies or products.

We welcome additional recommendations to this list. To submit a resource for consideration, please contact the USCIS Office of Citizenship. Resources will be accepted based upon their relevance, usefulness, and quality.

Program Administration, Professional Development, Curriculum

Civics Education for Adult English Language Learners 
Center for Adult Education Language Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)

Offers curricular and instructional resources for citizenship, English Literacy (EL)/Civics, and provides ESL instructors with articles, reports, teacher reference books, learner textbooks, newsletters, links to national and regional organizations, policy information, and listservs. 

Creating a Citizenship Preparation Program Toolkit
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
Provides information on designing and implementing a citizenship preparation program. Includes information on legal and language service programs, identifying program needs, sample program models and standards, ideas for funding sources, integrating technology, sample course outlines, and links to other planning and training resources. 

EL/Civics "How-To" Manual
J. A. Napper and E. Rosenbaum, Bronx Community College and City University of New York, 2003
Part of the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Civics Education Demonstration Project, it includes information on establishing and managing an EL/Civics program. Addresses goals/objectives, staffing, recruitment, student assessment and placement, staff development, student accountability, evaluation, curriculum development, and instructional strategies.  Provides sample flyers, intake forms, self-assessments, lesson plans, and other helpful resources.

English Literacy and Civics Education
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), 2006 
Describes U.S. Dept. of Education’s EL/Civics Education program and offers guidance to instructors on tailoring instruction to all levels. Includes links to organizations, articles, books, and literature.

How to Choose a Good ESL Textbook for Adult Education and Family Literacy Learners 
Colorado Adult Education and Family Literacy Independent Study Course
Helps adult educators understand the benefits of using textbooks for classroom or individual instruction, identify types and major components of ESL textbooks, identify criteria for choosing and evaluating learner-centered, effective ESL textbooks, and create program-specific criteria for choosing textbooks.

Integrating Civic Participation and Adult ESOL
A. Nash, New England Literacy Resource Center, 2005
Proposes a process for active citizenship through an examination of policies and systems affecting learners’ lives. Content drawn from experience working with providers, the Equipped for the Future (EFF) citizen/community member role map, and a theoretical framework describing 3 kinds of citizens: personally responsible, participatory, and justice-oriented citizens.  

Literacy Assistance Center
Provides referrals, training, and technical assistance to literacy programs in New York. Offers professional development materials, lesson plans, and curricula designed for adult literacy instructors. Links to civics education and citizenship preparation instructional tools on government and voting.

Outcomes of Seven EL/Civics Demonstration Grant Projects Funded by OVAE in FY 2000
U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education
Presents outcomes from seven EL/Civics demonstration grant projects and links to websites with resources, including EL/Civics How-To Manual, curricula, lesson plans, and training materials.

Project Voice
City College of San Francisco
Curriculum and lesson plans linking ESL, adult basic education, and citizenship programs with civics. Covers civic rights/responsibilities, U.S. history/government, social issues, health, and communication skills. Includes lesson plan template with Equipped for the Future (EFF) Standards.

REEP ESL Curriculum for Adults
Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA, Arlington Education and Employment Program (REEP)
Online instructional system for ESL adult education teachers that provides needs assessment tools, curriculum content, instructional strategies, and learner assessments for 9 proficiency levels, from beginning to advanced. Unit Index has topics and materials for all levels. Community Units focus on life skills to participate in the community.

Tennessee Adult ESOL Curriculum Resource Book
P. Sawyer, Editor, Tenn. Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development, Office of Adult Education, and Univ. of Tenn., Center for Literacy Studies, 2001
EL/Civics competencies organized by the NRS levels for ESL. Provides English language instruction on rights/responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization process, civic participation, and U.S. history/government. Contains learning plans with activities and assessment strategies.

Using Portfolio Assessment in EL Civics Classes in California
California Dept. of Education, California Adult Education Research Digest, No. 1, 2003
Defines “portfolio” and discusses how they can contribute to assessment, instruction, and learning. Describes purposes for using portfolios, types of portfolios, appropriate content, desired outcomes, and guidelines for instructors and learners. Outlines steps for developing and implementing a standardized portfolio assessment system and provides links to portfolio literature.