Lesson Plan

Civics and the United States of America

American boy's face painted with flag of united states


Related Content

Civics Lesson

GRADE LEVEL: High School

What Does it Mean to Be an “American”?

What is Civics?


Young people are making their voices heard in public discussions, protests, social media posts and writing about current events, elections, policies and issues that they believe directly affect their lives and communities. This climate has heightened a call for comprehensive civic education, already emergent in a “politically divisive time,” so that young people are prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective and engaged community members. Civics learning can turn high school classrooms into laboratories where students learn how to discuss complex civic issues from multiple perspectives and explore ideas for civic action.

About the Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will begin by examining the many meanings of the word “American” and describing what goes into a successful, engaging, meaningful civics education.


  • SS.IS.1.9-12
  • D2.Civ.7.9-12
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1.D


  • Define the term “American” and reflect on the usage of the word, including its limitations and connotations.
  • Define “Civics Education” and consider what goes into succeeding in a civics class.