1st Edition

Creating Citizens Teaching Civics and Current Events in the History Classroom, Grades 6–9

By Sarah Cooper Copyright 2018
    158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    158 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    Engage students in meaningful civic learning and encourage them to become active and informed citizens. With this essential book, co-published by Routledge and MiddleWeb, you will gain a variety of practical strategies for teaching civics and current events to your middle school students. Author and expert teacher Sarah Cooper takes you into her school and shares her classroom-tested methods and tools.

    Topics include:

    • Fitting current events into an already-packed history curriculum
    • Staying nonpartisan and fostering balanced discussions
    • Helping students find their stake in the news
    • Teaching civic literacy through primary sources, then and now
    • Encouraging students to invest in analytical writing
    • Fostering student ownership of our classrooms through discussion and debate
    • Cultivating citizenship through empathy and community engagement

    Throughout the book, you’ll find student examples, handouts, and rubrics, so that you can easily implement the ideas in your own classroom. By getting your students to think critically about current events, you will help them become passionate writers, thinkers, and involved citizens.


    Meet the Author


    Introduction: Why Civics, and What Does Civics Education Mean Today?

    Chapter 1: Fitting Current Events into an Already-Packed History Curriculum

    Chapter 2: Staying Nonpartisan and Fostering Balanced Discussions

    Chapter 3: Helping Students Find Their Stake in the News

    Chapter 4: Teaching Civic Literacy Through Primary Sources, Then and Now

    Chapter 5: Encouraging Students to Invest in Analytical Writing

    Chapter 6: Fostering Student Ownership of Our Classrooms Through Discussion and Debate

    Chapter 7: Cultivating Citizenship Through Empathy and Community Engagement



    Sarah Cooper teaches eighth-grade US history and is the Dean of Studies at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada, California. She is also author of Making History Mine (Stenhouse, 2009). She presents at conferences and writes for Edutopia, MiddleWeb, and other education sites.

    "Cooper’s insightful tour of her social studies classroom is eye-opening and reflective. I am positive that when teachers read this book, it will change the way they look at teaching social studies. They will be guiding their students in the development of a deep desire to think, challenge, seek answers, and make a difference in the world."—Linda Biondi, MiddleWeb

    "Sarah Cooper has narrowed the focus of her extensive understanding of social studies pedagogy to the realm of civics and current events—addressing the challenges and opportunities of social studies teachers in seamlessly weaving the present into the history curriculum. She provides practical examples and gives teachers a glimpse into her classroom, into the minds of her students and a window into her own expertise. It is an important moment in history to be a history teacher, and Cooper provides a map to guide students and teachers through this complex and fraught path, bringing forth the imperatives of action and civic duty through engagement of the mind." – Jody Passanisi, Director of Middle School, Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Palo Alto, CA, and Author of History Class Revisited: Tools and Projects to Engage Middle School Students in Social Studies