JANUARY 23, 2017
— Updated game, new lesson plans, infographic help students understand and analyze the presidential transition of power —
CAMBRIDGE, MA, January 23, 2017 – As the nation begins to witness and evaluate the new president’s first 100 days in office, iCivics, the civic education nonprofit founded by U.S Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Ret.), today released a series of free resources to help teachers engage students in meaningful discussion around the transition of power.
These resources are designed to enable students to analyze events such as the State of the Union address and to support their teachers as they engage students in key questions related to communications, campaign promises, cabinet nominations, and domestic and foreign policy.
Their release follows the success of iCivics’ Win the White House, a game that teaches students about the electoral process by putting them in charge of their own presidential campaigns. Played more than 3 million times by students across the country during the leadup to the election, it was the most-used digital game for teaching the electoral process in schools.
“This president’s first 100 days may be the most scrutinized of his entire term,” said iCivics Executive Director Louise Dubé. “iCivics has designed resources to give teachers a nonpartisan framework to ensure students can competently analyze the actions from the Oval Office and what they are hearing in the news.”
Since the election, iCivics’ Executive Command has been played almost 600K times. This newly-updated game shows students the roles and responsibilities of the chief executive by making them President of the United States, placing them in charge of the executive branch and giving them the power to make decisions about both foreign and domestic policy.
The new resources, which can be used alongside Executive Command, give teachers the tools they need to help students make sense of the presidency and what it means to have a successful first 100 days in office—to evaluate a new president’s efforts to build a strong cabinet, get support from Congress, and execute an agenda within four years.
New Free Resources available at www.icivics.org/CommandTheExecutive
- First 100 Days Lesson Plan: Teaches the history of the first 100 days and asks students to evaluate the fairness of judging presidents based on this somewhat arbitrary time period.
- Presidential Agenda Mini Lesson: Teaches the purpose of the presidential agenda, strategies for creating and modifying a successful agenda, how the president must communicate this agenda to Congress effectively—and the role of the State of the Union in communicating the presidential agenda to the American people.
- Cabinet Building Lesson Plan: Teaches the history and purpose of the presidential cabinet, along with how the cabinet is formed with each new administration, including the nomination and confirmation processes.
- Supreme Court Nominations Lesson Plan: Teaches the fundamentals of Supreme Court Justice nominations and helps students understand the politics behind the nominations; challenges students to cut through the politics and compare nominees’ judicial philosophies; includes an optional extension for students to research and analyze the controversial nominations and confirmation processes of Robert Bork, Harriet Miers, Clarence Thomas, and Merrick Garland.
- Teaching the Executive Branch Webinar: archived recording, slide deck, and highlighted resources available at http://www.teachingfordemocracy.org/events.html
- Infographic: Outlines clearly for teachers and their students the six roles of the President of the United States of America as they are described in Article II of the Constitution and have evolved over time. (Download available here)
A 2015 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s prestigious MACEI Award, more than half of American middle school social studies teachers use iCivics.
For more information, visit www.iCivics.org
iCivics is a non-profit organization committed to transforming civic learning through effective and inventive resources. iCivics was founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to develop free educational video games and lessons that teach young Americans to be knowledgeable, curious, and engaged in civic life. iCivics’ game-centered curriculum provides 4-12 students with the tools they need for active participation and democratic action. Today iCivics’ innovative resources are used by over 150,000 educators and more than 5 million students nationwide, making iCivics the largest classroom-based digital civics educational resource in the country. For more information, visit www.icivics.org.