Equity & Access

Planning Civic Literacy Projects


Originally published at NWP's website The Current, the resources posted below by Nicole Mirra are drawn from a presentation she created for her writing project to help teachers create Common Core-aligned civic literacy units, combining civic inquiry and academic literacy instruction. The resources could easily be used by teams of teachers in NWP sites interested in working together to co-plan such units for their own students.

After sharing my own journey of developing Common Core-aligned units that combine academic literacy instruction with civic inquiry, many of my NWP colleagues were also inspired to expand opportunities for youth to do their own civic literacy units/projects. With that in mind, I am sharing two resources that may be helpful.

I am attaching a PowerPoint presentation that I’ve used during my workshops with UCLA Writing Project teachers that I encourage you to use and share with colleagues in order to jumpstart planning for projects you might want to develop based on the interests of the students you work with.

I’m also attaching a unit-planning template that I hope you might find useful. If you are familiar with backward design, you will recognize this model right away – I have simply added in elements that force me to think about the civic literacy skills I want students to develop alongside their academic literacy skills, as well as possibilities for authentic assessments that can get students connected to local, state, or national communities. I’ve also reminded myself about Common Core alignment by adding space to consider anchor standards and text sets.

I hope that you will use the comments section below to continue this dialogue and share the projects that you are creating, as well as any resources or questions that you might have. I am excited to see the amazing work that educators are doing to help young people use literacy skills for civic empowerment and social change.