The Civic Literacy Curriculum

A comprehensive set of free resources for educators and learners designed to prepare the next generation of leaders for American political and civil society. 

For Educators

The Civic Literacy Curriculum offers hundreds of teaching guides, offline classroom activities and worksheets, discussion prompts and more guidance on how to use the material for your classroom. 

The educator guides break down each of the 100 questions in the Civic Literacy Curriculum for individual lesson plans. Each question guide comes equipped with specific activities, additional readings and supplemental videos from our archives for you to use. 

These guides are completely free. ASU aims to make it easier for educators to access the tools they need to effectively teach the next generation of leaders. Click the button below to access the curriculum guide. 

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For Learners

The Civic Literacy Curriculum offers complete study guides for each learning section, practice quizzes and flashcards, and hundreds of videos to help you prepare. 

Browse the study guides for each of the seven learning sections, watch our curated video playlists or prep for your test! 

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The Curriculum Sections

Section 1: Principles of the American Republic

Dive into the basic principles and founding ideals of the American political system created by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. These include a market economy and the rule of law itself.

Section 1 Study Guide

Section 2: Systems of Government

Study the core institutions built by the United States Constitution. This includes the structure, logic, and purposes of the different parts of the federal government, as well as the division of power between the states and federal government.

Section 2 Study Guide

Section 3: Principles of the American Republic

This section focuses on the rights and responsibilities of Americans, including the protections of the Bill of Rights, voting, serving on a jury, and paying taxes.

Section 3 Study Guide

Section 4: Colonial Period and Independence

You will cover the early parts of American history, including the colonial experience (of European settlers, African slaves, and indigenous peoples), the American Revolution, and the creation of the Constitution by the Founding Fathers.

Section 4 Study Guide

Section 5: The 1800s

Section 5 focuses on 19th century American history, which included both the growth of the nation’s geographic size as well as the scope of those who were able to participate in the American political project. At the center was the Civil War, when Americans confronted deep tensions in their political system over the issue of slavery.

Section 5 Study Guide

Section 6: Recent History

America during 20th and early 21st century was faced with many challenges, both abroad and close to home. The United States led the free world in defeating totalitarian forces, especially communism and Nazism, which each sought to dominate the individual and define his or her worth by membership in a collective. That was not the only struggle for freedom: closer to home, reformers worked to make America true to the language of the Declaration of Independence in assuring its guarantee of liberty to all Americans. 

Section 6 Study Guide

Section 7: Geography and Holidays

Examine the symbols and celebrations of the American political community, as well as the geography that helps shape it.

Section 7 Study Guide

Additional Resources

The Civic Literacy Curriculum also includes more than 200 videos, flashcards and an actual test for learners.

The Civic Literacy Curriculum video archive contains more than 200 short videos for educators and learners to help build their knowledge around American civics and politics. Use the playlist browser below, visit our YouTube channel or check out the archive for the complete list of videos.

And be sure to check out the flash cards and Civic Literacy Curriculum Test itself! 

About the curriculum

The Civic Literacy Curriculum is a comprehensive civics curriculum developed and reviewed by educators and university scholars. The study guides, curriculum content for teachers, videos and flash cards are all based on the United States Customs and Immigration Naturalization Test required by the federal government for those looking to become naturalized American citizens. The curriculum also goes above the federal Naturalization test, offering more opportunities for learning about the systems of government, American history, and more. Arizona State University faculty plan to continue to develop additional learning sections to supplement the Civic Literacy Curriculum

The Civic Literacy Curriculum was developed by Arizona State University's Center for the Political Thought and Leadership. The CPTL aims to further research in American political thought and support civic education at all levels inside and out of the classroom. We support scholars, teachers, and students in their efforts to understand and improve American political society. We are nonpartisan and inter-ideological, focused on the pursuit of knowledge and the practice of truth as common goods for American politics and culture.

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

The CPTL is a research center in the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University. Established in 2017, the school combines a classical liberal arts curriculum with intensive learning experiences that include study abroad programs, professional internships, and leadership opportunities. Students graduate ready for careers in government, law, business and civil society.