Citizenship Resources

This section identifies resources that may be of value to those interested in matters related to the importance of being involved in a democracy and to being effective citizens – not in becoming a citizen. These resources include:

Articles & Speeches

“A Kid’s Guide to the U.S. Government” – Article written by an attorney, Scott Grabel, with many links to sites about the U.S. government useful to both kids, parents, and teachers. Specifically links re:

The Nation, National vs. State Government, Historical Documents, Election Process, Branches of Government, Games/Activities/Government sites for Kids, How Laws are made.

“Good Citizens” – Article in The Mini Page celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. Mini Page is a weekly newspaper for children that appears in about 500 newspapers.

“Good Citizenship” – Article in Wikipedia about what a Good Citizen is.

Brian Shul Speech – Brian is a Vietnam era USAF fighter pilot with 212 combat missions.  He was shot down near the end of the war and was so badly burned that he was given next to no chance to live.  He did live, went on to fly SR-71s and completed a 20 year career in the Air Force.  He has written four books on aviation and runs a photo studio. This is a speech he made in Chico, California in the aftermath of the September 11th attack on the U.S.

Teaching Good Citizenship” by Alan Ross – Appeared in American Profile in June 22, 2003 edition.

Who Will Love America?” by Nick Homer – Appeared in the USA-Patriotism web site in September 2003.

10 Ways to Teach Kids to Love America by Gary Drevitch – Appeared in Parents magazine in February 2, 2002 edition.  10 simple and actionable things you can do with your child to help them understand and appreciate this country.  Very well written with clear instructions.

Helping Your Child Become a Responsible Citizen – This booklet was created by the U.S. Department of Education. Its focus is largely on character education but has a useful section on Citizenship and Patriotism. It has a comprehensive list of books that can support character development and which is organized by age! The booklet can be downloaded or ordered in hard-copy form.

The Mark of a Good Citizen – Article from

What Makes a Good Citizen? – Essays of 6th graders who were asked what they could do now, as sixth graders, to be good citizens.

Raising Good Citizens – Article from Better Homes and Gardens re: Teaching your children the “3 Rs” of good citizenship: Respect, Responsibility, and Resourcefulness.

‘How to Be a Good Citizen – 10 Ways to Show Good Citizenship’ – A blog post by Marelisa Tabrega, creator of the website Daring to Live Fully and a citizen of Brazil. Well thought out and described ways to be an effective citizen.

Books & Videos

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution – Award-winning author Fritz takes readers behind the scenes at the Constitutional Convention – chronicling the hot summer of 1787 where fifty-five delegates from thirteen states huddled together in the strictest secrecy in Philadelphia to draw up the constitution of the United States! A copy of the Constitution is included in the back of the book.

– by Jean Fritz, Putnam Books for Young Readers, April 1987

Here is a You Tube audio/visual version of this book.

Don’t Know Much About – The 50 States– children’s book with useful and fun information about things that make each of the 50 states unique.

– by Kenneth C. Davis with illustrations by Renee Andriani, Scholastic Inc, 2001.

The Good Citizen’s Handbook: a guide to proper behavior – A collection of real guidance from government, civics, and scouting handbooks of the 1920s through the1960s shows readers how–through proper dental hygiene, a pleasant demeanor, and obedience to even minor laws–they can ensure the health and happiness of nation, neighbor, and kin.

– by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz, Chronicle Books, 2001

I am an American – contains a collection of great sayings, documents, and songs that have helped define Americanism in the course of almost two centuries.

– Books 2000, New York: Western Publishing Company, 1971.

Wake Up America – Your Alarm Is Ringing – a primer on the issues and changes needed in various aspects of the nation such as the environment, economy, education and more.

– by John Sheldon, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, B.C., 2006. To purchase, send $10 to John Sheldon, 38 Columbia Drive, Rancho Mirage, California 92270.

Who Will  America? – is a web book. It’s message is that the most pressing problem we face as a nation is that, we as citizens in our democracy, are not doing what is necessary to keep America strong and thus free. It identifies 100 citizen actions, small things, each of us can do, which when done by all of us on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis, will keep our democracy strong.

Organizations with citizenship-related mission

Capital Cities USA is an organization focusing on the 50 capital cities in the United States

Celebration U.S.A. is a non-profit educational organization established in 1992 to encourage young people to honor the principles of democracy, good citizenship, and patriotism.

Center For Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to American constitutional democracy.

CIVNET is an online resource and service for civic education practitioners (teachers, teacher trainers, curriculum designers), as well as scholars, policymakers, civic-minded journalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting civic education all over the world.  It is run by the Center For Civic Education.

Freedom Academy is a 25 year program that invites the new student body leaders of each high school in Utah (usually three students per school for over 100 schools) to attend a five day camp at the National Guard training site – (this is not a recruiting event, but is conducted by volunteers out of uniform).

The curriculum includes a:

  • visit to the Supreme Court and Senate at the state capitol building- freedoms and justice;
  • a half a day at the prison with inmates on death row – loss of freedom and its price;
  • a meeting with the local press reps from each station – freedom of the press panel;
  • a meeting with a religious representatives of each denomination – freedom of religion; and
  • many others activities.

The camp culminates with a patriotic essay contest and banquet where the parents return to pick up their enlightened students.

The program is designed to provide the tools, incentive and materials to have each student body leader return to their high school in the coming year with a commitment to host a citizenship/patriotic assembly week at their high school and continue to help the students understand our responsibilities as good citizens/Americans, future leaders and voters.

The camp is funded by a large group of civic leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs. is a site that contains free resources, materials, lesson plans and more for character education. One of their “six pillars of character” is citizenship. Go to their home page and enter “citizenship” in their search field. Their are 3 citizneship pages – one for grades K-5, one for grades 4-8, and one for grades 7-12.

The Giraffe Project is a great organization that recognizes individuals who “stick their neck out”.

Kids Voting is a non-partisan, nonprofit (501c3) program educating elementary, middle and high school students about about civic engagement and government through a combination of:

  • Standards-based curriculum
  • Exciting community civic activities
  • Interaction with public officials
  • Community service-learning
  • Authentic election experiences

Juneteenth Nashville Project is involved in citizen/community activities such as voter registration, school supplies donations to students and teachers, sharing citizenship history through Juneteenth, Emancipation Proclamation, 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 26th, and so on.

National Center for Educational Statistics – At this site, one can access the NAEP 1998 CIVICS Report Card – this is “a Civics assessment to a national sample representative of all students at grades 4, 8 and 12.  The results of the assessment provide information about students’ civic knowledge, skills, and interests”.

Thanks America. An organization that appreciates the American people. Features Thanks America art including a poster series that highlights music started in America.

At USA Patriotism!  you will find all things patriotic including other web sites, tributes, music, artwork, articles, true stories, songs/music and an on-line store.


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has developed 100 new questions for the Naturalization tests. John Potter and his family created about 20 Word Searches related to these new USCIS questions.

This site –– has many “civics-oriented” crossword puzzles for various grade levels. The puzzles can be printed or completed on-line!