Government? Fun, Fantastic, Real-World experience. Check out iCivics
Overall I like using iCivics with my classes regardless with they are special needs, ELL, or general education classes. I truly enjoyed the different projects presented for the educator to use, the easy platform in which the website was designed, and ease of use of the lessons with on the computer platform or a printed version. Another plus is the lesson plans follow the Maryland State Curriculum quite a bit making it easy to incorporate into the classroom. The students can use these lessons as pre-assessment lessons, introductory lessons, and reinforcement lesson for in class or as homework.
Although iCivics can be a very productive tool for educators and students alike there are some drawbacks that can be corrected. The students can find the answers to the activities online if they are tech savvy enough. Also the curriculum learning standards for Government are out of date for my state. They may be out of date but the are still relevant. The only difference is my state has restructured the curriculum which makes the order of the state curriculum a little off on iCivics.
How I Use It
iCivics can be used to as an introductory, extension, and/or reinforcement to your government lessons. iCivics follows the Common Core Curriculum and several state curriculum's. The lesson are easily accessible, the website is user friendly, and the information is relevant to the students, their learning and understanding of our Government. The iCivics lesson have been used as a primary lesson for the special needs population in my classes. The lessons are divided into easy chunks to support the student's learning. The lesson activities are designed to assist the students so they can follow the readings in order to complete the activities. iCivics can be used with ELL or low literacy students especially with groupings, chunking, and the scaffolding of the activities provide the students with a complete understanding of Government. The general education population I use this as a pre-assessment tool and a reinforcement activity. As a pre-assessment tool I want to see what my student know before I delve into a lesson, but as a reinforcement activity to make sure they have a complete understanding of the information taught. iCivics can be used on multiple platforms, as a computer platform, and the old fashion platform of paper. Lessons are sequential and once you finish one lesson the next lesson is recommended to follow suite according to your states curriculum. The lesson plans are downloadable, user friendly for the educator, and easy to follow. There are six different projects in iCivics that can be used in the classroom, it is your choice which project you would like to use with your students.