Kids Voting South Dakota partners with national and local civic organizations, and teachers throughout the state, to produce relevant, innovative and engaging curriculum for use in the elementary, middle and high schools. The supplemental materials and resources provide exciting opportunities for youth to become civically informed and allow students to become participants in the democratic process. The following are some samples of curriculum, for more information about KVSD curriculum contact the Chiesman Center for Democracy.
- Elections & Voting
- Democracy & the People
- The Right to Vote
- Active Citizenship
The Kids Voting South Dakota K-12 curriculum is aligned to the South Dakota Department of Education Curriculum Standards in the areas:
- K-8 Social Studies
- Language Arts (Writing/Listening, Viewing, Speaking)
- High School World History, Civics & Economics and US History
OverviewThe Chiesman Center for Democracy partnered with the South Dakota Department of Education in the Grant Competition to Improve Public Knowledge and Support for Democracy through the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
The purpose of the grant competition is to increase public knowledge, understanding and support of the U.S. Congress and State Legislatures.
We were awarded the grant December 2007 entitled LEGIS (Legislative Education for Greater Inquiry & Study).
One part of the grant is centered on K – 12 civic education. A curriculum design team was created made up of educators throughout the state, civic organization leaders and the Department of Education. The LEGIS lessons created were designed as a component of Kids Voting South Dakota and South Dakota Project Citizen.CurriculumThe LEGIS lessons focus on:
- U.S. Congress,
- State Legislature and
- The Process of How a Bill Becomes a Law
- How a Bill Becomes a Law
- Citizen Rights and Responsibilities
- Founding Documents/Primary Sources
The lessons are developed for K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
NEW! Complete LEGIS lessons are now downloadable. Please select the Grade level you are interested in. A PDF containing the respective Scope & Sequence will open, from within you may then select the individual lesson you would like to view and save. To navigate back to the Scope & Sequence PDF, please use your browser's back arrow as the lessons open up in the same window.LinksUseful links to: National, State & Local Politics, Election Information, and Media Resources
- Tribal Governments & Elections
OverviewInstructional lessons and resources that focus specifically on tribal governments and elections in addition to state and local governments. It was created in collaboration with tribal representatives, teachers, South Dakota State Legislature, and the Kids Voting South Dakota staff.
CurriculumClick to view a lesson for Tribal Government:
- Constitution Day Lessons
OverviewIn 2004, the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring educational institutions that receive federal funding to present a program focused on the U. S. Constitution each year on Constitution and Citizenship Day, September 17th.
The lessons provided were made available for South Dakota State Farm agents around South Dakota to use when going into classrooms in their community. A number of State Farm agents were trained and have these lessons accessible to bring into your school. If you would like a list of State Farm agents that would like to come to your classroom, contact the Chiesman Center for Democracy, Civic Education Programs. Teachers please feel free to use these grade level lessons about our Constitution and the rights of citizens.CurriculumLessons for grades K-12 are available for no cost from the Center for Civic Education website at http://www.civiced.org/index.php?page=constitution_day .
These lessons, designed to assist schools and federal agencies to meet the requirements of the legislation, have been adapted from the Center's We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution and Foundations of Democracy curricular materials.LinksNational Constitution Center. Features resources to help you celebrate Constitution Day – featuring over 200 activities, lessons, books, DVDs, and more from over 20 different providers.National Constitution Center Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline. is an online experience highlighting some of the key dates and events that mark more than 200 years of our constitutional history. These timeline entries, taken as a whole, tell the evolving story of the U.S. Constitution and the continuing role that it plays in our lives.The National Archives. The Nation’s record keeper of the original Constitution of the United States. View the Constitution and Constitutional Amendments. The article "A More Perfect Union" is an indepth look at the Constitutional Convention and the ratification process. “Questions and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution" presents dozens of fascinating facts about the Constitution.The National Archives - Teaching With Documents: Observing Constitution Day. Celebrate this important day in our nation's history by presenting these activities, lesson plans, and information.National Endowment for the Humanities / EDSITEment - Constitution Day NEH's website that helps teachers bring online resources into the classroom, provides a number of lesson plans and reviewed websites that help you commemorate Constitution Day with your students.K – 12 Lessons for Constitution Day – The Center for Civic Education Help students develop an understanding of American constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded.U.S. Courts Everyday is Constitution Day in the Federal Courts - Supreme Court Justices shed light on different approaches to interpreting the Constitution. Viewers will get firsthand perspectives on how the Supreme Court decides what the Constitution means when they watch a 37-minute conversation among Justices Antonin Scalia, Stephen G. Breyer, and a group of high school students.Library of Congress has compiled a variety of materials from across its collections. Explore these rich resources and features to learn more about one of America’s most important documents.U.S. Department of Education US DOE are pleased to provide links to Federal Web sites that contain materials that can be publicly accessed for general use or for use as teaching materials in the classroom.Classroom-ready Digital Resources The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands has created the Sunnylands Constitution Project, a collection of classroom-ready digital resources, to help schools celebrate Constitution Day.Annenberg Classroom – Resources for America’s Teachers Annenberg Classroom offers easy to download lesson plans for teachers on a wide range of subjects.The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? Students will access primary documents from American Memory, identify arguments for and against the ratification of the constitution.The Dirksen Congressional Center - Congress for Kids Covers the history of the Constitution of the United States. It includes information about the writing the Constitution, the Great Compromise, the Constitution’s signers, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments to the Constitution and what they mean to Americans, and much more. You can play games and answer questions about the Constitution to show what they know.Constitution Day Teaching Unit (pdf) The goal is to honor the Constitution by teaching students about its importance as a living document that confers basic rights and responsibilities upon them as young people in the school environment.Find Law – For Legal Professionals Constitutional Law: Constitutions of the WorldBill of Rights Foundation: Constitution Day Activities - Celebrate Constitution Day with your students with a fun, interactive game from the Bill of Rights Institute. Our newest Web resource, Life Without the Bill of Rights? Is a click-and-explore activity that puts your students in control, asking them to consider how life would change without some of our most cherished freedoms. Life Without the Bill of Rights? invites your students to understand the significance of their constitutionally-protected rights including freedom of religion, speech, and press, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the rights of private property.The Division for Public Education Lesson plans, interactive features and games, conversation starters and information on landmark Supreme Court cases.
- Representative Democracy in America
OverviewThe Chiesman Center for Democracy (CCFD), Civic Education Programs is pleased to announce our participation in Representative Democracy in America (RDA), a sister program to South Dakota Project Citizen and We the People. Our staff has been trained along with two classroom teachers to present the materials to teachers in South Dakota. Contact us if you would like training in your school district.
- JoAnne Bohl, HS Social Studies Teacher, West Central High School
- Patrick Gainey, HS Social Studies Teacher, Spearfish High School
- Kenny Skinner, MS Social/Language Arts Teacher, Meade School District
Representative Democracy in America is a national project designed to reinvigorate and educate Americans on the critical relationship between government and the people it serves. The project introduces citizens, particularly young people, to the representatives, institutions, and processes that serve to realize the goal of a government of, by, and for the people.
Representative Democracy in America provides educational materials for the classroom, leads campaigns to put civic education back into schools, and creates mass media messages to inform the general public.
Directed by these three Organizations:
- Center for Civic Education
- Video Series and Instructional Guide
- Center on Congress at Indiana University
- Congressional Moments
- Facts of Congress
- Interactive e-modules on the web
- National Conference of State Legislatures
- Trust for Representative Democracy
- Citizen Brain and You Rule DVD's
- America's Legislators Back to School Lessons
The Center for Civic Education’s major activity in the project is Representative Democracy in America: Voices of the People, a six-part video series on DVD to help middle and high school students understand our system of representative democracy. The six programs, each approximately 15 minutes in length, and the instructional guide address the following topics:
- the roots of representative democracy
- federalism and the separation of powers
- the roles of representatives, executives, and justices in our democracy
- our representatives and how they are chosen
- the role of the citizen in a representative democracy
To Learn More, visit:
Representative Democracy in America is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Education for Democracy Act approved by Congress. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education nor should endorsement by the federal government be assumed.
- XYZ Electric Cooperative Lesson—How a Cooperative is Like a Democracy
OverviewSouth Dakota Rural Electric Association is a major sponsor of KVSD and has been an integral part of our major events and implementation of civic education for South Dakota students. The lesson provided was made possible by East River Electric Power Cooperative and the many South Dakota Rural Electric Cooperatives around the state. A number of Electric Cooperatives have been trained and/or have the lesson accessible to bring and teach to your students. Please contact your local electric cooperative or the Chiesman Center for Democracy, Civic Education Programs for additional information. These lessons provide an opportunity to bring the community into the classroom and an excellent correlation for students as to how a cooperative is like a democracy.Curriculum
Please click below to bring up the lesson documents
- Cooperative Lesson Plan
- KWL Cooperative Lesson
- Student Handout (Answer Key available upon request)
- Lesson PowerPoint –“What is a Cooperative? – XYZ Cooperative