Civics 101: Teachers invited to Blue Book lesson plans workshop

J. H. Osborne • Jul 23, 2019 at 1:13 PM

Last week in Civics 101, we told you about the Tennessee Blue Book. This week, we’re taking a look at how the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office provides teachers with lesson plans based on the Blue Book.

This week the Secretary of State’s civic engagement coordinator will be hosting a workshop for teachers (of all grade levels and subjects) at Northeast State Community College. It will cover the resources the office offers teachers regarding civic engagement, including lesson plans, an essay contest, the 2020 Student Mock Election, and more. The aim is to help teachers use the classroom to inspire students to become actively engaged citizens.

The free workshop (including lunch) earns teachers four hours of professional development. It’s scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 24th.

Emphasis will be placed on social studies curriculum, but all civic-minded teachers are welcome. Space, however, is limited. Teachers may sign up online. Direct questions to Britney McDaniel at (615) 253-4589 or Britney.McDaniel@tn.gov.

Blue Book lesson plans

The following lesson plans were created by Tennessee teachers from across the state utilizing the Tennessee Blue Book. The plans link with the current state social studies curriculum standards, connecting information in the Blue Book to teaching in civics and government classes. Lesson plans can be adapted to fit different grade levels and curriculum standards.

There are a limited number of hard copies of Blue Books available. Teachers may call the Secretary of State’s office at (615) 741-2819 or contact one of their local legislators to inquire about getting copies for their classroom. The Blue Book is available online. And pages of the Blue Book needed for each activity are included in each lesson plan as PDFs. Please note that lesson plans below are for the 2017-2018 Tennessee Blue Book edition.

Elementary School:

• Branches of the State and National Government

• Principles of the U.S. Constitution

• Tennessee and American Symbols

• The Three Grand Divisions of Tennessee

High School:

• Interest Groups vs. State and Local Government

• Project: Tackling Issues in Your Community

• Tennessee City Government*

• Tennessee County Government*

• Tennessee General Assembly: Legislators and Legislation

• Tennessee State Constitution

• Tennessee’s Governor

• The Departments in Tennessee’s Executive Branch

• The Legal, Fiscal, and Operational Relationship Between State and Local Government

• The U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights vs. the Tennessee Constitution’s Declaration of Rights

• Your Representatives in Government & How You Can Be Involved

*Depending on where your school is located, choose one.

Source: Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett