Participate Civics

Participate: A Civics Course for Chicago's Youth

The Participate Civics curricula for high school and 8th grade were developed by CPS in partnership with teachers, students and Chicago community partners to meet the required state civics graduation requirements in high school and middle school.

Participate Curriculum

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Through these capstone courses, students will develop the critical knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to be active and engaged participants in our democracy. Participate features a flexible curriculum, not textbook-based, which includes a variety of engaging interactive lessons reflecting best practices in civic education:

  • Strong content for instruction in government, politics and civic participation
  • Discussion of current and controversial public issues
  • Participation in simulations (or actual) democratic processes and procedures
  • Opportunities to interact authentically with policymakers and other community resources
  • Authentic literacy tasks that are aligned to CCSS and ISBE Social Science Standards

High School Participate Civics


Middle School Participate Civics


Free Program Supports and Resources

Participation in our program includes connection to our expansive network, a variety of professional development opportunities, tools and resources, student events, and ongoing instructional support from civics instructional specialists.

Currently, we offer our schools and teachers:

  • Ongoing professional development during the school year (sub-coverage included) and a summer Participatory Civics Education Institute,
  • Regular updates and resources on powerful civic practices and connections to local partners and institutions
  • Student Events, leadership opportunities, and engagement in large-scale simulations.
  • Coaching and support for schools interested in doing civic learning integration in other content areas, interdisciplinary service learning projects, and more.