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Home > RHI > Promoting Active Citizenship

Click here to download a pdf (9 mb) of RHI: Promoting Active Citizenship, or email us for a free printed copy.

You can browse the magazine's contents online below:

  • Of Special Note: Essays on citizenship and education by Barack Obama and Jonathan Kozol.

  • Teacher's Guides: Using a critical literacy approach to ensure your students have the tools they need to become effective citizens.

  • Building the Foundation: Authors and editors suggest some ways you can help your students prepare for their lives as Americans.

  • Putting Ideas Into Action: How to instill a sense of efficacy and civic responsibility in your students.

  • Reply to RHI: Email us with your thoughts about the magazine.
Also Available...
Reaching Relucant Readers

Of Special Note

Thoughts on the Duty and Power of Citizenship
by Barack Obama
U.S. Senator from Illinois, and author of the bestsellers The Audacity of Hope and Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama writes about the vital role educators play in cultivating and inspiring America’s future citizens.
(Download as PDF)

Focus On: Citizenship
by Michael Gentile
A moral compact, a public purpose… In this issue of RHI we examine citizenship and critical literacy.
(Download as PDF)

Wild Flowers: Aesthetics in the Classroom in The Age of Uniformity dictated by No Child left Behind
by Jonathan Kozol
Through his inspirational writing, Jonathan Kozol offers advice—and hope—to young teachers immersed against their wills into the dreary, corporate-classroom atmosphere created by No Child Left Behind.
(Download as PDF)

Teacher's Guides

The Role of Critical Literacy in Citizenship
by Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher
See how critical literacy promotes civic engagement, as Frey and Fisher highlight texts that you can use in your classroom to foster a well-informed, active citizenship.
(Download as PDF)

Critical Comprehension of Social Studies Texts
by Glenn DeVoogd
Utilizing both history and contemporary American pop culture, DeVoogd discusses the importance of recognizing and deconstructing the “winner’s bias” in social studies instruction and offers illuminating ideas for suggested classroom activities.
(Download as PDF)

Choice and Voice: Democracy, Participation, and Critical Literacy
in the English Classroom

by Barry Gilmore
Gilmore examines the ways that critical skills necessary for participation in our democracy can be modeled through innovative classroom governance techniques.
(Download as PDF)

Too Much Information!: Tips to Help Your Students Make the Most—and Best—of Today’s Media
by Peter Edelman
Outlines steps students may use both in the accessing and evaluation of media and information.
(Download as PDF)

On Censorship
by Pat Scales
This guide offers points for discussion and writing opportunities that deal with issues related to book censorship and the freedom to read. In addition, there are suggested activities that encourage students to independently explore some of the free speech questions that may help them as they begin forming their own ideas about the First Amendment and what it means to be truly "free."

The Constitution of the United States of America
by Nancy Schick
This guide is designed to offer some suggestions for the classroom teacher charged with planning activities for the September Constitution Day or for any occasion when the Constitution has particular relevance in the classroom. It includes several strategies for use in brief lessons and also moves beyond this to more extended activities. Essay prompts as well as a list of on-line sources are also provided.

Building the Foundation

Let’s Make Hypocrites!: Reclaim Five Misunderstood Words to Build Better Citizens
by Jay Heinrichs
Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing, embarks on a linguistic tour of rhetoric and presents exercises geared toward creating better citizens in your classroom.
(Download as PDF)

Writing as Civility? Who’d Believe It?
by Arthur Plotnik
Illustrates how students can spice up critical writing assignments by putting a new spin on classical rhetorical techniques.
(Download as PDF)

Citizenship and the Sciences: A Roundtable Discussion Featuring Daniel Goleman, Ian Ayers, David Sloan Wilson, and David P. Barash
We asked four leading educators and authors some tough and timely questions on the relationship between citizenship and the sciences in this stimulating roundtable discussion.
(Download as PDF)

Teaching War: Providing a Different Perspective to Engage and Challenge Your Students
by Dennis Showalter
Examines prejudices against teaching military history and argues for a re-introduction of this discipline as a way to truly round out a full education in fields ranging from social studies to literature to music.
(Download as PDF)

An Interview With Master Illustrator, Sam Fink
Ninety-year-old master calligrapher and artist Sam Fink recently sat down to discuss his career, answer questions about his new works The Gettysburg Address and The Book of Exodus, and to offer advice for educators.
(Download as PDF)

Why Historical Fiction Belongs in Your Classroom
by Michelle Moran
Historical novels teach psychology, geography, history, and English literacy, all in one addictively entertaining package. This article will help you incorporate this versatile genre in your classes.
(Download as PDF)

All Fiction Has an Agenda: Political Activism in China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun and Other Great Works of Young Adult Literature
by Chris Schluep
This article discusses the use of political activism in YA literature and why this genre often offers the best entry point for students to discuss politics, social studies, and history.
(Download as PDF)

Avenging Social Injustice Through Literacy: Using All-School Read Selections to Educate and Motivate Your Students
by Judith Turner
Turner’s vivid and emotional account of her school’s project on Jim-Crow Florida—using Lay That Trumpet in Our Hands by Susan Carol McCarthy—shows how an all-school read may be the perfect tool to awaken your students to the problems of the world—and inspire them to make a change.
(Download as PDF)

Putting Ideas Into Action

The Power of Expectation and Environment
by Bill Strickland
Bill Strickland was a disengaged high schooler who discovered the joy of pottery. Today, the potter-turned-CEO molds disadvantaged lives into their greatest potential at Pittsburgh’s Manchester Bidwell Center.
(Download as PDF)

White's Rules for Action: Promoting Literacy Via Citizenship
by Paul D. White
Use citizenship activities to boost awareness of current events and develop literacy skills.
(Download as PDF)

A Life Worth Fighting For: What Enrique's Journey Teaches Students
by Sonia Nazario
Travel with migrant children through Central America’s “heart of darkness,” as they search for their mothers in the U.S., and bring your students to an awareness of how fortunate they are to be United States citizens.
(Download as PDF)

Life Lessons: Q&A from Erin Gruwell, the Freedom Writers' Courageous Teacher
We put forward some questions to Erin Gruwell, co-author of The Freedom Writers Diary and author of Teach with Your Heart, regarding her work and her thoughts on citizenship.
(Download as PDF)

Think Globally, Act Locally: Getting Your Students to Become Good Citizens of the Earth
by Nathaniel Tripp
Help change your students’ mindset about the environment through discussion, activities, and engagement with local and national organizations.
(Download as PDF)

Going Green: The Green Book How to Save the Planet, One Simple Step at a Time
by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen
Learn how to make tangible and immediate changes to improve your environment in the classroom, school, and community.
(Download as PDF)

Saving the Village: How Dungeons & Dragons Teaches the Lessons of Citizenship
by Wizards of the Coast
Get a crash course in the power of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and how it may be used as a springboard to help develop a sense of citizenship and responsibility.
(Download as PDF)

Rockin' the Vote: The Millenial Generation Gets a Say
Learn how your students may conveniently and easily register to vote using the Rock the Vote Online Voter Registration Tool.
(Download as PDF)

Email us to request a complimentary printed copy of RHI: Promoting Active Citizenship.