Teacher: Meghan O’Dell-Ream, Christ the King School (Milwaukie)
Subject: Grades 6-8 Social Studies
Experience: 12 years as a high school Social Studies teacher, 3 years as a middle school Social Studies teacher
Meghan’s history with Civics Learning Project goes back as long as she has been teaching. We are excited to share her ideas and her infectious enthusiasm for the classroom as this new school year starts!
In her own words:
After my first Civics Learning Project class during my MAT program in 2003, I integrated some of the We the People lessons, and used the weekly Current Events regularly in high school. However, I really wove the We the People curriculum into my classes when I began working in middle school. I retook the We the People and We the Jury trainings, and for the past 3 years I have implemented the congressional hearing simulations in my 8th grade classes – and required all students to participate. Both 7th and 8th graders participate in mock trials, and every year I take my students to do their hearings for the showcase Civics Learning Project sets up, either at the Capitol in Salem or the Gus Solomon Courthouse in Portland. My 6th and 7th graders are excited and eager to get their class picture on the wall when they see the past class pictures in these great settings!
I love how interactive the Civics Learning Project lessons and activities are! Students are truly doing the work. There are many roles available in both the mock trials and the congressional hearing programs to accommodate personalities and expose students to new ways of thinking — all while supporting their ideas with historical examples, Supreme Court cases, and/or Constitutional evidence. I love the weekly Current Events articles: not only are they sent to my inbox, but I can search for topics that connect and enhance my daily lesson.
I have so many new ideas and thoughts on how to implement civics into 6-8 grade that I can’t wait for the school year to get going!