Game-Based Civic Education

Experiential, game-based learning is a fun and engaging way for students to learn. With iCivics games, students get to “be” a Supreme Court Justice, the president, a town councilperson…

Rather than reading about something in a book and trying to memorize it, students participate in a digital simulation, which allows them to understand the concepts better. This works for social studies classes, ELA, and even Spanish classes. iCivics is a free and digital civic-education platform, founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2009 to challenge the status quo of diminishing and uninspiring civic education and to ensure every student in the U.S. is prepared and enthusiastic for active citizenship.

The organization was honored to be recognized by TESOL for its work to make civic education accessible to ELs. iCivics currently has two games with ELL supports and is working on two more this summer. With inspiration and encouragement from Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Do I Have a Right? was the first game with ELL supports and a Spanish version, ¿Tengo algún derecho? Following the success of that game, Immigration Nation was developed.

Each game offers these supports: the option to play in Spanish or English; English-language voiceover; glossaries; gameplay scaffolds; embedded and printable content guides; and accompanying WIDA-correlated extension packs. Everything is available online for free by creating a teacher account. The games can be played via laptops or tablets using these links: Do I Have a Right? (https://www.icivics.org/games/do-i-have-right) and Immigration Nation (https://www.icivics.org/games/immigration-nation).

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