The Project Civis Curriculum is based on research of best practices in curriculum and instruction, democratic and social studies education, and gifted and talented education. It is aligned with Alabama and Virginia state history and social science education standards and focuses in particular on student inquiry, discussion, and deliberation. Use the links below to learn more about the overall curriculum framework and the outlines for the four Project Civis Curriculum Units designed for 5-7th grade U.S. history courses.

We designed the four units to be used across two years of middle school instruction, and consciously utilized four pedagogical models across these units as well as central concepts to develop academic skills and to provide curricular coherence. The four models were some form of historical inquiry and historiography, structured academic controversy deliberations, socratic seminar style discussions, and concept development. The concepts of democratic citizenship and conflict are developed, debated, and challenged across all four units.

Curriculum Framework (link)

This page outlines are curriculum unit objectives both for academic and disciplinary skill development and for content attainment.

Curriculum Implementation Guidelines (link)

These are the guidelines provided to Project Civis participating teachers for the pilot implementation. Please note that the lessons developed for the curriculum are not designed to be used as "scripted" or "teacherproof" curriculum but we did include sample language and explicit details as many of the teachers in the project were not familiar with some of the pedagogical models being used. We therefore provided great detail to help model how they might implement the lessons, and also received volumes of feedback from our participating teachers on ways to adapt and improve the curriculum.

Curriculum Units

Use the links below to access the 2nd iteration of curriculum developed from the project. Please feel free to download, share, and implement these lessons in your own classes. We have had to make some changes to the content and materials used in the Project Civis pilot because of copyright limitations; we have replaced any items under copyright with either a link to the materials on an external site, a description of what we used, or some alternative materials.

Unit One: The American Revolution

Unit Two: The Civil War

Unit Three: Post-Reconstruction, Migration, and Urbanization

Unit Four: Civil Rights

Reference for this curriculum:

Stoddard, J., Robbins, J, & Tieso, C. (2012). Project Civis US history curriculum. Retrieved from Project Civis web site:

Project Civis is funded under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, Institute of Education Sciences, United States Department of Education.