About the Curriculum


Strengthening Our Democracy:

Civic Participation in the 21st Century

Strengthening Our Democracy is a comprehensive one-semester curriculum for high school civics educators. It includes 80 timely lesson plans that encourage students to understand their role in government and society and to actively engage in their communities.


Standards: The curriculum meets C3, Common Core and various state standards.


Scope and Sequence: Teach the entire curriculum (80+ lessons) over a semester or teach individual lessons to supplement other curriculum.


On Bites Media: Lessons featured on Bites Media are representative of six civics themes. Each lesson includes link(s) to Bites Media article(s) for extending learning to include more current events. Bites articles present two points of view on an issue as a starting point for exploring multiple perspectives.


On ADL’s website: Starting Fall 2020, the entire curriculum and support material will be available for download at adl.org/civics-education.


Why Our Curriculum?

ADL brings a unique and valuable perspective and qualifications to the civics classroom, stressing the values of respect, diversity and active participation as the pillars of a democratic society. ADL, with its history of anti-bias education programs and a civil rights background, has a deep understanding of democratic systems and the need for informed participation and respectful dialogue.


Strengthening Our Democracy: Civic Participation in the 21st Century is designed to help students deepen their civic participation by understanding and challenging the biases that perpetuate social injustice.


The goal of the curriculum is to facilitate productive discussion of controversial or difficult topics while enabling students to explore their civic engagement and identities through an anti-bias and social justice lens.


Teenage girl talks during group discussioniStock

Navigating the Lessons

The lessons are categorized into the following six major civic themes. (Click on each for a description of the theme.)


A Civic Mindset

Strengthening Democracy

Power & Privilege

Social Justice & Civil Rights

Identity & Membership

Media Literacy


Browse lessons by theme, search using keywords, or search according to ADL’s anti-bias learning pillars:


ADL Anti-Bias Framework