Distance-Learning Lessons

distance learning

We’re in this together. Our team is developing new resources in real time to help students keep learning at home.  

Knowing the challenges families and teachers are facing, we are using a variety of media:

  • Low-tech: lessons that can be emailed, uploaded into your learning management system, or copied and distributed through “packet pick up.”
  • Taught online: lessons and activities teachers can use on Google Hangouts, Zoom, or whatever platform you may be using.
  • Taught by CRF and Youth: webinars led by CRF staff and/or youth for your students (and families) to participate in. Many CRF staff members have teaching backgrounds and we are going to work with our Civic Action Project (CAP) Youth Board led by Sari Kaufman and Casey Sherman (#MarchforOurLives) to present webinars directly to students. We know that kids are missing other kids, so we are excited to have youth teaching youth. 

Lessons Library

During this time of extended school closures, CRF will be providing lessons that teachers can easily use in Google Classroom for distance learning. Here are guidelines for how they can be used effectively online:

  1. Remember, as a teacher, you have a license to download, reproduce, and distribute CRF lesson materials for classroom use.

  2. Below you will find links to pages with selected lessons for immediate download. The PDF gives you, the teacher, the lesson plan and student handouts, as well as links to PowerPoint slides wherever applicable. Feel free to download the PDFs and PowerPoint presentations and then upload them into Google Classroom.

  3. In the lesson plans, students are often instructed to work in small groups. You may adapt the procedures in any of CRF’s lessons to assign student groups to work independently in a shared Google Doc or in some other platform for group conversations that your students have access to (like Google Hangout).

  4. In any of the lessons, you can assign the Writing & Discussion questions as individual writing assignments to students or as discussion questions for student groups.

  5. Please contact Damon Huss at CRF (damon@crf-usa.org) with any questions you may have about using these lessons for distance learning. And always, be well and stay safe.

On the following pages, you will find lessons with PDFs you can upload to Google Classroom:

Women’s History Month Lessons
On this page, you will find lessons from world history, U.S. history, and U.S. government. Each lesson is a PDF of a reading, questions, and a small-group activity, except where noted.

Challenge of Democracy 
On this page of U.S. history and U.S. government-aligned lessons, browse under the categories of Governance, Information, Violence, and Diversity to find selected lessons.

Teaching with Primary Sources
Click the tabs for English-Language Arts and Social Studies for lessons using Library of Congress primary sources.


Containing the Coronavirus 
In this new lesson, students can read and write about the spread of the deadly coronavirus and what the U.S. government policy should be.

Student Webinars

Upcoming Free Live Student Webinars: 

Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern
The Common Good: Empowering Yourself from Your Couch
Middle and High School Students
Sari Kaufman and Casey Sherman, both organizers of #March for Our Lives, will lead a civic learning and engagement activity for your students. 
Monday, April 6, 2020 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern
In This Moment in Time: Public Policy and Civic Action 
High School Students
CRF Sr. Program Director (and high school teacher) Sarah Badawi will facilitate a lesson from CRF’s Civic Action Project focused on public policies in play and analyzing public policy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern
Our Rights & Freedoms: Visitor From Outer Space
Middle School Students
This interactive lesson places students in a situation where they must choose which of the Bill of Rights they want to keep and which rights they are willing to give up. This is a great activity to teach students about fundamental rights while strengthening their speaking, listening, and collaborative skills. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern
My Town and The Three Branches of Government
Grades 2-4 Students
Members of CRF’s Youth Board will lead a lesson for elementary students as they learn about the three branches of government.