Civic Engagement (FREE)

by  Springfield Armory National Historic Site

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Armory has developed a program that examines civic engagement in history
through Shays’ Rebellion and makes connections to today. Through this program
students will define and examine what civic engagement is, identify their
congressional representatives, and use critical thinking skills to begin the
creation of their civic action plan. This program requires teacher assistance
to lead several of the lessons and to continue working with students to develop
their action plan. This program is a blend of digital
programming with the Ranger and independent time in your

designed for Massachusetts 8
th grade Civic Engagement Project, this
program does meet some Civic Standards for other states. 

Program Rating

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About This Program


By Request: $0.00



This is a multi-day (4-5 day) program with each visit lasting about 1 hour.

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Homeschool/Family

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Character Education, Community Interests, Leadership, Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Microsoft Teams

Booking Information

Programs are offered Wednesday through Friday from 9am to 3pm Eastern Standard Time.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We request at least 48 hour notice if you are unable to commit to the set date and time for your program..

About This Provider

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Springfield Armory National Historic Site

Springfield, Massachusetts
United States

Springfield Armory was established as the Nation’s First Federal Arsenal. The Armory was a leader in the development of interchangeability, technological innovations of firearms, mechanization and specialization in precision manufacturing, and the production of small arms. Springfield Armory had numerous cultural, geographic and economic impacts on the City of Springfield and surrounding communities. 

In 1968 Springfield Armory closed and reopened in 1978 to the public as Springfield Armory National Historic Site which works to preserve and interpret the story of the nations first federal armory and its lasting impact on the United States. 

Scott Gausen

Program Details


Day 1: Introduction of the Park Ranger and a background history on the National Park Service and Springfield Armory.
Day 2: Shays Rebellion! Here students will look at an example in history where the people pushed for change and identify how the Rebellion led to change within the new nation. Students will engage in a simulation during this activity.
Day 3: Students will connect Shays Rebellion to Civic Engagement and work to define Civic Engagement. They will identify examples of Civic Engagement and who their state, local and national representatives are.
Day 4 and 5: Students will work to develop a Civic Action Plan.

Teachers should continue to work with students after the program has ended to continue to develop their Civic Action Plan to to follow through with it.


1.To identify how a single individual/person can create reform within society (or in a community).? ?
2.To provide students with an opportunity to examine an issue and propose a plan of civic engagement regarding their chosen topic.?

Standards Alignment

State Standards

Pre K-12 History and Social Science Practice Standards
· 1. Demonstrate civic knowledge, skill and dispositions.
· 2. Develop focused questions or problem statements and conduct inquiries.
· 6. Argue or explain conclusion, using valid reasoning and evidence.
· 7.Determine next steps and take information action as appropriate.

Grades 6-8 Reading Standards for Literacy in Content Areas
· 1. Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, quoting or paraphrasing as appropriate.
· 2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Grade 8 History and Social Science Content Standards
· Topic 2
o Analyze the weaknesses of the national government under the Articles of Confederation; and describe the crucial events leading to the Constitutional Convention. (Shays’ Rebellion)

Massachusetts Civic Engagement Project
This series of lessons provides a starting avenue into the Massachusetts Civic Engagement Project (Chapter 296 of the Acts of 2018).

By using Shays’ Rebellion as an example of historical civic engagement, the students will be directed to think about how they can become engaged in their community to promote positive change today. After examining a historical example of civic engagement, a brief overview of the modern system of government will be given and it will be explained how Shays Rebellion was a direct cause of the new system of government. Students will then be given the opportunity to explore their community and identify topics and issues they would like to address.

After identifying a topic to address, students will follow a six-step action plan to create change. As an introduction to the Civic Engagement Project Requirement, it is not expected that create a summative, full action plan, but rather that they gain an understanding of how they can create change.

The lessons can be modified to give the students an opportunity to create a summative full action plan if desired.

8th Grade Standards
· INQ 6–8.12 Present adaptations of arguments and explanations on topics of interest to others to reach audiences and venues outside the classroom using print and oral technologies (e.g., posters, essays, letters, debates, speeches, reports, and maps) and digital technologies (e.g., Internet, social media, and digital documentary).

· INQ 6–8.16 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levels of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.

CIV 8.4 Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good. (Shays’ Rebellion)