How Do the Core Knowledge History and Geography Materials Address Civics?

A critical goal of the Core Knowledge History and GeographyTM (CKHG) curriculum materials is to ensure that students acquire the foundational knowledge needed to become literate citizens who can contribute to a democratic society.

The Pathway to Citizenship

To that end, for all CKHG American History titles, every Teacher Guide includes a feature called The Pathway to Citizenship. An American flag icon denotes specific topics, questions, and activities that focus on the rights and duties of citizenship, including key historical events, ideas, documents, laws, and the structure of American government.

In choosing to designate specific content as part of The Pathway to Citizenship, we have been guided by a test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Immigrants seeking to become naturalized American citizens are required to answer correctly a selection of questions from the test. During an interview, candidates for citizenship are asked up to 10 questions from the 100 items in the USCIS Civics Test.

Check Your Students’ Civics Knowledge

Students who master the goals of The Pathway to Citizenship in the CKHG American History resources for grades 3-5 will have a strong sense of the historical context of ideas, ideals, and arguments central to the shaping of American government and civic institutions. They will also have the knowledge assessed by the USCIS Civics Test.

At the end of Grade 5, we encourage teachers using CKHG to challenge students to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge fundamental to becoming informed American citizens.

From the 100 items in the USCIS Civics Test, the Core Knowledge Foundation has prepared four quizzes with ten questions each. Click to open each quiz (and to download each quiz and answer key).

Civics Quiz A

Download Civics Quiz A with Answer Key

The following questions are from the 100 items in the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Immigrants seeking to become naturalized American citizens are required to answer correctly a selection of questions from the test.

Answer the following questions to check your civics knowledge.

  1. What document is the supreme law of the land?
  2. Who is in charge of the executive branch?
  3. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?
  4. How many U.S. Senators are there?
  5. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?
  6. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?
  7. Name the U.S. war between the North and the South.
  8. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?
  9. What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?
  10. What is the name of the national anthem?

Civics Quiz B

Download Civics Quiz B with Answer Key

The following questions are from the 100 items in the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Immigrants seeking to become naturalized American citizens are required to answer correctly a selection of questions from the test.

Answer the following questions to check your civics knowledge.

  1. What is an amendment?
  2. Name one branch or part of the government.
  3. Who makes federal laws?
  4. We elect a U.S. Senator for how many years?
  5. What is one responsibility that is only for United States citizens?
  6. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?
  7. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1800s.
  8. Who did the United States fight in World War II?
  9. Name one U.S. territory.
  10. Why does the flag have 50 stars?

Civics Quiz C

Download Civics Quiz C with Answer Key

The following questions are from the 100 items in the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Immigrants seeking to become naturalized American citizens are required to answer correctly a selection of questions from the test.

Answer the following questions to check your civics knowledge.

  1. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
  2. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?
  3. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
  4. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?
  5. There are four amendments to the Constitution about who can vote. Describe one of them.
  6. There were 13 original states. Name three.
  7. What did Susan B. Anthony do?
  8. What major event happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States?
  9. Name one state that borders Canada.
  10. When do we celebrate Independence Day?

Civics Quiz D

Download Civics Quiz D with Answer Key

The following questions are from the 100 items in the civics test developed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Immigrants seeking to become naturalized American citizens are required to answer correctly a selection of questions from the test.

Answer the following questions to check your civics knowledge.

  1. What did the Declaration of Independence do?
  2. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?
  3. Who signs bills to become laws?
  4. What are the two major political parties in the United States?
  5. What are two ways that Americans can participate in their democracy?
  6. Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
  7. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
  8. Name one war fought by the United States in the 1900s.
  9. Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States.
  10. Name two national U.S. holidays.

Additional Resources

Civics Renewal Network

The Core Knowledge Foundation has partnered with the Civics Renewal Network, “a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the U.S. by increasing the quality of civics education in our nation’s schools and by improving accessibility to high-quality, no-cost learning materials. On the Civics Renewal Network site, teachers can find the best resources of these organizations, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy.”

USCIS Resources

Teachers may also be interested in additional resources available to prepare for the USCIS Civics Test, such as flash cards and study materials in Spanish and Chinese, as well as English.

Of particular interest: