Where Do We Learn CDVs?

6, 7, 8

We examine the Core Values of American Democracy and discuss their importance and where we are exposed to them and practice them throughout life.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

Articulate the value of the Core Democratic Values to civil society.

  • Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy (Handout) Spanish version (Handout)
  • Descriptors (Handout) Spanish version (Handout)

The Center for Civic Education https://www.civiced.org/. Civitas: A Framework for Civic Education. 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Discuss the meaning of the concept of common good (coming together for the interests of all). This concept is critical in a civil society that values peace and diversity.

    Brainstorm examples of when actions benefit the good of all, even more than for individual benefit. What values show responsibility for the common good? 

    Examples: We cover our sneezes so we don't pass germs to others; we share and take turns in order to make a more civil community; we pay taxes so we have roads; we vote and stand up for the needs of others. 

  2. Introduce the term Core Democratic Values and the following definition: Core democratic values are the fundamental beliefs and Constitutional principles of American Society that unite all Americans. On the handout below, Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy, look over the two categories of Core Democratic Values: fundamental beliefs and Constitutional principles. 

    The handout Descriptors gives more detail about each of the Core Democratic Values. Look for the common threads in the values listed in each category. Discuss the two lists. 

  3. We learn about Core Democratic Values in school, at home, clubs, and in faith practices so we get along and prepare for a life of integrity and responsibility to the good of all. 

    Look over the lists in the handout and identify where each of the values is learned: at home, at school, in clubs, and other places we interact with others. Some may be learned and taught in several places. Some may not be getting enough attention.


  4. Each participant identifies one CDV that means the most to them. They look up the meaning and restate it in language for social media. It may be a clever call to action, a rhyme, or an image with text to inform others about the importance of the value and connection to our Constitution. 

  5. Share the social media posts within the group for feedback and discussion. If desired and appropriate, they may share their posts in order to influence others about the CDVs. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 06. Role of Family in Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify how families contribute to the socialization of children.