Help us to pilot our new digital civics curriculum!

This year, Old Sturbridge Village will be piloting new civics curriculum units for 5th grade and 8-12th grade. We are looking for teachers to try out these new units and provide feedback and assessment.

Contract for Poor Relief, Town of Sturbridge, Mass., 1821


The curriculum for grades 8-12 focuses on local government in 19th-century New England and the individual rights of citizens. It examines not only the lives of citizens in the early 1800s, but also draws parallels to contemporary issues, and asks how students can take civic action today. Students will learn about different approaches to poor relief in 1830s New England, formulate research based opinions on the best course of action, and participate in a mock Town Meeting, complete with debating and voting.

Unit one includes:

Additionally, these lesson plans meet many of the latest social studies standards for grades 8-12 in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

To participate in this pilot, educators must commit to teaching all five of the lesson plans during spring 2021, as well as completing the subsequent program evaluations.

To participate in the Town Meeting pilot, please complete the Google form here.

We will also be piloting a 5th-grade civics curriculum focused on slavery and abolition later this spring. If you or another one of your colleagues would be interested in that pilot, please fill out the Google form here. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments at

Check this page regularly for updates about the 5th-grade pilot program.

e-Civics Programming is Brought to You by:

Berkshire Bank Foundation Bank ESB Rhode Island Council for the Humanitites Webster Five LogoHanover Insurance Group

This program is also brought to you by the following trusts and funds: