Middle School Students with Exceptionalities Discovering Citizenship through Personal Inquiry and Experience

Students at the Warren Hills Middle School in Warren County learn what it means to be a good citizen thanks to their teachers and a $6,896 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education. Parents are invited to a breakfast session in July to learn about the project timeline and activities. Educators Jessica Rader and Daniel Cullen are leading the project.

Students take field trips to the local police department, fire department, and the mayor’s office and/or county courthouse. A state senator is engaged to speak to the students and answer questions. Students participate in a day trip to Trenton where they tour the State House of New Jersey.

During all the daily activities, students gather “ingredients” for a recipe to make a “Responsible Citizen of New Jersey” recipe card in the shape of the State of New Jersey. The five foot tall recipe card may be displayed in the local library or the Mayor’s office.

Students begin the Federal Citizenship phase of the project where they participate in field trips to Philadelphia, Liberty Park Ellis Island, and The Statue of Liberty. Students contrast federal citizenship with state. From these observations, students create a Federal Citizenship Board Game.

Parents and students are given a blank portfolio that they fill with data and artifacts the students collected over the previous four weeks of the project, which is included in their definition of a responsible citizen. The portfolios are displayed during “Back to School Night.” All district teachers have access to the project lesson plans at the portfolio fair and on the district website.

Middle School StudentsIf you're interested in knowing how this project developed and concluded, feel free to read the Final Report.

For further information, contact:

Jessica Rader
School – (908) 689-0750