Learning about your role as a citizen in a democracy isn’t just a state standard, it’s a critical part of maintaining a strong and responsive government. Bring those lessons to life by taking advantage of the resources available at the NJ State House. Here are just a few:

Tours

The State House Tour Office brings classroom lessons to life at our State’s capitol. Free tours and programs are suitable for everyone from kindergarten to college. Learn more – and plan your visit – by visiting their site.

Back-to-School Program

The New Jersey State Legislature is a partner with the National Conference of State Legislatures in supporting America’s Legislators Back-to-School Program.

As part of this initiative, New Jersey legislators will make special efforts to visit with school children, providing personal insights into the value of public service and the lawmaking process. They can address questions such as:

  • What does it mean to be a legislator?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • How did they get involved in public service and why?
  • What issues are they most concerned about and what action is being taken?
  • What efforts are they most proud of?
  • What advice does they give to future legislators?

To schedule a visit, teachers should reach out to local Senators and/or Assembly Members and tell them you are interested in a “Back-to-School” visit. You can find contact information here.

Virtual visits

Unable to visit the State House? The virtual classroom makes it possible to experience a Make a Law! lesson right in your own school. Through a partnership with Thomas Edison State University, a Tour Office educator beams into your classroom to provide the lawmaking experience in real time. Students assume the role of lawmakers and learn the process of bill passage by demonstrating the skills of debate, negotiation and compromise.

Tour Office staff will assist with pre-visit materials and video conferencing setup. A computer with internet access, a web camera and sound capacity is required.

This program serves audiences in grades 3-12, and can contribute to certain New Jersey Cumulative Progress Indicators. Additional information is provided here as an offering for grades 3-6 and 8-12.

Vote activity plans

The State House Tour Office provides activity plans to help students understand the citizen’s role in the election process. The curriculum was developed for grades 4-6, but may have wider use. View the activity plans here.

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