Learn practical skills and find the tools you need to help your students discuss, debate, and take action on current issues!




Close Up’s lesson plans, professional development, and classroom resources are designed to translate our nearly 50 years of civic education experience into practices and ideas that are useful and accessible to classroom teachers. We know from educating almost 1,000,000 middle and high school students from across the country on our experiential education programs in Washington, DC, that helping young people discuss controversial social issues can be challenging. Close Up’s approach to civic education in the classroom draws upon our practical experiences engaging young people from diverse backgrounds in discussions and debates about pressing policy issues, government structure, and democratic values. Our methodology is informed by experiential and cooperative learning theories, issue-centered education, and principles in democratic education.

Below you will find information about Close Up’s materials, lesson plans, professional development, and programming–all designed to help educators and students engage in meaningful dialogue about political and social issues.



Classroom Resources

Prepare students to discuss current events with our classroom resources.

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Professional Development

Gain skills, tools, and strategies to frame controversial issue discussions in your classroom.

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Understand key principles and theories of Close Up’s pedagogy.

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Current Partnerships

Learn about Close Up’s partnerships in the civic education world.

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Virtual Engagement: Mismatch

Connect with other classrooms across the country to practice civil dialogue.

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Close Up In Class Blog

Our weekly posts frame major issues in the news to spark classroom discussions.

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Register to Vote

Register to vote!

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High School Programs

High school students from across the country come together to make lasting connections with the people and places that represent our democracy.

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Middle School Programs

Middle School students from across the country come together to live and learn in the nation’s capital.

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