Children Discovering Justice Curriculum

  • Children Discovering Justice Curriculum

Children Discovering Justice: Grades K-5

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Children Discovering Justice

Children Discovering Justice (CDJ) is a Massachusetts standards-based K-5 civics curriculum engaging students in topics such as community, rules, leadership, and equity while answering the essential question, what is justice and how do I use my voice to advocate for it? CDJ offers high quality, easy to use lessons with flexible tools and activities based on real-time needs of educators. The curriculum provides students with the foundational knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be engaged, critical, compassionate, and active leaders of our democracy, and provides teachers with the culturally responsive scaffolds, entry points, and tangibles to explore critical topics and conversations.

In an effort to promote equity in civics across the state and made possible by the support of our donors, Discovering Justice is ensuring Children Discovering Justice is open source through Google Drive and free to all Massachusetts school districts.

Children Discovering Justice Elementary Civics Curriculum by Grade Level


The Children Discovering Justice (CDJ) curriculum supports teachers and students in unpacking the big ideas connected to justice and deepening their understanding of the term and its functions, both in their own lives, and the greater community and world. Students will understand that the struggle for justice is ongoing, complex, and involves seeking multiple perspectives. Flexible tools and lesson activities can be integrated across multiple parts of the school day to deepen understanding, extend vocabulary, and provide opportunities for students to explore justice and make personal connections to the happenings of the world around them.

Children Discovering Justice Sample Resources

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Sample Lessons and Activities

Professional Development

A Children Discovering Justice Professional Development Session with Cambridge Public Schools

We offer virtual and in-person professional development tailored to your district’s needs and priorities, supporting educators with the frameworks, tools, and strategies needed to effectively implement this curriculum and cultivate students’ civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions across all parts of the school day.

Reach out to Education Program Director, Laura Brenner at to use the curriculum or inquire about PD.


Collaboration and Multiple Perspectives

Diversity of perspectives is essential to rich civil discourse, which is why it is a central component of the Children Discovering Justice curriculum. We seek to represent and explore multiple perspectives through videos of guest experts, nuanced vignettes, and discussion activities, and also embody that value through the design process. Many educators and justice advocates played a role in the design, piloting, and iteration process of Children Discovering Justice to make it what it is. We are so grateful to all the contributors for sharing their perspectives, expertise, and time.

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