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? 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. 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.

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.


"The Discovering Justice 1st grade curriculum is a living anti-racist document."

Witney Christie, Boston Public Schools

"My biggest takeaway from Children Discovering Justice is that this curriculum is actually a framework for empowerment; an opportunity for educators and scholars to engage in a transformative human experience."

Fabiane Noronha, Grade 3 Teacher, Cambridge Public Schools, and Discovering Justice Board Member

"Civics is important because it lets people know what is just and unjust so people can be nicer to other people, and even sometimes animals. I enjoy civics because it gives my brain a break, as well as let it grow."

Ian, Grade 3 Student, Winship Elementary School 

Hear from more CDJ participants here
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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.

Kayla Nordman

Kayla Nordman believes strongly in expanding access to comprehensive civic education to provide the next generation with the resources they need to uphold and expand upon the values of American democracy and create a more equitable future. Before joining Discovering Justice, she worked as a Legislative Intern at the Massachusetts State House and as a Program Manager for the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education. Kayla graduated from Suffolk University with a BA in International Relations.