American Dreams

Aspiring “new” Americans get help with history and civics via interactive web site featuring Smithsonian’s American History collections

Aspiring “new” Americans get help with history and civics via interactive web site featuring Smithsonian’s American History collections

LatinaLista — All the 4,000 new citizens who took their oath of U.S. citizenship across the country worked hard to get to this day. They had to study American history and take tests. Before there was the Internet, aspiring U.S. citizens had to attend classes to learn about the U.S. Constitution, the role of the federal government, the judicial system, the Congress and everything that makes the United States what it is today.

But in a world that becomes more time-crunched each year and less classes are available to service the growing number of people who want to become U.S. citizens, an alternative way to teach aspiring citizens the civics and history they need to know for the citizenship test has emerged online.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has partnered with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to present a new web site especially for people who want to take the oath of citizenship. Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship uses videos and activities to help people with the civics portion of the naturalization test.

The site features 100 questions and answers from the naturalization test; lesson plans to assist teachers with their classroom activities; a word list with definitions of terms; and the opportunity for users to test themselves.

Covering a variety of themes ranging from the Basics of Government and the Presidency to the Constitution, Symbols and Holidays and a review of Famous Citizens, the site takes full advantage of multimedia and the museum's extensive collections and artifacts to create an online experience that brings American history and civics alive and memorable to users.

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