Close Up’s mission - to encourage more active and informed citizenship - sets us apart from other tour and travel operators; and it is Close Up’s commitment to empowering and engaging youth that has made the program experience so meaningful for so many students and teachers over the years..

Close Up’s methodology infuses education for democracy into every moment of a student’s time with us. Our interactive seminars and program components create an experience that is truly transformational not only during the week that students participate, but for the rest of their lives. The citizenship skills, attitudes and dispositions that they learn and practice on Close Up are carried home with them strengthening their participation in their communities, schools and government. Students will view the Close Up experience not as an isolated trip to Washington, D.C., but as a key step in the process of understanding civic activism. After the Close Up trip, students return home and put into practice the skills they have learned in Washington.

However, Close Up’s experiential education programs are just one way that we fulfill our mission of encouraging more active and informed citizenship. Close Up Publications, local and international programs, and teacher trainings all serve the Foundation's purpose of encouraging more active and informed citizenship. Each year we receive requests from teachers all across the country for Close Up lesson plans to help prepare students for their Washington experience and/or reinforce lessons learned on program. Close Up truly views our network of teachers as partners in civic education, and we wanted to share some Close Up lesson plans with you for you to use in your classroom. If you have not yet enrolled in a Close Up program, please visit our high school and middle school program pages to learn more about how you can provide this once-in-a-lifetime experience to your students or contact us today!

Current Issues Update: The Voting Rights Act
Current Issues Update: Campaign Finance Reform
Rights Auction Lesson Plan
National Interest and Tools of Foreign Policy Lesson Plan
Zero Tolerance or Zero Privacy Lesson Plan
Teaching Controversial Issues Lesson Plan
Unit Plan: Federal-Indian Relations in the Early Years of the Republic
Unit Plan: Examining Imperialism
Unit Plan: Testing the Limits of Rights
Unit Plan: The Civil War
Unit Plan: Women's Rights
Unit Plan: Youth Rights
Unit Plan: Freedom of Religion
Unit Plan: Youth Voting


"Coming on Close Up has allowed me to be able to add more history to my American Literature class as well as my fellow staff members."

   – Joell, Teacher, MI
Educating for democracy since 1971