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This is a collection of links and resources found on the internet. Much of the information on this page is from the following website: http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/special_events/constitution_day/
In May of 2005, Congress enacted a law stating that "Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.''
It will be a great day to renew our commitment to democracy by reciting the Preamble and participating in patriotic activities such as wearing red, white and blue, singing the national anthem, and learning about the history and ideals of the Constitution itself. These resources are designed to support schools in creating a meaningful learning experience for students.
Constitution Day September 17th commemorates the date in 1787 that the Constitutional Convention adjourned from its long months of deliberation at the State House in Philadelphia (Independence Hall), after having completed the arduous and historic task of writing the United States Constitution.
Independence Hall, Philadelphia
The Constitution is housed at the National Archives and is viewed by visitors from all over the world. Nothing is like seeing this awe-inspiring document in person, but you may see and print large-size photocopies of each page of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights online at Charters of Freedom.
The Constitutional Convention was a closed meeting and the discussions were not made public or reported in the newspaper. No official minutes were made of the debates and discussions held during the meeting, but JaThis entertaining video takes us step by step through the document that forms the basis of the United States government. Students will learn about the ideals of the American Constitutional government, the theory of "We, the people," and the concepts laid out in the Preamble. Also shown is how the Constitution empowers the government to fulfill its responsibilities, while at the same time limiting and sharing those powers.
my Madison made personal notes. These notes are what historians use in analyzing what happened at this fateful meeting. You may read the transcribed notes for yourself at http://www.NHCCS.org/Mnotes.html. Access by date from a calendar showing the days the convention held meetings.
The National Archives has developed and posted some excellent resources to commemorate Constitution Day in the classroom.
One of the most interesting of the National Archives resources is 39 Signers, There is biographical information on each of the signers of the Constitution. In all, 55 delegates attended the Constitutional Convention sessions, but only 39 actually signed the Constitution. The delegates ranged in age from Jonathan Dayton, aged 26, to Benjamin Franklin, aged 81, who was so infirm that he had to be carried to sessions in a sedan chair.
In addition to the National Archives, there are many other websites with excellent information about the writing and ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution Society site http://www.constitution.org/ is a rich resource with essays and links to primary sources from political philosophers, key concepts in the Constitution, and even images of the 55 Constitutional Convention delegates and other Founders.
We also have access to the videos on United Streaming,
Here are a few titles available on United Streaming.
Understanding the Constitution: Creating the Federal Government, 22 minutes
This series takes a close look at the United States Constitution and how it works. How our country's founders forged the framework of our government comes to life in this engaging program. Students will learn about James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and their key roles in the creation of the Constitution. Viewers will come to understand why compromise played such an important role in the final drafting of the Constitution and how, because of the Founding Fathers' foresight, the Constitution remains the oldest written framework of a government in the world.
Our Constitution: The Document that Gave Birth to a Nation, 24 minutes
Utilizing the spectacular backdrop of the events which surrounded the "We the People 200" celebration in Philadelphia 1987, this program simply, clearly and with dramatic flair, examines and explains the historical significance of the Constitution, its structure and function, and its present-day meaning and importance.
Ssssshhhh! We're Writing the Constitution! 31 minutes
This title from the Jean Fritz Collection of historic books for young people is illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Jean Fritz introduces elementary and middle school students to the delegates at the 1787 summer convention in Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, James Madison, and many others traveled there to draft a plan that would unify their states while preserving their sovereignty. Part of the Weston Woods Series.
The Painless Guide to the U.S. Constitution, 21 minutes
This entertaining video takes us step by step through the document that forms the basis of the United States government. Students will learn about the ideals of the American Constitutional government, the theory of "We, the people," and the concepts laid out in the Preamble. Also shown is how the Constitution empowers the government to fulfill its responsibilities, while at the same time limiting and sharing those powers.
Signers of Constitution
This one-class period activity is often used in National Archive Training. Participants describe how the members of the Constitutional Convention might have felt as they gathered and began the arduous and memorable task of writing the United States Constitution.
The First Amendment: What's Fair in a Free Country
Young people have a profound sense of the importance of fairness. "It's not fair" is often used as a one-size-fits-all argument when a child feels victimized. Almost every day difficult issues arise related to our right to free speech and our responsibility to avoid harming someone.
Constitution for Kids
This site has sections on the following: Making the Constitution, Text of the Constitution by Article and Amendment, Biographies of the Signers, Fascinating Constitution Facts, and Articles of Confederation v the Constitution.
Students will analyze the basic components and concepts of the United States Constitution and then create a "Class Constitution" to be used to maintain discipline and order throughout the school year. Students will use cooperative learning structures and civil discourse to resolve the differences that may arise. The Constitution will then be "ratified" by the parents.
The Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make a More Perfect Union?
How does the language of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution reflect historical events and the goals the Founders had for the future? What does the Preamble mean? After this lesson, students will explain the purposes of the U.S. Constitution as identified in the Preamble to the Constitution. They will also identify fundamental values and principles as they are expressed in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
Constitution Day, September 17
Commemorate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day with free, downloadable lessons for Grades K–12. Each lesson includes teacher instructions.
Constitutional Rights Foundation Lesson Plans
A collection of lesson plans for all grade levels.
Lessons for Constitution Day Lesson Plan
Has lesson plans for all grade levels
Constitution Day - September 17
Lesson plans for all grades for Constitution Day
Teaching the Constitution Lesson Plan
Has lesson and activity ideas for all grade levels - organized by subject and grade level. It also includes resource information.
Constitution Day Wiki Resource Site
A listing of links to lessons and activities for Constitution Day.
ConstitutionFacts.com Resource Site
Resource site includes lots of information for learning about the Constitution for all ages.
Roadmap to the Constitution Resource Site
http://library.thinkquest.org/11572/This site is dedicated to providing students of all kinds with knowledge of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Grade Level(s): 3-5, 6-8
Teaching With Documents: Observing Constitution Day Resource Site
The National Archives and Records Administration celebrates this important day in our nation's history by presenting the following activities, lesson plans, and information.
Grade Level(s): 3-5, 6-8,
The Constitution Resource Site
The entire text of the Constitution organized by article and amendment for all ages.
The Making of the Constitution Resource Site
This article examines the causes, difficulties, and results of the Constitutional Convention, the Bill of Rights, and more for all ages.
Constitution Day & Week Theme Unit
Ben's Guide To Government
White House Constitution For Kids
Shh! We're Writing The Constitution
See Constitution & Related Resources
http://www.archives.gov/Constitution Day Sept. 17
Copy Of Constitution
Constitution Day Links, Webquests, Plans
Books & Resources Links
A MORE PERFECT UNION, DVD, 2 hours, click here for further information, Borrow from Roberta
THE BIRTH OF THE CONSTITUTION, VHS or DVD, about 25 minutes, the Peanuts gang goes to Philadephia, PA, to learn about the U.S. Constitution, Borrow from Roberta
OUR CONSTITUTION: THE DOCUMENT THAT GAVE BIRTH TO A NATION, 24 minutes, download from United Streaming http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/
Blackline masters and Teacher's Guide also available
SSSSSHHHH! WE'RE WRITING THE CONSTITUTION!, 31 minutes, reading of the book, download from United Streaming http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/ , Teacher's Guide also available
UNDERSTANDING THE CONSTITUTION: CREATING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 22 minutes, download from United Streaming http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/
National Constitution Center
Through the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, Congress established an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization called the National Constitution Center. NCC was established to increase awareness and understanding of the US Constitution, the Constitution's history and the Constitution's relevance to our daily lives so that all of us -- "We the People" -- will better understand and exercise our rights and our responsibilities. Here you will find a wealth of teaching resources appropriate for Constitution Day, including:
Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline
The Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline is an online experience by the National Constitution Center highlighting some of the key dates and events that mark more than 200 years of our constitutional history. These timeline entries, taken as a whole, tell the evolving story of the U.S. Constitution and the continuing role that it plays in our lives.
This site by the National Constitution Center allows users to search the Constitution by keyword, explore it by topic or review the interpretation of the Constitution by the Supreme Court case.
Declaration of Independence and Acts of Courage
Students construct a definition of courage based on classroom discussion, then consider a Founding document, The Declaration of Independence and an essay about what happened to the signers in the years during and following the American Revolution.
War Making: Executive and Legislative Powers
Students will discuss the respective roles and responsibilities of the executive and legislative branches in making war?
Respecting Freedom of Speech
Students consider five controversial instances of “free speech” and participate in a discussion that attempts to draw the distinction between private versus government action regarding speech; rights of the speakers and rights of the listener; and right to free speech and responsibility to act or speak with respect.
Investigating the Departments of the Executive Branch
Students learn about the role of bureaucracy in the United States government; they then examine the history, leadership, organization, and goals of executive agencies.
Examining the Role of Civil Liberties in the American Value System
Students explore how immigration, citizenship, due process of law, and the freedoms of speech and assembly have shaped American values throughout American history.
Here are 15 questions about the Constitution from the New Hampshire Center for Constitutional Studies
Justice Learning Center
Here are conversations with Supreme Court justices and other learning materials for Constitution Day.
Here is a rich resource of primary and secondary documents related to the constitution organized around big quotations by Gilder Lehrman.
The Constitution Song sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
The Constitution is the law,
Is the law, is the law,
The Constitution is the law
It was written long ago
Long ago, long ago,
It was written long ago
It gives people freedoms and rights,
Freedoms and rights, freedoms and rights,
It gives people freedoms and rights
All across the land.
Now it's time to celebrate,
Now it's time to celebrate
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