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Constitution Day Resources

Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is observed on September 17 in recognition of the adoption of the United States Constitution and to those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17 because that was the day the Framers at the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. Universities, schools, and other public institutions observe the holiday on the weekday closest to September 17 with opportunities to learn about and honor the oldest, continuously operating constitution in the world. The following materials were researched, reviewed, and developed to for K-12 educators to use in their school and classroom celebrations.

United States Constitution
US Constitution.pdf

Constitution Day Brochure
2011ConstitutionDay-brochure.pdf

This brief 4-page fold-over document can be distributed to teachers and parents and includes background information, and a basic set of links to primary sources, lessons and other information related to the Constitution.  There is also a short list of children’s literature.

 

Children’s Literature for Constitution Day

ConstitutionDayLit.pdf

This is an 8-page list of nonfiction, biography and fiction for children of all ages. These materials emphasize not only the writing of the constitution, but also how it has been applied to many issues in American history such as the Civil Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage, and issues of property, publishing, religion, child labor and more.

Constitutional Rights Foundation-Constitution Day Resources

(free registration required to download some)

Here is a great selection of hands on activities to learn about the Constitution divided into grade range sections.

Constitution Day Activities

These online games and activities from Scholastic will be great for upper elementary and middle school students.

Constitution Quizzes

These online quizzes about the Constitution and the Framers could be used as motivating whole class background building activities or at the end of a unit of study. 

U.S. Courts – The Federal Judiciary

Here are resources about the role of the courts in America’s constitutional system.

 

Plays

Boston Plays

The Boston Plays are skits about problems the American colonists had with the British government.  Explain that America was once ruled by England and then read the Boston Plays with your students. Share the related amendments from the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, having students guess which amendment addresses the situation presented in each play. Grades 3-5

Constitutional Convention Play

This original Constitutional Convention play by Matt Dixon works best for middle and high school. It focuses on the major compromises involved in resolving the major differences among the states as the Framers struggled to set up a new central government.

Constitution Day Play: The Tinker Case

Teachers may choose to do this play as a reader’s theater, a radio theater, or a regular play with the different scenes.  It makes the constitution come alive for students because it looks at the document as it applies to issues in contemporary life. The case under study, Tinker v Des Moines is one related to student protest.

The Constitutional Convention

Written by Brenda Covert, this play focuses on the differences among the Framers and how they dealt with those widely divergent perspectives. Humor and gossip make the play vary approachable for students from upper elementary on.

Primary Grade Lessons and Activities
Primary Grade Lessons and Activities

Bill of Rights Coloring Activity

 http://www.illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/coloring_books.php

Constitution Day Rap

http://new.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/constitution-day-and-citizenship-day

What Is Authority?

http://new.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/constitution-day-and-citizenship-day

The Constitution: The Country’s Rules

http://new.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/constitution-day-and-citizenship-day

What’s Fair in a Free Country?

http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/first-amendment-whats-fair-free-country

Matching Game with the U.S. Constitution

http://new.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/constitution-day-and-citizenship-day

Grades 3-4 Lessons and Activities

 

Character and Citizenship Education: A Class Citizenship Tree for Elementary Students

Gr2-4Character&Citizenship.pdf

 

First Amendment: What Fair in a Free Country?

http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=339

 

Constitution Day: Concentrating on the Preamble (scroll to September 2005)

http://www.texaslre.org/lessonplans/lessonplans_archive.php

The Preamble

Gr3-4Preamble.pdf

Preamble Hand Motions

Gr3-5Handmotions-preamble.pdf

 

Comparing California’s Constitutional Provisions on Religion to the U.S. Constitution

Gr4-CAProvisionsReligion&1stAmend.pdf

 

Levels of Government in California

http://www.learncalifornia.org/doc.asp?ID=761

 

Grade 5 Lessons and Activities

Picture Sort

ConstDayPictureSort.pdf

Mayflower Compact

MayflowerCompact.pdf

Hand motions for the Preamble

Handmotions-preamble.pdf

How Was the Constitution Used to Organize the New government?

NewGov't.pdf

Introducing the First Amendment

Intro1stAmend.pdf

Visitor from Outer Space (Choosing Our Most Important Rights)

http://www.crf-usa.org/constitution-day/constitution-day.html

 

Grade 6 and 7 Lessons and Activities

 

Aristotle – In Search of the First Constitution

Aristotle-In Search of Best Constitution.pdf

Hebrews and Western Law

(Requires free registraion to access)

http://www.crf-usa.org/bria/bria16_4.htm

Lessons from the Roman Republic

http://www.congresslink.org/print_lp_roman.htm

Meeting at Runnymede: The Story of King John and Magna Carta

http://www.crf-usa.org/foundations-of-our-constitution/magna-carta.html

Luther Sparks a Protestant Reformation: How It Relates to the First

Amendment

RevLuther SparksReformation-1stAmend.pdf

England’s Glorious Revolution

Glorious Revolution.pdf

Will You Sign This Petition?

http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/resources/lesson.aspx?id=13953

Grade 8 Resources and Activities

Freedom of Assembly: The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention

SenecaFalls.pdf

Persecution of the Mormons

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-17-1-b.html

Freedom of Speech and Press: Frederick Douglass

Douglass&free-speechpress.pdf

 

Warm Up/Review Questions Using First Day Covers:  The Thirteenth Amendment

13thAmendment.pdf

The 14th Amendment and the "Second Bill of Rights"

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-7-4-b.html

First Amendment and Political Cartoons

(scroll to the middle of the page)

http://www.channelonenetwork.com/teacher/articles/2007/01/02/1_voice/lessons.html

Visitor from Outer Space

http://www.crf-usa.org/constitution-day/constitution-day.html

Grade 10 Lessons and Activities

Hebrews and Western Law

(Requires free registraion to access)

http://www.crf-usa.org/bria/bria16_4.htm

Magna Carta: Cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution

http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/magna-carta-cornerstone-us-

constitution

Will You Sign This Petition?

http://www.freedomforum.org/packages/first/curricula/educationforfreedom/L07main.htm

England’s Glorious Revolution

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-25-3-england-glorious-revolution.html

Yellow Journalism: William Randolph Hearst

10thyellowjournalism.pdf

The Sedition Act of 1918

10th-1918seditionact.pdf

Grades 11-12 Lessons and Activities

 

Historical Analysis of Constitutional Amendments

ConstitutionHistoricalAnalysis.pdf

Freedom of Assembly: The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention

SenecaFalls.pdf

Warm Up/Review Questions Using First Day Covers: The Thirteenth

Amendment

13thAmendment.pdf

The 14th Amendment and the "Second Bill of Rights"

http://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-7-4-b.html

1st Amendment Religion and Public Schools

1stAmend_Relig&Schools.pdf

You Are Free to Exercise

http://www.freedomforum.org/packages/first/curricula/educationforfreedom/L06main.htm

First Amendment and Political Cartoons

(scroll to the middle of the page)

http://www.channelonenetwork.com/teacher/articles/2007/01/02/1_voice/lessons.html

Warm Up/Review Lesson Using First Day Covers: Brown v Board of Education

Brown v Board.pdf

Brown v Board of Education: School Segregation, Equal Protection

http://www.streetlaw.org/en/Case.6.aspx

Tinker v. Des Moines (1969): Student Speech, Symbolic Speech

http://www.streetlaw.org/en/Case.10.aspx

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1988): Censorship, Student Press Rights

http://www.streetlaw.org/en/Case.15.aspx

 

Arizona’s Immigration Law: SB1070 and State Policing of Immigration

http://crfimmigrationed.org/index.php/stuff/arizonas-sb1070-and-state-policing-of-immigration

What is Meant by Returning to Fundamental Principles?
1stPrinciples.pdf



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