Grades 3-8 Constitution Day Resources

Sept. 17 Constitution Day Mandate
A mandate amended to the 2004 congressional spending bill, and still in effect, requires every school and college that receives federal money to teach about the Constitution on September 17, the day the Constitution was adopted. U.S. Department of Education guidelines allow schools to plan their own programs.

Federal Register guidelines document

Grade 8 Resources in History Alive!
For grade 8, the newly adopted History Alive! materials provide excellent lessons!
Look under Government, Constitution Day and also at the bottom of the page in the Constitution


Grades 3-8

Online Lesson Resources

The Classroom Law Project -- A Visitor From Outer Space
This simple and flexible lesson could work for 5th grade and up. It is definitely a “one period” activity although it could launch many longer-term studies.

A number of grade-level lessons are available at:

American Bar Association
Lessons, interactive quiz, resources

Education World has lessons for grades 3-5

Gwynedd-Mercy College

Council of State Social Studies Specialists (CS4)
This links to another large list of resources.

Bill of Rights Institute
The Bill of Rights Institute has developed materials to help students and other observers understand the significance of the U.S. Constitution in observance of Constitution Day. Free materials are available to download from the web site. There are Constitution Day lessons for middle school and high school as well as a Constitution Cube lesson with activities for all levels. "Champions of Freedom" is a middle school activity that includes images of the Founding Fathers.

First Amendment Center
The First Amendment Center provided information about the First Amendment freedoms to protect and preserve the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The center is housed at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Arlington, Virginia. Materials are organized according to the five freedoms in the First Amendment. Lesson plans are also included.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
The Gilder Lehrman Institute has a module on the U.S. Constitution under "For Teachers and Students." Resources include primary sources, a bibliography of books, films and additional web sites. Lesson plans illustrate how to put all of the resources together.

History Channel Brief Video
Type in “Constitution” and wait a few seconds for the ad to finish

National Archives
The National Archives Building in Washington, D. C. houses the handwritten copy of the U.S. Constitution. An article included on the web site entitled "A More Perfect Union" provides details of the Constitutional Convention and the process for ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Interesting facts about the U.S. Constitution are included in "Questions and Answers Pertaining to the Constitution." These resources are available on the Constitution web page.

Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) web site has at least thirty-five lessons and other activities relating to the U.S. Constitution. One lesson for high school is entitled "Why Celebrate Constitution Day?" Most of the lessons appear to be for high school and middle school classes.

U.S. Courts
The U.S. Courts web site has discussion topics in one-page handouts, fast facts, interactive games, sixth amendment activities and court simulations.

National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Their resources include a toolkit for a group of people to read the Constitution aloud and lesson plans and other resources. The teacher resources were updated on August 17 and 18, 2006. The first web address is for the home page for the National Constitution Center. The second web address is for Constitution Day activities. The third web address links to the "America Reads the Constitution" tool kit. Visitor From Outer SpaceA Visitor From Outer SpaceNEW 8TH GRADE CURRICULUM GUIDE