Constitution Day, September 17

A mandate in the 2004 congressional spending bill requires every school and college or agency 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. (From ODE Website)

Resources Available in newly adopted materials:

If you are teaching U.S. History using "History Alive!Pursuing American ideals" The visual discovery in chapter 6 and the skill builder in chapter 7 are great lessons.

"Magruder's American Government" Materials include two videos "Sentenced to Die" and "To Keep and Bear Arms" that include teacher guides and lesson plans.


There are some fantastic resources available from the following:

Classroom Law Project - “Visitor from Outer Space” Which rights are most important. Great with all age groups. The U.S. is overtaken by space aliens and learners are asked to ponder.

 Observing Constitution Day: The Constitution Game:

Explore, in this simulation, how the members of the Constitutional Convention might have felt as they gathered in Philadelphia's Independence Hall and began the task of writing the Constitution.

Teaching With Documents: The Ratification of the Constitution:
Uncover the issues involved in the creation and ratification of the Constitution and the new government it established.

Teaching With Documents: U.S. Constitution Workshop
What does the light bulb have to do with the U. S. Constitution? Or the board game “Monopoly”? How about the letter you wrote to the president when you were in elementary school? The answer to all three questions is: plenty—if you know your Constitution. The education team of the National Archives and Records Administration is pleased to present, for the first time, a self-service online version of our popular U. S. Constitution Workshop!

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. http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/

Grades 11 and 12: Major conflicts and the Bill of Rights http://www.civiced.org/byrd/

The Constitutional Rights Foundation provides resources to educate young people about the responsibilities of "civic participation in a democratic society." Among the resources are lessons with the following titles: "A Visitor for Outer Space (V.O.I.C.E.)," "Diversity and Equality (The Challenge of Diversity)," "The Constitution and Governance (The Challenges of Governance)," "The Tired King (Adventures in Law and History, Vol. II)" and other titles. http://www.constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday/display/

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. http://www.gilderlehrman.org/

The Gilder Lehrman Institute is pleased to present the thirteenth issue of History Now, a quarterly online journal for history teachers and students. In this issue scholars and teachers examine the philosophical and political traditions that shaped the Constitution. As National Constitution Day projects and lessons begin across the country, these essays should prove an excellent starting point for students and teachers alike. www.historynow.org

History Channel "This Day in History" for September 17 provides information about the U.S. Constitution. http://www.historychannel.com/

The Law Focused Education, Inc. web site has activities for students, lesson plans and other materials for teachers to use in planning for Constitution Day. There is a weekly Constitution quiz, a Constitution game, Preamble Scramble and Branches of the Federal Government among several interactive activities. http://texaslre.org/

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. These resources are available on the Constitution web page. http://www.archives.gov/

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