ConSource: The Constitutional Sources Project

The mission of The Constitutional Sources Project is to increase understanding, facilitate research, and encourage discussion of the U.S. Constitution by connecting individuals — including students, teachers, lawyers and judges — with the documentary history of its creation, ratification, and amendment.

Featured Resources

Alexander Hamilton Primary Source Documents

Alexander Hamilton, the subject of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s eponymous Broadway show, influenced the drafting the United States Constitution, ensured its ratification, and helped to save the fledgling nation from financial ruin. Learn more about Hamilton’s role at the Constitutional Convention, New York Ratifying Convention, and in drafting the famous Federalist Papers by exploring historical documents in the ConSource digital library.

ConSource U.S. Constitution for Kids

The U.S. Constitution for Kids offers educators and students the opportunity to read the original text of the Constitution alongside unbiased translations that are easy for students to understand. We have also included useful background information, which places each clause in historical context.

Grade 6-8 The Judiciary Act of 1789

The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about the significance of the Judiciary Act of 1789 in establishing a federal judiciary. By the conclusion of this lesson, students will understand the key provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and the structure of the federal judicial branch.

Grade 9-12 The Judiciary Act of 1789

The purpose of this lesson is to teach students about the significance of the Judiciary Act of 1789 in establishing a federal judiciary, and the power of judicial review as outlined by the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case, Marbury v. Madison (1803). By the conclusion of this lesson, students will understand the key provisions of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and the structure of the federal judiciary, as well as the power of judicial review.

Grade 9-12 Civic Discourse at the Constitutional Convention

The purpose of this lesson is to engage students in a discussion of the Constitutional Convention. Students will explore the key disputes that arose during the convention, including most prominently how power would be divided between the federal and state governments and the various branches of government. Furthermore, students with understand the importance of compromise during the Constitutional Convention.

Grade 6-8 Give and Take to Create a Constitution

The purpose of this lesson is to engage students in a discussion of the Constitutional Convention. Students will explore the key disputes that arose during the Convention, including most prominently how power would be divided between the federal and state governments and the various branches of government. They will synthesize various sources explored debate and compromise and the Convention to understand the idea of civic discourse in the United States.

Grade 9-12 Methods of Interpreting the Constitution

The purpose of this lesson is to explain the two overarching modes of constitutional interpretation, strict and loose construction, and their use and application to particular Supreme Court cases. After an in-class investigation activity to explore the methods of interpretation, students will be given the opportunity to express their opinions of the merits and limitations of each method during a mock Supreme Court session where students will revisit two Supreme Court opinions.

Grade 6-8 Article III, The Supreme Court

The purpose of this lesson is to assist student understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court created under the Constitution. Through a document exploration and story-telling activity, students will understand the role of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of government. Students will also explore how the Court’s role has evolved over time by looking to a number of key Supreme Court decisions.

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