This four-minute video provides students with an introduction to the election of 1912 and the emergence of the progressive Bull Moose party, named for Theodore Roosevelt’s saying after an assassination attempt that he was “fit as a bull moose” to become president again. Focusing on Theodore Roosevelt’s decision to challenge President William Taft for the 1912 Republican Party nomination, the video shows students how the newly created system of direct primaries affected the race, and how Roosevelt’s failure to wrest the nomination from Taft resulted in the formation of the short-lived Bull Moose party. The video is useful for lessons focused on the election of 1912, or for lessons focused on the political reforms of the progressive era.
Contrasting U.S. Founding Principles & Totalitarianism
Why are the founding principles essential for a free society? This civics and government lesson plan was developed to facilitate instruction and discussion concerning the United States’ founding principles versus totalitarian systems of government. Students will contrast a totalitarian system of government with the founding principles of the United States as established in the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
Civic Art Project: Notes on the Constitution
Students create art works based on an examination of the language of the Constitution and the personal connections they make. These art works will incorporate words, illustrations, and mixed media images.
This lesson can be adapted for different grade levels. High school students can use an abridged version of the U.S. Constitution. Elementary and middle school students can use the Preamble, or introduction, to the Constitution.
Preamble of the Constitution Activity Sheet
Students can use this activity sheet to draw ideas about what different phrases and words in the Preamble mean.
This series of videos breaks down the different parts of the United States Constitution for students. In the videos, Kim and Sal interview constitutional scholars associated with the National Constitution Center, including Jeffrey Rosen, Heather Gerken, Ilya Somin, and Richard Garnett.
‘The Man On The Street’
“The Man on the Street” is Constituting America’s Best High School Short Film by Dakare Chatman. Peer-to-peer teaching is what students want and learn from effectively. Dakare interviews people on the street and teaches about the Constitution in the process. Dakare was a 2017 winner in the We the Future contest. At the end of the video, students will learn how they can enter the contest.
Celebrating the U.S. Constitution
Students develop an understanding and appreciation of the importance of the U.S. Constitution. This lesson plan is a winner of the We the Future contest.
The Purposes of Government
This lesson has students learn about the purposes of government specified in the preamble of the Constitution. Students will use C-SPAN video clips to define what is meant by “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty.” As practice, students will apply their knowledge of these purposes by viewing real-life examples of government actions and identifying the relevant purpose of government. This lesson works well in classrooms with one-to-one devices and can be adapted to flipped classrooms.
C-SPAN’s Constitution Clips makes the U.S. Constitution come alive by providing teachers and students with video clips from C-SPAN’s Video Library of the Constitution in action.
Learning about the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution
This resource provides students with an English language video and associated student friendly readings (in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole), as well as reading and video guides and self assessment tools. Using these, students will explore the meaning and importance of the Preamble.
Free registration is required to use the resource.