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Constitution Day Toolkit

Celebrating Constitution Day is fun and easy with our free toolkit, which contains a wide range of resources for families and students of all ages. Put together a Constitution Day or Preamble Challenge activity at your school, library or home to celebrate the signing of the Constitution on September 17. What’s the Preamble Challenge? Come up with the most creative way to learn about the Preamble! We’re talking about raps, dances, skits, and more! Don’t forget to share videos and photos on Twitter with #renewcivics #preamblechallenge #constitutionday2021. Get started by exploring the resources below.

America’s Founders Online

Explore the lives of 25 of the men and women who helped to frame our constitutional republic system of government. You will find a short biography, famous quotes, and free related lessons for each founder in this Bill of Rights Institute resource.

Activities and Lessons for Families

Join the Signers of America’s Founding DocumentsU.S. National ArchivesGrades K-12

Add your name and become a signer of one of America’s founding documents! Get a downloadable copy for printing.

Ben’s Guide to GovernmentU.S. Government Publishing OfficeGrades K-12

Have fun with word searches, crosswords, and quizzes about our federal government and play the Place the States game and Branch-O-Mania.

Constitution Day Word SearchABOTA FoundationGrades K-12

Here’s a fun activity with vocabulary tied to Constitution Day!

Games

Race to RatifyiCivicsGrades 6-12

It’s 1787, and the Constitution has been signed. But will it be ratified? Players learn about the different opinions, then influence others through the social media of the time – pamphlets.

Annenberg Classroom’s That’s Your RightAnnenberg ClassroomGrades 6-12

This engaging online card game with three levels of play, offers scenarios involving the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Madison’s Notes Are MissingBill of Rights InstituteGrades 6-12

Players travel back in time to question delegates at the Constitutional Convention on five topics. They cast their votes as if they were a delegate, then learn what actually happened.

Podcast

Founding Documents: The Constitution PodcastCivics 101 PodcastGrades 7-12

The document that emerged after the Constitutional Convention was littered with masterful planning, strange ideas and unsavory concessions. The delegates decided they’d be pleased if this new government lasted fifty years. It has been our blueprint for over two centuries now. This is the story of how our Constitution came to be. This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Constitution Guides

Annenberg Constitution Guide: What It Says, What It MeansAnnenberg ClassroomGrades 6-12

This interactive guide to the U.S. Constitution provides the original text of each article and amendment and the meaning of each.

Interactive ConstitutionNational Constitution CenterGrades 9-12

For each provision of the Constitution, scholars of different perspectives discuss what they agree upon, and what they disagree about.

Constitution for KidsConSourceGrades 6-12

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.

Constitution ClipsC-SPAN ClassroomGrades 6-12

The Constitution Clips resource makes the U.S. Constitution come alive with video clips from C-SPAN’s Video Library of the Constitution in action.

Lesson Plans

The Constitution at DocsTeachNational Archives9-12

Find primary sources related to the Constitution and the “big ideas” it contains, as well as document-based online learning activities to share with your students.

Major Debates at the Constitutional ConventionConstitutional Rights Foundation9-12

How the Articles of Confederation failed and delegates met to create a new constitution. The major debates were over representation in Congress, the powers of the president, how to elect the president (Electoral College), slave trade, and a bill of rights. Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Washington.

Drafting the NationHistorical Society of Pennsylvania9-12

As the Framers drafted different versions of our founding documents, their ideas of what it meant to be a republic also changed. In this unit, four lessons based on the drafts of the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, held at the collection at HSP, allow students to explore the language and ideas behind these pivotal documents

The American Founding: The Bill of RightsTeachingAmericanHistory.org9-12

This comprehensive, multimedia online exhibit features a trove of resources on the Bill of Rights. Part I contains the English, Colonial, State, and Continental origins of the Bill of Rights; Part II features the Federalist/Antifederalist Debate over the Bill of Rights; and Part III explains the politics of the Bill of Rights in the First Congress through its adoption. Another section shows, using artwork, how the idea of rights has changed throughout American history. And an interactive chart shows the origins of each of the rights in the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution and CongressU.S. Capitol Visitor Center7-12

Use this information graphic to easily understand the House of Representatives and Senate and the articles and amendments in the Constitution.

Preamble Challenge LessonNational Constitution CenterAll Grades

Students discuss three key questions about the Preamble, then identify the six functions of the Constitution as established in the Preamble and determine their meaning.

Learning About the PreambleFlorida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey InstituteGrades 4-12

Teachers show students a short video about the Constitution, then use a viewing guide, vocabulary practice, and quiz to reinforce the information. The lesson is in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Free registration required.

Blogging the Bill of RightsNewseumEDGrades 6-12

Students imagine that in the 1780s, computers and internet access exist. After reviewing the Federalist and Anti-Federalist views, they design a web page and write a blog post for or against a bill of rights. Free registration required.

The Constitution as a Job Description George Washington’s Mount VernonGrades 6-8

Students use Articles I and II of the Constitution and George Washington’s notes on his personal copy of the document to create a job description for the president in 1787.

Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make a More Perfect Union? EDSITEmentGrades K-5

Five activities are offered with two guiding questions: How does the language of the Preamble reflect historical events and the goals the founders had for the future? What does the Preamble mean?

What Does the Preamble Mean? American Bar AssociationGrades 9-12

Students will compare the U.S. Constitution’s Preamble with preambles from two state constitutions. They will consider the relevance of the Preamble’s ideals today, then have the chance to rewrite the Preamble and provide their rationale.

The Bill of Rights: Debating the Amendments Library of CongressGrades 9-12

This lesson is an introduction to primary source analysis and is best used with students who have a basic understanding of the Bill of Rights and the amendment process.

The United States ConstitutionCore Knowledge FoundationGrades 4-8

This unit explores the creation and central ideas of the Constitution. Students learn how the Founding Fathers, confronted by the shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation, worked to form a new government.

Videos

Watch these videos to learn about the three branches of government, the founders and the Constitution.

Facts of Congress: The Bill of RightsIndiana University Center on Representative GovernmentGrades 4-6

This one-minute video is part of a series of 20 quick, student-friendly videos exploring topics such as separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism

George Washington & the Making of the ConstitutionGeorge Washington’s Mount VernonGrades 6-12

This 23-minute video highlights the Constitutional Convention and Washington’s role in the formation of the new government. The video is broken into three chapters for easy navigation.

Forgotten FoundersJames Madison Memorial Fellowship FoundationGrades 9-12

This five-minute video examines why some founders, such as John Dickinson and Samuel Adams, have been “forgotten” by subsequent generations.

Court Shorts: An Impartial Federal JudiciaryU.S. CourtsGrades 9-12

This five-minute video focuses on the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary. What does this concept mean to you? Students question federal judges on these principles.

Key Constitutional Concepts: Creating the ConstitutionAnnenberg ClassroomGrades 7-12

This 20-minute video explores why and how the Constitution was created at the Constitutional Convention, identifies the conflicts and issues, such as adding a bill of rights.

Let Me BelieveConstituting AmericaGrades 9-12

This rap about our freedoms in the First Amendment, written and performed by three students, provides a unique teaching tool.