We celebrate and express our gratitude and appreciation to all teachers on May 7, National Teacher Day. Thank you! Also this month, the Constitutional Convention opened on May 25, 1787, in Philadelphia; and Brown v. Board of Education was decided on May 17, 1954.

The Road to the Constitutional Convention

In February of 1787, Congress authorized a convention, to be held in Philadelphia in May of that year, for the purpose of recommending changes to the Articles of Confederation. All of the states – with the exception of Rhode Island – sent delegates to debate how to amend the Articles of Confederation in order to alleviate problems experienced after the War for Independence. This lesson from NEH’s EDSITEment focuses on the problems under the Articles of Confederation between 1783 and 1786. Through examination of primary sources, students will see why some prominent American founders, more than others, believed that the United States faced a serious crisis, and that drastic changes, rather than minor amendments, to the Articles were necessary.

For more resources from NEH’s EDSITEment, go here.

After Brown: The First 50 Years

In 1947, in Clarendon County, South Carolina, a small group of African American parents sued their local (white) school board alleging a violation of their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This module from the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago looks at what has happened in schools in the first 50 years after Brown and what equal protection means in a society where “separate but equal is inherently unequal.”

For more resources from the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, go here.

The American Presidency: Core Documents

The Constitutional Rights Foundation provides resources to help students, teachers, administrators, and districts think about the best way forward for their communities and states. Resources include a simulation activity in which students act as state legislators trying to design the most effective policy for reduction of gun violence in their state (grades 9-12); a civil conversation in which students participate in a small-group discussion (middle school); talking points on the causes of school violence; and more.
For more resources from the Constitutional Rights Foundation, go here.