The U.S. Constitution contains many complicated ideas and concepts that can be hard for students to grasp. The resources in this unit leverage the strong imagery of Mount Vernon’s video “A More Perfect Union: George Washington and the Making of the Constitution” to help connect the concepts that shaped our nation’s government in order to reach students in new ways.
George Washington's Mount Vernon
The National Library at George Washington’s Mount Vernon is the preeminent center of learning about the life, civic conscience, and leadership of our nation’s first President. A privately-owned national treasure, Mount Vernon is maintained and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. Through robust education and outreach programs, the Association expands awareness of George Washington’s character and legacy through research, interpretation, and public education.
A multimedia timeline of George Washington’s life and career in public service provides students with information, maps, and visuals.
The founding of the United States government is intimately intertwined with George Washington’s own biography. This web page offers resources for teachers to use in their classrooms associated with Washington’s role in the creation of the government. Included are primary and secondary sources, as well as essential questions for teaching the founding, lesson plans and classroom ready activities.
This animated video highlights the Constitutional Convention and George Washington’s role in the formation of the new government. Events covered in the video include the causes leading to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, the numerous compromises included in the document, and the challenges in ratifying the Constitution. The video has a run time of 23 minutes, and is broken into three chapters for easy navigation.
This article focuses on George Washington’s role in the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia from May 14 to September 17. Delegates were gathering to correct the various problems that had arisen while the newly-independent nation was operating under the Articles of Confederation, but Washington had to be persuaded to even attend.
The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington is the place to learn more about George Washington and the wide range of subjects related to his world and the colonial era.
Bring Mount Vernon into your classroom with these videos of people from George Washington’s world. See how he is viewed through the eyes of his family, friends, fellow revolutionaries and slaves.
George Washington’s copy of the Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America (New-York, 1789) contains key founding documents establishing the Union: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a record of acts passed by the first Congress. In the margins, Washington wrote “President,” “Powers,” and “Required,” underscoring the responsibilities of the first Chief Executive. Learn more about this rare volume in the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.