Students can use this activity sheet to draw ideas about what different phrases and words in the Preamble mean.
Two great abolitionists, Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, once allies, split over the Constitution. Garrison believed it was a pro-slavery document from its inception. Douglass strongly disagreed. This provides writing prompts and a group activity on debating who had the stronger argument.
Discover the documents at the bedrock of our nation’s founding and understand the fundamental ideas from each of the documents, and the major principles of the U.S. Constitution. Primary sources include the Declaration of Independence, Articles of the Confederation, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Federalist papers (#51, #70, #78), Brutus #1, and the amazing Letter from the Birmingham City Jail. Check out the National Constitution Center’s learning module for more resources!
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.
This course takes you from the philosophical foundations of the U.S. Constitution through the modern interpretation and application of its ideals. You will find videos of noted scholars explaining key aspects of the Constitution and online exercises to check for understanding. The course follows the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 3 (high school) textbook, which has been used throughout the country to further understanding of our government and its fundamental principles.
“If You Had Something Powerful” is Constituting America’s Best High School PSA winner, created by Laura Leigh Hicks. We all have something that we love treasure, rely on, others want, others died for, all put in a document for us. This We the Future Contest video explains the freedoms we love and challenges students to now read it. All this in a one-minute PSA.
Do your students need to have a reason to learn about the Constitution? Constituting America’s Best College PSA winner Emily Kitzmiller gives multiple reasons in “Everything.” In one minute, this fantastic classroom starter erupts with who, what, where, when and why the Constitution is significant to your students.
Looking for ice breakers for classroom starters? Can 30 seconds make a difference in your classroom? Constituting America’s Best High School PSA by Dakare Chatman, “It’s an American Thing!” creates thought, excitement and a challenge for your students. You need a method to begin class? Look no further.
Emojis are taking over the world, and the U.S. Constitution is no exception. Kevin McCraney is the We the Future Contest’s winner for Best Grad School Short Film. He gives us positive and negative aspects of the Constitution. He also asks: “Should robots participate in our society with the same rights as people?” Kevin’s use of emojis and his intriguing questions will keep your students’ attention and generate more discussion than one class period allows.
Students will engage in a study of the Constitution to learn about the nature and structure of the United States. The Constitution will be analyzed and discussed as a primary source to understand the form of government and principles of the U.S. This lesson provides students an opportunity to explore how the government works and what the Constitution means to them today. Students will create a song to demonstrate understanding of the Constitution and nature of the U.S. government. Constituting America has a song contest teachers may want to integrate with this lesson plan.