Constitution: Analyze – Explore – Music

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.

Grades 12, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Foundations of Democracy
Lesson Plans

“American Skin” Song Analysis

Students will explore their ideas about fairness in the American criminal justice system and the role of race and ethnicity by analyzing the depiction of the Amadou Diallo shooting in Bruce Springsteen’s song “American Skin (41 Shots).” They will apply newly acquired knowledge about the protections and limits of the Fourth and 14th Amendment and law enforcement challenges to a reevaluation of their ideas about fair and equal treatment by the police.

‘Let Me Believe’

The thoughts of the Founding Fathers never sounded so good in this rap “Let Me Believe” about our freedoms in the First Amendment. Three rappers who went on to win Constituting America’s Best Song in its We the Future contest provide a unique way to explain our freedoms. You have a video that is a teaching tool you have been seeking to help students understand the First Amendment.

Grades 11, 12, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Foundations of Democracy
Media