On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document that became the Constitution of the United States. As recognition of this important day in our nation's history, Congress designated
September 17 Constitution Day. But don’t be limited to one day a year: every day should be Constitution Day! We live with the benefits and limitations of our 228 year-old Constitution every day. As the National Constitution Center’s website urges,
this is an opportunity to "develop habits of citizenship in a new generation of Americans. Below are a variety of materials about the Constitution that you may want to use or adapt for use in your classroom:
- A variety of lessons and materials may be found at the main website of the National Constitution Center at http://www.constitutioncenter.org/ncc_progs_Constitution_Day.aspx, including a Bill of Rights Game (Elementary-aged students reconstruct the Bill of Rights in this fun interactive game); a Founders’ Library Lesson Plan(highlights
the three spheres of civic education: civic knowledge, active citizenship, and democratic deliberation); and To Sign or Not/ to Sign Constitution Day Lesson Plan (students examine and understand the role of the people in the
- Constitution Day lessons prepared by the Constitutional Rights Foundation for elementary (Five Famous Supreme Court Cases), middle (The President, the Chief Justice and the Cherokee Nation) and High School (The Brown decision: What does it mean
today?) at http://www.courtsed.org/courts-in-the-classroom/teacher/constitution_day.htm.
- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has an Electronic Field Trip, "A More Perfect Union," which tells the story of the ratification of the Constitution and has as the first person narrator a young student from the late 1700s. Online video
streaming is available 24/7 from September 6 to September 30, 2011, along with opportunities for students to email historical character Benjamin Franklin, interactive online games, downloadable resources and lesson plans for grades 4-8. Go to http://giftnation.history.org.
- Downloadable lessons for Grades K–12 with teacher instructions from the Center for Civic Education at http://new.civiced.org/resources/curriculum/constitution-day-and-citizenship-day.
- "Charters of Freedom" activities at the National Archives, including "Meet the Founding Fathers and "Join the Signers of the Declaration", at http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution/constitution-day.html.
- The American Bar Association has an extensive website of lessons involving the Constitution at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/initiatives_awards/constitution_day.html.
- PBS has a series of Constitution lessons focused on "“rediscoveringGeorge Washington"http://www.pbs.org/georgewashington/classroom/index.html.