Constitution Day

Teacher: Gail MacGuire

General Description

Essential Understandings:
The students will understand the struggles and sacrifices their forefathers endured to develop the guidelines which later became the constitution which guides our nation today. They will develop ownership for paying forward the responsibility of citizenship not only on Constitution Day but every day.

Teacher Notes:
  • King George: England rules
  • Colonists fight for their rights and independence-Revolutionary War
  • Declaration of Independence-July 1766
  • DOI creates 13 colonies (a new nation): free independent states
  • Articles of Confederation (1781): lasts 5 years, didn’t work well
  • Reasons: each state had its own money, no central army, passed laws but could not be reinforced
  • Central Government needed to be stronger due to problems
  • 55 men worked at the State House in Philadelphia to revamp the Articles
  • George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin
  • Articles could not be used, so a new Constitution was drafted
  • Constitution of the United States and 7 articles were drafted
  • All thirteen states ratified (approved) the constitution in June of 1789

Resources:
  • Shhh....We're Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
  • The Story of the Constitution by Marilyn Prolman
  • YouTube video: Constitution Rap- Smart Songs
  • YouTube video: The Constitution of the United States by McSpedden
  • YouTube video: Schoolhouse Rock: the Preamble
  • Poster of the Constitution
  • Poster of the Preamble/meaning sheet
  • Pictures/artifacts of above important political leaders highlighting their important roles

Materials and Documents

Videos and Media

  • Rap songs about the Constitution

  • This song teaches about the opening to the United States Constitution, with its preamble set to music.

  • This is an audio recording of the United States Constitution.

    The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution originally consisted of seven Articles. The first three Articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislature, consisting of the bicameral Congress; the executive, consisting of the President; and the judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. The fourth and sixth Articles frame the doctrine of federalism, describing the relationship between State and State, and between the several States and the federal government. The fifth Article provides the procedure for amending the Constitution. The seventh Article provides the procedure for ratifying the Constitution. 

     

Quote
The entire experience was eye-opening and transformative.
- Teacher, 2017
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