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Constitution Day

This Congressional initiative is authorized by Section 111 of Division J of Pub. L. 108 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, Dec. 8, 2004; 118 Stat. 2809, 3344Department.. Section 111(b) states each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution For purposes of the Department implementation of this requirement educational institutions includes but is not limited to local educational agencies institutions of higher education receiving Federal funding from the Department.

Educational institutions receiving Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education  must implement the statutory requirement pertaining to the United States Constitution, on a date designated by statute as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

Section 111 requires that Constitution Day be held on September 17 of each year, commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. However, when September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day shall be held during the preceding or following week.

Teaching Resources for Constitution Day 2019

Click on the Teaching Resources link to find lesson plans and resources sorted by elementary, middle, and high school level. Please contact David Hales (halesd@resa.net) if you use other resources that you would like to have posted.

Teaching Resources

Elementary

  • Biographies of the Founding Fathers - Recount how the Constitution was created and ratified. Learn about the Bill of Rights. Read biographies of the Founding Fathers.
  • Center for Civic Education - The Center for Civic Education, in collaboration with the American Association of School Administrators, offers lessons suggested for use at each of the grade levels, Kindergarten to Grade 12.
  • National Constitution Center: Fun & Simple fun ways to get Kids interested in Constitution Day. -Use their lesson plans or one of our great Constitution Day craft activities to just have a little fun with the Constitution. (Scroll to the bottom of that page to find the crafts)
  • Scholastic Lesson Plans - Preamble to the Constitution---What is Good Government Anyway? is a lesson plan written for Grades 3 to 5.The emphasis is on learning how some aspects of good government are included right in the Preamble.The culmination of the lesson is a mural.
  • The Constitution Explained for K-3 Students - The Constitution Explained is a synopsis of the Constitution, article by article, amendment by amendment in everyday language. This website is a good study guide for reading about the Constitution in language that people can understand.
  • The Constitution Explained for 4-7th Grade Students - The Constitution Explained is a synopsis of the Constitution, article by article, amendment by amendment in everyday language. This website is a good study guide for reading about the Constitution in language that people can understand.  

Middle School

  • A More Perfect Union Students view a slideshow outlining events leading to the U.S. Constitution and participate in a discussion activity on "enduring questions." 
  • Biographies of the Founding Fathers - Recount how the Constitution was created and ratified. Learn about the Bill of Rights and read biographies of the Founding Fathers.
  • Center for Civic Education - The Center for Civic Education, in collaboration with the American Association of School Administrators, offers a variety of K-12 lessons.
  • Constitution Day Classroom Celebration Kit- Download a free, custom Constitution Day kits and get everything you need to celebrate in your classroom! Includes a “Constitutional Convention” video lesson , a poster-sized United States Constitution for your students to sign (or not) and have them make their own Preamble T-Shirts. You can tie everything together and finally, have students download the Interactive Constitution App, so they’ll have a pocket Constitution handy all year long!
  • ConstitutionDay.com website - Along with information on the Preamble and Ratification, this site provides an extensive list of Constitution facts, some items for sale, press releases, flyers and more.
  • Constitution Facts - ConstitutionFacts.com provides a series of free educational resources and Internet links to help educators celebrate Constitution Day each year.
  • EDSITEment!-National Endowment for the Humanities Constitution Day lessons
  • Full Text of the Articles of Confederation - Every textbook that discusses the Constitution identifies it as the replacement for the faulty Articles of Confederation. Here is a resource that gives the entire text of the Articles of Confederation, something not found in textbooks.
  • iCivics.Org - Online games, lessons, and materials on civics subjects, including the Constitution
  • Interactive Constitution Timeline - This interactive timeline of events marks more than 200 years of our constitutional history. These events tell the evolving story of our Constitution & the role it continues to play in our lives. See headlines, hear debates, explore graphs and maps.
  • Library of Congress- They have compiled a variety of materials from across its collections. Explore these rich resources and features to learn more about one of America's most important documents.
  • State Bar of Michigan- These are lessons developed and/or compiled the State Bar of Michigan and are primarily focused on grades 6-7-8.

High School

  • Annenberg Classroom-These comprehensive resources include a Constitution Guide, Videos, Timelines, Issues, Games & Interactives, PDF lessons and iBooks
  • Bill of Rights Institute  - Creative lesson plans grouped into four categories including "American Lives, Primary Source Activities, Bill of Rights in the News and Landmark Supreme Court cases and the Constitution" are available on this site.
  • Biographies of the Founding Fathers - Recount how the Constitution was created and ratified. Learn about the Bill of Rights and read biographies of the Founding Fathers.
  • Center for Civic Education - The Center for Civic Education, in collaboration with the American Association of School Administrators, offers a variety of K-12 lessons.
  • ConstitutionDay.com website - Along with information on the Preamble and Ratification, this site provides an extensive list of Constitution facts, some items for sale, press releases, flyers and more.
  • Constitution Facts - ConstitutionFacts.com provides a series of free educational resources and Internet links to help educators celebrate Constitution Day each year.
  • Library of Congress- They have compiled a variety of materials from across its collections. Explore these rich resources and features to learn more about one of America's most important documents
  • Major Debates of the Constitutional Convention - Students read an article on the major issues and compromises tackled during the Constitutional Convention and participate as commission members in discussing representation in the modern U.S. Senate.  
  • National Archives Teaching With Documents - Lessons about the new nation using primary sources, including the U.S. Constitution.
  • National Constitution Center - This website is supported by the National Constitution Center, American Bar Association, Bill of Rights Institute, C-SPAN, Center for Educational Technologies, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, The Constitution Project, The Council for Excellence in Government, courtTV, Justice Learning, The National Archives, and Scholastic. This kind of collaboration creates a sampler of the best work of the leading organizations for education about our government.
  • Our Documents.Gov - To help us think, talk and teach about the rights and responsibilities of citizens in our democracy, we invite you to explore 100milestone documents of American history. These documents reflect our diversity and our unity, our past and our future, and mostly our commitment as a nation to continue to strive to "form a more perfect union.
  • The Constitution & The 3 Branches of Gov: Lesson Plans - These three lessons were created by Amy Bloom, History/Social Studies Consultant at Oakland Schools.
  • Consource.org- While not specific to Constitution Day exclusively, this online resource for Constitutional research and education. Continually expanding in scope, it provides free public access to what is fast becoming the world’s most comprehensive online library of source documents related to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Constitution Day (PBS NewsHour) The 1965 Alabama Literacy Test- This is a unique opportunity to discuss the document itself in the context of voting and elections
  • Text of the Articles of Confederation (Full) - Every textbook that discusses the Constitution identifies it as the replacement for the faulty Articles of Confederation. Here is a resource that gives the entire text of the Articles of Confederation, something not found in textbooks.
  • U.S. Constitution Online Exhibit: National Archives and Records Administration - Essays, online exhibit, images of the original document, and a printer-friendly transcript.
  • Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom - Students read an article on the struggle for separation of church and state and participate in a hypothetical debate between James Madison and Patrick Henry on the issue.
  • New York Times Constitution Day Planning Guide - This guide is a compilation of planning suggestions from The New York Times Learning Network and the American Democracy Project.