The is a Fantastic picture book that came out 2 years ago called The Constitution. The preamble is broken into phrases and illustrated to explain the meaning of the original language of the Constitution. It usually takes 2 45 minute segments for me to get through the book as I stop and discuss the illustrations and have the class re-phrase the wording. It's a staple in my bag of tricks.:)View Thread
Activities for Constitution Day, September 17th!
Once your children understand the purpose of both, why not let them write their own classroom Constitution and Bill of Rights? I always feel that kids need to experience what they learn. You can do the same with branches of government. My students wrote their own laws, decided if they were constitutional, and vetoed them if they weren't. They finally signed the bills into law. Good experience for all.
We made picture books of the preamble to the constitution. They did a phrase on each page. It needed to be clear enough that a 3rd grader could understand what the phrase meant. They loved it!
We also did Battle Books. For the Revolutionary War each child picked three battles to tell and draw about. We made little books to tell about them. We kept them in individual cereal boxes which was a neat way to keep them organized.
I am a social studies teacher--I LOVE history...and I have to say I was BORED TO TEARS by all of the lesson plans on the internet for Constitution Day.
We teach the Constitution later in the year, so we are never overly concerned about teaching specific facts on this day. To me, it's more about celebrating the spirit of the Constitution on its anniversary.
In that light, our social studies teachers usually teach our students how to recite the Preamble in sign lanugage. It's a fun way to celebrate the diversity in our country through the Constitution.
This year, our U.S. History teachers decided they would ask their students to dress like colonials, or, if they could, a specific founding father. They are having a small party (during our "homeroom" period) out on our front lawn with all of the students that dress up.
For those of you scrambling for a last minute idea (like me :)), here's the sign language file.
I make a constitutuin by taking a white piece of construction paper and dabbing it with watered down brown paint to make it look old. Then we read about the constitution and made our own. I had the kids brainstorm on what rights they had and they did a great job. They said things like they have to right to play, and they have the right to learn, etc. Each student signed it and I posted it on the wall for the year. They really enjoyed making and it gave them the idea of what really happened.View Thread
1. Have the kids learn and recite the Preamble to the Constitution as the opening to the program.
2. Divide your class into 4 groups. Have each group create a poster that focuses on one part of the Constitution: Legislative, Excecutive, Judical, and include either founding fathers or Bill of Rights. ( to decorate the area along with national and state flags.
3. Instead of posters (see #2) do the same with power points to share.
4. Create a living history musesum. Have 5 or 6 students "become" founding fathers or other people from the time preiod to talk about their roles or how they feel about the Constitution.
5. Have the kids write their own classroom "Constitution" based on the preamble.
I hope these help,
We create our own constitution. First we learn what was going on in the colonies, why people came, how the government was run and who was running things, what laws they had to live with that they felt were unjust etc. Then I have them decide what they think are good rules for the county. Then we compare them to what the forefathers wrote, it is amazing how their constitution has many of the same tenets.
It is also interesting to write a constitution of this century...would they make the same rules as they did as colonials?
I had this thought--I am going to get the little battery operated candles like they use at Xmas time for each of the kids to use at their desks while we do a writing activity w/ the over head lights out--kinda like George Washington's era. In an OLD issue of Family FUn magazine (I save all the back issues) there are instructions for making quill pens. Thought I might do that, too. Practice writing our own constitution, maybe.View Thread
There is a Peanuts movie about the constitution out there that we watch; it's maybe 30 min. long.View Thread
We tea-dyed paper to make it look like old parchment paper and then using a fancy marker- they wrote our class constitution and then signed it with a real quill pen. We also went online and listen to clips of of it being read. School House Rock has a cute music video on it too.View Thread