Saturday, September 7, 2013

Constitution Day is September 17th

Last year, I was new to the position of Writing and Social Studies Coordinator and Constitution Day caught me off guard. Constitution Day  is observed on September 17th each year, in honor of the signing by the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Since 2004, when Citizenship Day was renamed Constitution Day, every school and college that receives federal money must teach about the Constitution on September 17th. I marked my calendar to remember this during my second year at this position!

While schools can determine what kind of educational program they want, there are several websites that offer numerous activities, lesson plans, interactive programs, and even live chats and streaming. Here are a few that I think are especially helpful:
I'm including a screen shot of some of the activities that this website has available. All are live links and include a variety of levels. In addition to these activities, the website is full of information, timelines, and historical facts and links. A poster contest even offers artistically inclined students the opportunity to showcase their talents with prize money at stake. Poster entries must be postmarked by October 1st.

Http:// has a countdown going until Constitution Day. While they have several products that are available for purchase, they also are offering online video lessons and live chats from September 9th through the 20th. Additionally, there are simulations, interactive games, and several lesson plans for multiple grade levels. One of the activities on this site allows visitors to take the Naturalization Test. If the passing score is 100%, then
I did not pass. (Full disclaimer: the river question stumped me.)

There are many other sites that offer engaging ways to meet the federal requirement of a Constitution Day lesson, but one more that I really like is Here, you can find a simulation of how the members of the Constitutional Convention might have felt as they wrote the Constitution. There are also many original documents and a workshop that is suitable for upper elementary through high school students.

I'd be interested in hearing how other teachers and schools have taught about the Constitution. Please feel free to share some ideas in the comments.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

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