September 17th is Constitution Day! On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document that they had spent weeks creating: the Constitution of the United States. To help students throughout the country understand the importance and relevance of this document, we’re offering two brand new K-12 distance learning programs and a webinar for educators!
K-12 Distance Learning Programs
These programs are free of charge and are offered for 4th-8th grades. A National Archives facilitator will connect with your class for a fun and interactive experience via traditional videoconferencing equipment or through a web-based platform.
Each program has been designed to enhance content knowledge of the Constitution and to strengthen critical thinking skills by analyzing primary sources from the holdings of the National Archives.
The Constitution at Work: Elementary Edition
- For grades 4-5
- 45-60 minutes
Guiding Question: How is the U.S. Constitution relevant to the daily lives of American citizens?
What does the board game “Monopoly” have to do with the U.S. Constitution? How about the letter you wrote to the President when you were in elementary school? The answer to both questions is: plenty–if you know your Constitution.
This program provides a unique opportunity to learn, via analysis of primary source documents, about the content, impact, and perpetual relevance of the U. S. Constitution to the daily lives of American citizens.
The Constitution at Work: Middle School Edition
- For grades 6-8
- 45-60 minutes
Guiding Questions: How does the Constitution create a strong central government? How does the Constitution separate and share powers?
During this program, students will review some of the problems created by the Articles of Confederation and how these issues led to the creation of the U.S. Constitution and a new central government.
Prior to the program, students will be divided into groups to analyze primary sources that show historical examples of the Constitution at work. During the videoconference, students will use these documents to determine how the Constitution creates a stronger central government compared to the Articles of Confederation. They will also discover how it shares and separates powers between the three branches of government and between the Federal Government and state governments.
Professional Development Webinar for Educators
Teaching the Constitution with Political Cartoons
September 13, 2017, 7-8 p.m. ET
Join the Center for Legislative Archives to discover how to use political cartoons to teach about the United States Constitution. This webinar will draw from the collection of Clifford K. Berryman cartoons from the U.S. Senate. Berryman’s career as a political cartoonist in Washington, DC, spanned five decades and his cartoons are a rich resource for history and civics lessons.
During this interactive webinar, you will practice techniques for helping students evaluate visual content and explore ideas for how to use political cartoons to illustrate the “Big Ideas” of the Constitution, such as separation of powers and representative democracy. You will also explore additional resources from the National Archives for integrating political cartoons in the classroom, such as DocsTeach.org. This webinar is designed for middle school and high school educators.