September 17 is designated as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. The National Archives in Washington, DC, is the permanent home of the original U.S. Constitution.
Here are a few resources for teaching and commemorating Constitution Day – or teaching about the Constitution any day!
The Constitution on DocsTeach
Help your students understand ideas like checks and balances, separation of powers, amendments, the Bill of Rights, slavery and the Constitution, and more through primary sources and online activities on our special Constitution page on DocsTeach.org.
Students can connect primary sources that span the course of American history to the principles found in the Constitution. For example, in “The Constitution at Work” they will match historical documents to specific wording in the Constitution to understand how our government’s actions are guided by this document.
New Distance Learning Programs
Our brand new distance learning programs (all free of charge) can help students differentiate and understand the importance and relevance of each of our founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
- Our “Charters of Freedom: Building a More Perfect Union” program is available for grades 3-5 or 6-12
- Register for one of our special Constitution Day presentations on Monday, September 17th or sign up for a program that fits your classroom schedule.
New Civic Education Webpage
Check out this new resource with links to all of our civic education offerings: www.archives.gov/education/civic-education
To encourage civic literacy and engagement, we provide teachers with programming, curricula, and exceptional field trip experiences at facilities all across the country, including in Washington, DC, and at the Presidential Libraries.
- Exploring the United States Constitution – The Constitutional roots of the three branches of our government through connections to historical documents in the holdings of the National Archives
- Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test: A Primary Source-Based Workbook – Some of the core concepts, or protections, found in the Bill of Rights, and how they’ve been tested throughout American history
- Congress Creates the Bill of Rights – How the ratification of the Constitution necessitated the creation of the Bill of Rights, and how the creation of the Bill of Rights, in turn, completed the Constitution (including eBook, app, and teacher resources)
Constitution Day at the National Archives
Join us for public programs and family activities around the country to commemorate Constitution Day, September 17th!
- Hands-on Adult Workshop: Making the Constitution (DC)
- Game Design and the Constitution (DC)
- Naturalization Ceremony (West Branch, IA)
- Constitution Day Family Day (DC)
- For Us, By Us: America’s Trust In, and Expectations of, the Constitution (DC)
- Elaine Weiss Lecture (Grand Rapids, MI)