September 17 is designated as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
The National Archives is the permanent home of the original U.S. Constitution. We have programs and resources available to help you teach about our founding document!
Educator Webinar: Teaching the Charters of Freedom: The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights
Wednesday, September 16th at 7 pm ET, 60 minutes
Join us for a hands-on session and discover resources for teaching the founding documents of the United States. Discover a model you can use to introduce your students to the Charters of Freedom, take a look at the Declaration of Independence through different lenses, and access primary sources that can help students connect the big ideas of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to their own lives. Register today!
This webinar is also available as a by-request program for your school or district.
Student Program: The Charters of Freedom: Building a More Perfect Union
Thursday, September 17th – Constitution Day – at 2 pm ET, 45 minutes
Students, classes, and families are welcome to join us for this interactive learning program aimed at grades 3-6! Offered in partnership with the Presidential Primary Sources Project, this program is part of our fall lineup of online student programs for grades K-12. Register for this or any of these student programs. Or watch the live stream on Facebook from the Presidential Primary Sources Project.
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 For example, in “The Constitution at Work” they will match historical documents to specific wording in the Constitution to understand how our government’s actions are guided by this document.
Amending America on DocsTeach
Through the Bill of Rights and rest of our 27 amendments, we have changed our Constitution to protect rights, expand participation and refine government powers. The materials on our Amending America page highlight the amendment process and struggles for rights throughout U.S. history.
What does the light bulb have to do with the U.S. Constitution? Or the board game “Monopoly”? How about the letter you wrote to the President when you were in elementary school? The answer to all three questions is: Plenty! – if you know your Constitution.
Our Constitution workshop is available as an online or on-paper activity. In both versions, students will analyze primary source documents, then establish each document’s constitutional relevance.
Our “Constitution at Work” program is available free of charge for both elementary grades and middle school. A National Archives facilitator will connect with your class for a fun and interactive experience. (Programs must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.)
We also offer “The Charters of Freedom: Building a More Perfect Union” program for elementary, middle, and high school. Students will learn about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
The History Behind the Constitution
Learn What Does it Say? How Was it Made? Who were the framers? Discover information about the Constitutional Convention and ratification process, plus dozens of fascinating facts about the Constitution on this webpage.
Teaching the Constitution with Political Cartoons
This recorded webinar, designed for middle and high school educators, covers techniques for helping students evaluate visual content and ideas for how to use political cartoons to illustrate the “Big Ideas” of the Constitution, such as separation of powers and representative government.
eBooks and Apps
- Exploring the United States Constitution – This eBook connects primary sources to the principles of the Constitution.
- Congress Creates the Bill of Rights – The eBook, app, and online resources situate the user in the proposals, debates, and revisions that shaped the Bill of Rights.
- Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test – This primary source-based eWorkbook helps students explore protections in the Bill of Rights and how they’ve been tested throughout history.