From Joey Wiseman, WVDE:
Constitution Day 2012
On Constitution and Citizenship Day, September 17, the U.S. celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. In 2004, a law was passed establishing the holiday that honors both the signing of the Constitution and all individuals who have become citizens, whether born in the U.S. or by naturalization.
Here are some Annenberg Learner resources about the Constitution:
In the series The Constitution: That Delicate Balance, distinguished personalities in government, media, and law discuss constitutional issues such as criminal justice, personal freedoms, and presidential elections.
In Democracy in America, program 2, “The Constitution: Fixed or Flexible?” topics presented include different interpretations of the Constitution and the relationship between the President and Congress when creating laws.
More resources about the United States Constitution and citizenship:
The Western Tradition: Program 5, “The Rise of Greek Civilization,”
program 6, “Greek Thought,” program 37, “The American Revolution,” and
program 38, “The American Republic.”
Other Annenberg Resources for Constitution Day
The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands was established by the Annenberg Foundation to advance public understanding and appreciation for democracy and to address serious issues facing the country and the world. Among its many activities, the Sunnylands Trust creates and distributes print, online, and video materials on the Constitution for use on Constitution Day in September and beyond. To use these resources, visit the Sunnylands’ Constitution Project’s site for teachers, Sunnylands Classroom.
More free video programs and other materials for your Constitution Day events can be found on the Annenberg Classroom Web site
Robert C. Byrd inserted a provision into a massive spending bill that Congress passed in 2004 requiring every school and college that receives federal money to teach about the Constitution on Sept. 17, the day it was adopted in 1787. This year Constitution Day is being observed on Monday, September 17, 2012. Throughout his life, the West Virginia Democrat kept a copy of the Constitution in his pocket. I hope that each and every one of us will take a few minutes to remember Senator Byrd on Constitution Day.
The federal government does not dictate when or how to implement the lesson. It was Senator Byrd’s intention that educators use creativity and find interesting ways to teach the lessons of the Constitution. You may determine what kind of program you want to organize, (for example assembly, school play or reenactment, closed-circuit TV broadcast throughout the building followed by classroom discussion.) Below you will find a list of current resources available online to assist you with lesson plans, primary source documents, biographies, role-play scenarios and other activities too numerous to mention.
- The United States Senate website where an explanation of the U.S. Constitution and Constitution Day can be found http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/ConstitutionDay.htm
- The National Constitution Center has classroom resources, books, lesson plans,
- One of their most popular links, America Reads the Constitution,http://www.constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday/display/NccP/America+Reads+the+Constitution might be something that you and your students would enjoy. This site also features a poster with teaching guide, interactive constitution online, fast facts, basic principles, and other ideas and resources too numerous to mention.
- The National Archives offers many links to primary documents and audio clips.http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/constitution/constitution-day.html
- The National Archives Digital Classroom is loaded with units, lessons, interaction and more. http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/
- Education World offers a plethora of links, lessons, and the legislation enacting this Congressional initiative. http://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson347.shtml
- Try More Lessons Caught on the Net on this same site for some very good lessonshttp://www.education-world.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson347b.shtml
- And then there is Constitution Day celebrated in other countries on Wikipedia – something that I had not thought about before now. Could be interesting classroom conversation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_Day
- A large variety of primary source documents and a “Fun Zone” full of activities can be found at http://www.constitutionfacts.com/. Click on the Constitution Day 2012 tab on the top right hand corner of the site. There is also a poster contest and a Constitution I.Q. quiz available on the site.
- *The Bill of Rights Institute has a brand new interactive program for 2012, as well as their essay contest and a wide variety of other resources at http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/teach/freeresources/constitutionday/.
- Education World also provides a tremendous amount of resources for Constitution Day athttp://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson347.shtml.
The following resources are provided by the Annenberg Media Center. Many of the videos are now free online to use in your classroom you do not need to purchase videos to use the free online lesson plans. The sites are interactive and
- This year Constitution Day is Friday, September 16. As you know, educational institutions receiving funding through the Department of Education are required to participate by holding educational programs pertaining to the U.S. Constitution (find the original announcement in the Federal Register <http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/retrieve.html> volume 70, page 29727).
- This Constitution Day, watch “The Constitution: That Delicate Balance” <http://learner.org/redirect/september/con2.html>. Look for the VOD icon to play free videos.
- In the roundtable discussions of “Ethics in America”
<http://learner.org/redirect/september/eth3.html>, well-known figures in government, law, media, military, business, health care, and religion puzzle through constitutional issues and their application to realistic hypothetical situations.