Constitution Day resources

Need a resource for Constitution Day, September 17, 2015? Or want some resources when teaching about the U.S. Constitution, U.S. history or civics?

The Illinois State Bar Association Lawyers in the Classroom Resource Guide contains numerous lesson plans and activities that can be used on Constitution Day. For example, there is a discussion guide for the First Amendment speech rights and the Fourth Amendment rights re searches of student lockers. The guide was prepared for lawyers to use in making classroom visits and this is a good occasion to invite in a lawyer. However, the guide can also be used by teachers to lead these discussions. <http://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/teachers/lawyersinclassrooms/Lawyers%20in%20Classrooms%20Handbook.pdf>.

Also available on the Illinois State Bar Association website is a page for Teachers. There you will find a guide to the court for kids, a role play on the three branches of government for junior and senior high schoolers, and an activity on the civic duty of voting. Even more lesson plans and activities are available. www.isba.org, look For Teachers.

The Annenberg Foundation has a series of videos suitable for middle-high schoolers on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, jury duty, and major cases. One series of eight 12-minute videos addresses each of the branches of government and several of the rights in the Bill of Rights. Three games, offered with ICivics, involves students as legislators or the president or in a balance of power game. Several older, but still timely, videos address major cases.

There is a 27-minute video on the internment of Japanese during World War II which would be useful in history as well as government or civics classes. When compared with modern day treatment of migrants, it would be useful in current events classes as well. There are even more resources at <www.annenbergclassroom.org>. 

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September 2015Volume 2Number 1PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)