In celebration of our country's Constitution, the U.S. Department of Education has designated September 17 as annual Constitution Day! The day is intended to prompt any federally funded educational institution to conduct an event of their own design that celebrates the signing of the U.S. constitution which occurred in 1787. Events or programming can be designed as educators see fit to best emphasize this momentus event with their students.
Read the Federal Register establishing Constitution Day
Click here to find a list of resources for Constitution Day!
Information on local Clerks of Court in order to schedule class visits to SC Courts in conjunction with Constitution Day or Law Day.
K-12 Lesson Plans:
Free, ready-to-use Constitution Day and Citizenship Day lessons for kindergarten through twelfth grade are now posted at the Center for Civic Education's website: http://www.civiced.org/byrd/. Each lesson contains multiple ideas for discussion topics, exercises, questions, and activities, as well as short background readings. The lessons were adapted from the Center for Civic Education's We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution text and Foundations of Democracy curriculum. These lessons are designed to fulfill the federal mandate that every school-from elementary and secondary schools to colleges and universities-provide instruction on the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, September 17, the anniversary of the document's signing. September 17 falls on a Saturday this year: Constitution Day may be observed the day before or at any time around that date.
Free Programs Broadcast featuring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Stephen Breyer:
Justice Learning, which is a program created by Justice Talking, a National Public Radio series. The program was developed in cooperation with the National Archives and Records Administration, The New York Times Knowledge Network, the Center for Civic Education, and other partners. A brochure for Justice Learning is attached to this message.
Thanks to TeachFirstAmendment.org, a new nonpartisan online resource that makes bringing the First Amendment into classrooms simple and fun.
And it's FREE!
TeachFirstAmendment.org gives teachers and administrators:
- free, practical teaching lessons
- how-tos for starting a school newspaper or broadcast station on campus
- campaign ideas for getting civics back in schools
What do you and your colleagues know about the First Amendment?
Can you name the five rights the First Amendment protects? Does the government have the right to censor the Internet?
Visit www.teachtirstamendment.org and bring the First Amendment into your classroom.
Constitution Day from the US Government
The site, www.constitutionday.us, will be lively, interactive and welcoming to individual users and to civic and educational groups wishing to publicize and disseminate their own Constitution Day resources and materials. The Constitution Center will act as a national clearinghouse and a link to other websites and organizations. The Constitution Centerï¿½s website will target four different audiences: educators, students, federal and military personnel, and civic and community leaders. Users will be able to sign in and create their own profiles, to post comments and offer their own ideas, and exchange information with others. The goal is to create a supportive cyber-community, and add to the interest and excitement in celebrating this new and important holiday.
Announcement: Conversations on the Constitution website
Each year beginning in 2005, educational institutions receiving federal funds will hold educational programs about the Constitution on September 17-Constitution Day. The authorizing legislation, sponsored by Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), also requires federal agencies to hold Constitution programs on Constitution Day.
Our Constitution offers a framework for addressing challenges in the nation's political life. The ABA Division for Public Education offers Conversations on the Constitution in service to the nation for its Constitution commemoration and education efforts. Conversations on the Constitution is a new program designed to encourage civil discussion and debate about the meaning of some of the Constitution's concepts and clauses that have been the subject of ongoing constitutional debates.
The site also features interactive quizzes on the Constitution, as well as the opportunity to receive a free pocket-sized U.S. Constitution.
For more information about holding a Conversation on the Constitution, visit www.abaconstitution.org
The Bill of Rights Institute's Constitution Day Page
Founded in 1999, The Bill of Rights Institute is a non-profit organization with a mission to develop programs and curriculum that teach students about the founding of our nation and what it means to be an American citizen. The Bill of Rights Institute is dedicated to creating educational materials for teachers like you, in order to help young Americans appreciate constitutional principles that define us as a nation.
Middle and high school lesson plans, with information on the Constitution and First Ammendment