Constitution Day: Planning for September 17th

Constitution Day is September 17th. Social studies teacher Anne Walker shares her favorite resources for elementary and secondary classrooms.

September 17th is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (Constitution Day) in the United States. This day commemorates September 17, 1787, the signing of the U.S. Constitution. All institutions receiving federal funding, including funding through the U.S. Department of Education, are required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution on September 17 of each year (or in the preceding or the following week if the date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday).  That means all public schools in Virginia need to commemorate Constitution Day in some way. Don’t worry, has got it covered!

Elementary students know we have a president, not a king, but many can’t tell you what a president does. Politics on Point explains precisely what the president does. You can also introduce your students to the duties of the Vice President. Hmm, I wonder how they compare to the Principal’s and Vice- Principal’s roles in running a school.

Middle school students can practice their reading skills with a Ratifying the Constitution reading passage, perfect for grades 5-8. After reading the passage, students will take a quiz on the ratification process.

High school and college students can explore the foundation and design of the United States Constitution, and learn about various constitutional “hot spots” and the many disputes that continue into the present day with The Constitution: Fixed or Flexible?

Every American school student should learn the Preamble song from Schoolhouse Rock. Thanks to eMediaVA, they can! That’s right, the entirety of America Rock can be found here, including Just a Bill, Shot Heard ‘Round the World, and Fireworks. Looking for more? Check out the Constitution Day Playlist eMediaVA has already assembled for more ideas!

Anne Walker is a social studies teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and an eMediaVA Ambassador.

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