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Online Resources for Constitution Day

by Andrew Roush
constitution day

Though it was not to take effect until ratification by the states, the United States Constitution — the foundational document of the modern U.S. government — was signed by delegates of the Constitutional Congress on September 17, 1787. Traditionally, the unofficial holiday called Citizenship Day was celebrated on that day each year. In 2004, it became a federal observance: Constitution Day.

Educators looking to build learning about this important cultural, historical, and legal document have a number of resources at their disposal, even while teaching remotely.

Center of It All

The National Constitution Center has a number of online events to mark the occasion and help people build an understanding of the document, including live and interactive events for teachers and students. 

Some events of interest might include:

  • Virtual Kids Town Hall with Supreme Court Justice Justice Neil Gorsuch (Register/Watch on YouTube)
  • A live reading of the preamble (Register)
  • Liberty Medal ceremony with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Watch)

Beyond events to commemorate the occasion, the Center offers a number of helpful tools for understanding the “supreme law of the land” all year long. 

  • The Interactive Constitution lets learners explore the document with links and useful explanations for each article and amendment. 
  • Classroom Exchanges help students make peer-to-peer connections while discussing civic issues.
  • The Center’s extensive video series highlights some of the people and ideas that shaped the Constitution, as well as the various parts of the document.
  • Lesson plans for various grade levels and aligned with popular standards are also available. 

Dig Into the Archives

The Library of Congress and National Archives also host a number of resources that can help you teach the Constitution in flexible, digital ways, whether on September 17 or anytime. 

Constitution Day Toolkit

The Civics Renewal Network, a large coalition of nonprofits and similar organizations, offers a Constitution Day Toolkit for educators, complete with interactive biographies of the framers, lessons, games, and documentary resources for exploring multiple aspects of this influential piece of American history.

More Interactive Social Studies Resources from TCEA

Photo:  wynpnt (pixabay.com)

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