1. U.S. Constitution: An Overview

Overview This section is about the creation of government in the United States and the formulation of the constitutional rules that define the United States government's role and how it works.

Learning Objectives |  Students will be able to: 
  • Learn facts about the Constitution, its creation and its various amendments. 
  • Learn the process by which an amendment to the U.S. Constitution gets ratified. 
  • Learn about various principles the U. S. Constitution was designed to protect. 
  • Learn how federal courts interpret the Constitution.

Summary of Resources Below is the list of resources gathered in this section.  Click on the titles to learn more. 

Resources |  Primary School
  1. Constitution Day Rap
    • This lesson plan can be used with first and second graders to help them learn important facts about the Constitution and its history. Students create a thirteen-star flag and read or perform the Constitution Day Rap.
    • Lesson Plan (game/rap/arts & craft) from the Center for Civic Education
    • Age: P 
  2. Courts in the Classroom
    • This web page hosts three series of videos targeted to older primary and middle school audiences:  a series on The Big Ideas, with videos on Privacy, Free Expression, Symbolic Speech, Censorship, Courts, Due Process, Laws, Checks and Balances; The Third Branch, with two videos titled  About Judges and about Courts; and Landmark Cases, with videos on the  First, Fourth, Fourteenth Amendments and Checks and Balances.  The web page also has quizzes, a resources guide for teachers, and related lesson plans. 
    • Videos, etc. from the Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
    • Age: P, M (H)
  3. Matching Game with the Constitution
    • This lesson plan introduces kindergartners to the Constitution through a matching game that explains what the Constitution is and what it does for them. Children are directed to recognize and match key images related to the Constitution and its history.  
    • Lesson Plan (game) from the Center for Civic Education
    • Age: P 
  4. The Constitution: The Country's Rules
    • This lesson plan is targeted to first and second graders to help them develop an awareness of the Constitution. Presenters are guided to help students examine their own classroom's rules poster (not provided) as an introduction to the concept of the rule of law.  Students will compare those rules to the the law of the United States as laid out in the U.S. Constitution. 
    • Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education
    • Age: P 
  5. What Basic Ideas Are In the Preamble to the Constitution?
    • This lesson plan can be used with third and fourth grade students to help them explore ideas in the Preamble. Students learn that the power to govern belongs to the people who have created the government to protect their rights and promote their welfare.  
    • Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education
    • Age: P 

Resources Middle & High School
  1. Amazing Amendments
    • This one-page document gives a solid summary of the process of how an amendment to the U.S. Constitution gets ratified.  It can be used to help structure a presentation to middle school students (and some upper-level primary students).  
    • Document from Scholastic.com  
    • Age: M (P)  
  2. Argument Wars
    • This game can be given to high school students to help them understand how the Supreme Court interprets the Constitution to make decisions.  Students can be guided through a real Supreme Court case.   
    • Game from iCivics
    • Age: H  
  3. U.S. Constitution Fact Sheet
    • This document can be used with middle school students to help them familiarize themselves with key dates, facts and vocabulary pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.  
    • Document from Scholastic.com  
    • Age: M