Amazing Amendments: Ratification Work Sheet


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)
.   It would also be an excellent supplemental handout either before or after a judge's presentation.  

How do you use it?

This document is geared to teachers as well as students, but could be mined for information for judges or other presenters to use in a lecture or talk.  

Teachers and judges could pass the one-pager out to students either prior to a judge coming into talk or after a judge has left.  It would work either as a good introduction or a strong follow up for the teacher to use and the children to keep.

Caution:  The one-pager is less a stand-alone resource than as an adjunct to a lecture, discussion or other kind of narrative presentation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

Who is the audience?

This resource is informative and educational, and tailored toward the strengths of children at an mid-primary through high-school level.  Even relatively young students can interpret the amendment diagram and the sidebar on facts relating to when amendments are passed, while older students can conduct research on amendments that were ratified as well as those thousands of amendments that never received passage.

What other resources will complement this?

  1. Argument Wars  Game from iCivics (H)
  2. Constitution Day Rap  Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education (P) 
  3. Courts in the Classroom  Videos from the Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Office (P, M, H)
  4. Matching Game with the Constitution  Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education (P)
  5. The Constitution: The Country's Rules  Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education (P)
  6. U.S. Constitution Fact Sheet  Document from (M)  
  7. What Basic Ideas Are In the Preamble to the Constitution?  Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education (P)

Additional Recommended Resources Off-Site Links
  1. A Constitutional Timeline
    • Multi-aged audience timeline that highlights key dates in history of Constitution, with links to text, audio and video clips. From National Constitution Center's Constitution Day site. 
  2. Interactive Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that enables users to search Constitution by keyword or topic, with access to explanatory materials throughout. From National Constitution Center.   
  3. The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution
    • Multi-aged audience site that lists the text of each section of every article in the Constitution, and provides explanation of what the text means in plain language.  From the Leonore Annenberg Institute of Civics. 
  4. Understanding the Federal Courts
    • Multi-aged online textbook-type document that includes sections on Article III, the Federal Court system and the geographical boundaries of the Courts of Appeal and the District Courts, the code of conduct for judges, juror qualifications, exemptions and terms of service, as well as categories of bankruptcy cases.  From the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts.