Matching Game with the Constitution


This lesson plan and its included "Matching Game" introduce kindergartners to the Constitution through a fun and simple 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.   


How do you use it?

The lesson booklet that accompanies the "Matching Games" gives presenters a background story about the Constitution to give the students a basic understanding of the material they will need to understand the significance of the images they will be matching. 

The matching game associates ideas with images which is a practical and engaging way to instruct very young learners.  The most important part of the "game" activity is the "Why?"  At the end of playing the matching game the young students are asked to describe each of the images and say something they learned about that image – whether the image is of Ben Franklin or the signing of the Constitution.  

The instructor would have to ensure students understand the meaning of the pictures, but that seems doable with the breadth of information provided in these materials.

Because of the cutting, copying, etc. necessary to produce all of the game's materials, this resource isn’t “road ready.”  Instructors need a color printer to print out the provided sample cards (black and white just won't be as compelling).  

However, while this lesson requires a bit of material preparation, not every student would need a set of the matching cards.  Groups can share them; only a few sets need be printed.  Judges should check with the teacher ahead of time on the number of students (it may make sense to make three or four sets of cards and break up the children into groups).  

Who is the audience?

This resource is informative and educational, and tailored toward the strengths of children at an early primary level.  Very young students will likely enjoy the matching exercise as they learn basic facts about the Constitution and American history. 

Caution:  The matching game consists of seven cards.  That may mean that the game is quite short in duration.  However an instructor could add other images to the game if a longer and/or more sophisticated version was desired.  

What other resources will complement this?

  1. Amazing Amendments  Document from (P, M) 
  2. Argument Wars  Game from iCivics (H)
  3. Constitution Day Rap  Lesson Plan from the Center for Civic Education (P) 
  4. Courts in the Classroom  Videos from the Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Office (P, M, H)
  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.