Being an American is certainly something to be proud of! Were it not for the rights outlined in the Constitution, you may not even be reading this article. Thanks to those rights, you’re free to read whatever you’d like. But, where do you get those rights? They’re outlined for you in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is such an important document that we devote an entire week to remembering its significance.
What is Constitution Week?
The Constitution of the U.S. is one of the most important documents for Americans. It stands to highlight the freedoms and rights American citizens have. As such, it makes sense to have a week of the year entirely dedicated to the U.S. Constitution. That week is known as Constitution Week and takes place annually September 17th-23rd.
Origins of Constitution Week
In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution sent a petition to Congress requesting to devote a specific time period each year to recognize the Constitution. One year later (August 2, 1956), President Eisenhower signed the petition into public law. However, it wasn’t until 2002 when President Bush declared its inception that it became official. Ultimately, the purpose of Constitution Week was to set aside a time for study and education of the Constitution. After all, it is the oldest constitution in the world that’s still in use!
Celebrating Constitution Week
Officially, Constitution Day is September 17th. On this day in 1787, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention met one final time to sign the document they’d drafted. (The Amendments to the Constitution would come later.) Today, American citizens can find local events such as parades taking place during this week. The week is a great time to show patriotism and pride in American citizenship!
Constitution Week Study Resources
Use these activities on their own or pull them into a unit study on Constitution Week!
- Language Arts:
- For some patriotic spelling activities related to the Preamble and First Amendment, VocabularySpellingCity.com has a great list for your students. They can practice spelling, play games, and even take a spelling quiz!
- Older students will enjoy this free Constitution app that presents an interactive feel and lets them explore different aspects of the Constitution.
- In this Constitution unit, you’ll find reading passages, vocabulary posters, flipbooks and more for elementary-aged students.
- The Constitutional Timeline is an online experience that takes students on a journey through time with the Constitution. You can use it to have students learn more about important events and dates that led to implementing the U.S. Constitution.
- Other math activities related to the Constitution might involve time and dates, currency, budgets, populations, and percentages.
- Ben Franklin was a key figure for the Constitution, but he was also a scientist. Have your students explore other experiments such as static electricity. To explore this, run some water at an even pace and then run a comb through your student’s hair. Once the comb has picked up static, hold it next to the running water to see what happens! Explore different results by running the water faster and then slower.
- Students can learn all about the American judicial system and even play a mock courtroom game and other government games for kids in this collection of civics, history, and language arts activities.
- Do your students wish they could travel back in time and talk with some of the founding fathers? With this Scholastic game, they can interview Ben Franklin and even print up their interview as a news article!
- Help your students better understand how bills become laws by reading this article about students who helped create a new law.
- Students can test their knowledge of the Constitution by taking fun government quizzes.
- Don’t forget the Preamble video from Schoolhouse Rock!
Constitution Week is a time to reflect on the rights afforded to us through the U.S. Constitution. These are rights we should not take for granted. Help your kids understand their rights and what the Constitution stands for by engaging in a Constitution unit study you can put together with the above resources!