Constitution Week Study ResourcesSeptember 14, 2020
Happy Constitution Week! 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.
The Constitution is the most important document in our government. It created the foundation of our country!
How important is this document? There’s even an annual, national commemoration called Constitution Week! This commemoration is devoted to teaching about the Constitution and in recollection of what it means to Americans.
Additionally, most high school students are required to take at least one course about the Constitution. In states with strict homeschool laws, families often need to provide proof of their student’s progress and that includes a Constitution course. Universities may even examine transcripts for this course.
Why is it important to study this seemingly archaic document? Beyond it serving as the pillars of our country’s democracy, our rights as U.S. citizens are outlined in the Constitution.
It’s essential to know your rights, especially in our ever-changing social climate.
What is Constitution Week?
The U.S. Constitution is one of the most important documents for Americans. It stands to highlight the freedoms and rights of American citizens. As such, it makes sense to have a week of the year entirely dedicated to the U.S. Constitution. To celebrate, we have found lots of information and Constitution Day activities to make the most of it!
Constitution Week takes place annually from September 17th-23rd.
In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution sent a petition to Congress requesting to devote a specific time each year to recognize the Constitution. One year later, President Eisenhower signed the petition into public law. However, it wasn’t declared official until 2002 by President George W. Bush!
Ultimately, the purpose of Constitution Week is simply to study the Constitution. After all, it is the oldest active constitution in the world!
Here are a few Constitution Day resources! (Some of these links take you away from Homeschool.com.)
- Podcast | Practical ways to teach our children about the Constitution! — Join Jamie Gaddy and Janine Turner as they discuss how to teach our homeschooled children about the Constitution. To teach about The Constitution, it’s key to understand its importance. Grab a cuppa and listen in!
- Constitution Day FREE Zoom Workshops! Register Now!
- Educational Games for Social Studies — On this page, you’ll find games divided into categories for the core subjects. Games such as The Constitution Quest would be perfect for this week!
- Sign the Constitution Week Proclamation Pledge — A fun document to print from the Daughters of the American Revolution. With a signature, you’ll be pledging to read The Constitution!
Constitution Day Activities for Kids
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 may even find local events like parades in celebration of Constitution Week.
It’s a great time to show patriotism for American citizenship. To make it extra fun, here are a few history-themed activities for kids! (Some of these links may take you away from Homeschool.com.)
- Make this red, white, and blue snack mix!
- Write your own Constitution!
- Watch the Broadway production of “Hamilton”!
- Host a Mock Constitutional Convention
- Research & read other countries’ constitutions.
- Watch the Crash Course video about The Constitution
- Watch the School House Rock video on The Constitution
U.S. Constitution Day Facts
If your kids haven’t taken a course on the U.S. Constitution yet, this is perfect for them. Short but engaging facts are often a great introduction to a new subject! Even if you have taken a course about the Constitution, you may still learn something new here!
Uncovering new tidbits about historical figures makes them feel more like regular people and less like mere stories in a textbook.
I love fun facts because simple facts break down a big topic into understandable and relatable pieces. Facts like these can turn a dry subject (AKA government) more interesting. I hope you love these Constitution Day facts as much as we did! They are a great addition to Constitution Week exploration.
Find more facts about the Constitution here. (This link takes you away from Homeschool.com.)
- There are a few spelling errors in the Constitution. The most obvious is “Pensylvania.”
- Even at 4,400 words, the U.S. Constitution is historically the shortest constitution written worldwide.
- Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams did not sign the Constitution.
- Jefferson was in France at the time as a U.S. minister.
- Adams was in Great Britain, also serving as a U.S. minister.
- A clerk actually penned the Constitution. His name was Jacob Shallus and he was paid $30.
- That’s about $800 in today’s monetary value.
- James Madison arrived in May for the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, which was incredibly early considering the document was signed on September 17th.
- He is known as “the father of the Constitution.”
- There are four pages to the Constitution.
- Though written and signed in Philadelphia, the Constitution is kept safe in Washington, D.C.
- The case holding the document is filled with argon gas, maintained at 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and 40% humidity for best preservation.
- Slavery was not officially abolished in the Constitution until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865, a full 78 years after the Constitution was originally signed.
- As the famous phrase goes, even though Patrick Henry was elected as a delegate for the Constitutional Convention, he declined since he “smelt a rat.”
- He was an anti-Federalist, which meant he opposed the new Constitution.
- He believed individual state rights were more important.
- His phrase, “I smell a rat,” was referencing his frustration over the closed proceedings of the Constitutional Convention.
- Benjamin Franklin was the oldest person to sign the Constitution at age 81. He even needed help signing his name.
- When the Constitution was signed, the population of the United States was only 4 million.
- That may seem like a lot, but to give you a better idea, the population today averages 328.2 million people!
- There were only two men who signed the Constitution and also became U.S. presidents.
- George Washington
- James Madison
- The first national Thanksgiving Day was declared official by George Washington on November 26, 1789, to celebrate the Constitution.
- “Democracy” as a word does not exist in the Constitution.
U.S. Constitution Study Resources
Use these resources on their own or pull them into a unit study on Constitution Week. Unit studies are a great way to explore a deep topic like the U.S. Constitution because you can learn about it from the viewpoint of multiple subjects. Write a paper, color an image, work on a spelling list, do some Constitution-themed math, research the science discoveries and inventions in that era, and more!
Happy Constitution Week! (Several of these links take you away from Homeschool.com.)
- 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.
- Benjamin 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.
Courtney Newman is a homeschooled graduate with a love for writing. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Health Science at University of the People. Other than writing, her hobbies include reading, yoga, visiting the beach, and meditating. She lives with her husband and pets in coastal Virginia.