Unit 4: Teaching the Constitution

When teaching the constitution, tell your students that fighting for and winning independence was only half the battle for our young nation. . .

Activate prior knowledge and understanding by asking your class the following question and lead a discussion with all answers given:

How do a group of people create a sound constitution from which to build a newly indpendent country?

That is the challenge of every nation which has been granted independence. If the fledgling country can not immediately decide how it will be governed, by whom, and appointed in which manner, etc. the nation will crumble before it can even stand on its own two feet.

Our wise forefathers knew that. They knew that the next and most crucial step was to create a constitution stating the rights that colonists had been denied by England. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and the rest grasped the fundamental idea that the United States of America could only and would only be

governed by the people and for the people.

Our forefathers took what they didn't like about England and changed it in the constitution. They improved upon the things that were good about England. Out of all this, a constitution was born that still works today and is still upheld and cherished.

As you begin teaching the constitution, assign your students the task of defining the important key terms of the unit. In addition, students should use the terms in a comprehensive sentence to show understanding.

Included in this lesson plan is a fun and educational project, PowerPoint notes, Fill-In-The-Notes for the students, a study guide, and two tests to choose from. The study guide works well for either test. You will also find an article about the Fourth of July and related critical thinking questions.

It is important to throw in critical thinking assignments every once in a while. Being able to read through essays, articles, and selected readings and then answering critical thinking questions based on those readings is something that students will be required to do early on in college. It is important to prepare students for college and make them familiar with the skills they will need to succeed at the college level.

Key terms associated with the unit on Teaching the Constitution.

This PowerPoint presentation of 52 slides gives your students a solid and thorough understanding the United States Constitution.

A complete set of Fill-in-the-Notes for your students. Simply print the slides (six per page) and give each student a copy so they can take notes with while you teach and present unit 4.

One of the best things you can do for your students is to show them how the history they study is completely relevant to their lives today. This group project accomplishes that objective, using newspapers and headlines to see our constitution in action.

An excellent article that shows students the Fourth of July is more than just fireworks and barbeques.

Questions on the above article that prompt students to read and think critically.

This study guide handout prepares students for the test; making it a required, graded assignment is important to student success.

All of the tests on OwlTeacher.com are a mix of term matching, multiple choice, and information recall with short answer questions and essay questions. The essay questions demand students to put important elements of the unit into their own words, showing thorough understanding.

For some reason, which I can't recall at the moment, I created two tests on this unit. It is included here, nonetheless.

Return from Teaching the Constitution to American History


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