3 Powerful Constitution Day Activities for Elementary Students


3 Powerful Constitution Day Activities for Elementary Students

The beginning of the year is hectic! There is always so much to do, so many procedures to teach, and so much data to collect. But when the calendar flips to September one thing that is on the forefront of my mind is Constitution Day.

September 17th is Constitution Day. If you are a public school teacher then you know that teaching about Constitution Day is mandated. The mandate states that "each educational institution that receives Federal funds is required to hold an educational program about the US Constitution for its students..." This means that you do need to teach lessons and if your school is like mine, you need to submit an outline of the activities that you completed in class to your administration. 

While I absolutely love teaching social studies and history to my students, Constitution Day happens to come during a very busy month. That is why I love using these simple, yet powerful activities to teach my students about our country's Constitution and celebrate this holiday with meaningful and timely tasks.

3 Powerful Constitution Day Activities for Elementary Students

Constitution Day Read Alouds and Discussions

The US Constitution and Preamble are not easily digestible for our students. That is why I love to read as many books as possible during Constitution Day week. These read-aloud books are a great way to build student background knowledge before diving into activities. Through reading and discussing these books students will understand key concepts and vocabulary to help them understand why we celebrate Constitution Day.

Try this: As you read have students jot down vocabulary words that they are interested in learning more about. When you are done reading, create a class list of vocabulary words. Refer back to the book to create definitions of the words together as a class. This is a great way to teach students to use context clues right from the beginning of the school year.

If you are looking for a kid-friendly breakdown of the Preamble visit this SITE.

constitution day class constitution

Class Constitution vs U.S. Constitution

I love creating a class constitution and comparing and contrasting it with the US Constitution. It ties together the beginning of the year community-building activities that you already do with the holiday of Constitution Day. 

The first thing we discuss is what a constitution is. A constitution is a set of organized rules that helps to guide how an organization works. By discussing what a constitution is, students not only understand how and why the U.S. Constitution was created but also helps them to understand why your classroom needs a constitution, too.

The key to creating a class constitution is to have students create it. Let the students brainstorm ideas while you jot them down. Have the kids create the language that they want to use to guide how their classroom works. When you are done crafting the class constitution with your kids, be sure to write it on large chart paper and then have students come up and sign their names, in pen of course, to make it official! Display it where all students can see it.

When you are done writing your class constitution, have students compare and contrast it with the U.S. Constitution that they are learning about. Grab the Venn diagram that I use with my students to complete this activity for FREE below.

constitution day preamble activity elementary

Illustrate the US Constitution

What better way to help students truly understand the words of the Preamble than to have them illustrate it? This is my favorite activity that we do on Constitution Day!

It is really simple. Spread out the words to the preamble over a few pages. Have students illustrate each set of words. After reading all of the books and discussing key vocabulary and creating definitions together, this activity will be easy for students. 

You can have each student create their own book and illustrate every page themselves, or you can have students work in a group and have individual students illustrate one page to compile into the group's book. If you have students work in groups you can keep the illustrated books that they created in your classroom library for students to visit and read all year long!

Constitution Day is an important day to recognize and celebrate with students and not just because it is mandated. I am always so excited by the meaningful conversations had and the important work that the students do during this unit.

Planning for lessons about the US Constitution does not have to be stressful even though it comes during a stressful time. Save this page, pin for later, grab the free download, that way each year your plans for Constitution Day are already done.

Happy teaching!

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constitution day activities and read alouds

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