This collection has lesson plans, multimedia links, teacher's guides, supplementary materials, assessment ideas, and much more. Topics covered include the founding fathers, the federalist papers, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism. Teachers can pick and choose resources based on instructional goals and needs of the student population.

Suggested Unit Plan:
 
Recommended Enrichment Lessons to Support Core Content:
 
Recommended Lessons to Support English Language Development students and/or students with disabilities:
 
Recommended Resources for Flipped or Online Classes:
 
Beyond the above recommended lessons, there are additional videos to support the core content and resources that provide a more in-depth look at issues related to the Constitution. 


 

Collection Contents

Founders and the Constitution

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

Founders and the Constitution: In Their Own Words, introduces students to twenty-four individuals who had a direct impact on the founding of our constitutional government. Students will explore the lives and ideas of the Founders, analyze their writings, and appreciate each Founder’s role in shaping our government.
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Preserving the Bill of Rights

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

Preserving the Bill of Rights teaches students Constitutional principles by examining primary source documents and significant Supreme Court cases. In addition, each unit features expanded classroom activities engaging students with the Bill of Rights and the responsibilities of citizenship. Students will understand the connection between current events and the Bill of Rights when they participate in activities such as writing letters to their elected representatives; serving in a mock jury; creating public service announcements; and writing model laws.
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Two Views of the Relationship of Church and State

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will explore the views of the founders concerning the relationship between Church and State. They will examine quotes from the founders regarding the relationship of Church and State, as well analyze excerpts from primary source documents concerning this relationship.
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The Declaration of Independence

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson students will explore the structure, purpose and significance of the Declaration of Independence. Students will analyze the concepts of inalienable rights and government by consent and begin to understand the philosophical foundations of America's constitutional government were starting a war with the greatest military power of the time, when they did not have a mighty fighting force themselves. And they were fighting for a type of government that most people thought was impossible. Prof. Sarah Burns explains the importance of asking WHY they did what they did, as she will go on to explain in the following videos. Lesson plan PDF includes all handouts:
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The Bill of Rights (ELL)

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

For the Bill of Rights to remain more than what Madison referred to as a “parchment barrier,” citizens must understand the purpose, content, and meaning of this important American document. In this lesson, students will identify and analyze the protections in the Bill of Rights as well as evaluate Supreme Court decisions in cases centered on Bill of Rights protections.
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The Bill of Rights

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

For the Bill of Rights to remain more than what Madison referred to as a "parchment barrier," citizens must understand the purpose, content and meaning of this important American document. In this lesson, students will identify and analyze the protections in the Bill of Rights, as well as evaluate Supreme Court decisions in cases centered on Bill of Rights protections.
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The United States Constitution

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson students will study the Constitution from three perspectives, its structure, content and underlying principles. They will study the separate articles: their purpose, content underlying ideas, as well as analyze the constitutional principles they contain.
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A primary-source based lesson plan that examines the drafting of the United States Constitution.
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A primary-source based lesson plan to examine and debate the big ideas in the Constitution.
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A lesson plan to examine and debate amendments to the United States Constitution.
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Students will learn about the amendments that have changed America\'s constitutional government.
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Checks and Balances

by Jenny Sitkin

This lesson provides video clips with examples and explanations of checks and balances.
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A quick, interactive tool to review and apply the system of checks and balances.
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A video that describes the system of checks and balances.
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By Becky Orsini and Nick ThomasonThis unit was written as an in-depth explanation of the Texas and US Constitutions. It is an attempt to provide enduring understandings of the purpose behind the Texas and US Constitutions and why laws are important to keep a society functioning effectively. Students will be able to understand the relationship between civil liberties, state government powers, and federal government powers. They will see how the various parts of the constitution (Preamble, Articles, and Bill of Rights) work together to create a document that allows the government to work for the people while protecting them at the same time. In the end, the students will assimilate their knowledge of the six basic principles of the Constitution (popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, and judicial review) into a project that requires them to create a their own constitution as a system of government to be adopted by their school.These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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A short video that highlights the concept of separation of powers.
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The United States Constitution (ELL)

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

In this lesson, students will study the Constitution from three perspectives: structure, content, and underlying principles. They will study the purpose, content, underlying ideas, and constitutional principles of each Article in the Constitution.
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The Constitution of the United States: En Espanol

by Education Department National Constitution Center

The Constitution of the United States in Spanish.
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A lesson designed for ELL students about the basis of the Constitution
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This lesson plan has students examine the Federalist Papers and gain a greater understanding of the Constitution.
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In this unit, students will examine the roles that key American founders played in creating the Constitution, and the challenges they faced in the process. They will learn why many Americans in the 1780s believed that reforms to the Articles of Confederation were necessary, and the steps taken to authorize the 1787 Convention in Philadelphia. They will become familiar with the main issues that divided delegates at the Convention, particularly the questions of representation in Congress and the office of the presidency. Finally, they will see how a spirit of compromise, in the end, was necessary for the Convention to fulfill its task of improving the American political system.
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Free iOS app that contains the full text of the Constitution.  The product also provides an explanation for each and every clause, as well as commentary on each of the amendments. 
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Being an American (ELL)

by Bill of Rights Institute EDUCATING INDIVIDUALS about THE CONSTITUTION

An expanded version of Being an American, these lessons include modifications for English Language-Learners. Through primary source analysis, writing assignments, discussion prompts, and other activities, students will “connect the dots” by focusing on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civic values, American heroes, and exploring the meaning of citizenship to them. Being an American ELL features lesson plans that include warm-ups, classroom activities, essays, homework, extensions, handouts, ELL modifications, glossaries, and Founding Principle exercises.
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A short video outlining the three branches of government.
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Interactive Constitution from the Constitution Center www.constitutioncenter.org
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A comprehensive unit on the Constitution from the Georgia Virtual Learning program.
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TED-Ed lesson on the Constitution of the United States
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A series of four lessons on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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