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US Constitution Unit Study

Updated on November 28, 2014

Learning about the Constitution

As young future American voters, children need to learn about forms of government, laws, and choices we can make in America. The following is a unit my children and I studied to help them make wise decisions in the coming years.

I hope you have as much fun as we did learning about this important subject! =D

Graphic created by JoyfulPamela.

Our Constitution Lapbook - Free Student & Teacher Materials!

Constitution Day is September 17th!

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United States Documents - Law Before the Constitution

Our government system in America can be traced back to England in 1215 when King John of England was "encouraged" by force to sign the Magna Carta which entitled jury trials, due process of law, and representation in law making bodies for all English citizens. This led to the formation of English Parliament over the years. The English Petition of Rights (1628) and The English Bill of Rights (1689) were predecessors to the United States Bill of Rights.

What forms of law and government existed in America before the Constitution was written? There were several document which created laws for the colonists ~ The Mayflower Compact, Colonial Charters & Constitutions, The Declaration of Independence, and The Articles of Confederation.

Liberty's Kids - "We the People"

Great Kid's Books

Children ages elementary through middle school will enjoy these books about the Constitution! We found these at our local library.

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

There are so many wonderful books for children about the Constitution, the government, and American history. Here are some of my favorites!

- "We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States" by David Catrow,

- "A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution" by Betsy Maestro,

- "Shh! We're Writing the Constitution" by Jean Fritz and Tomie dePaola,

- "If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution" by Elizabeth Levy and Joan Holub

- "Constitution Translated for Kids" by Cathy Travis

- "The Declaration of Independence: How 13 Colonies Became the United States" by Syl Sobel

- "The U.S. Constitution and You" by Syl Sobel

- "The Bill of Rights: Protecting Our Freedom Then and Now" by Syl Sobel

- "How the U.S. Government Works" by Syl Sobel

- "Presidential Elections: And Other Cool Facts" by Syl Sobel

 

The Preamble - We the People ...

Starting this document are these well known words which bring us together as a nation.

"We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Such thought and care must have been put into each word in forming this new government. The meaning behind them is overwhelming beautiful!

Declaration & Preamble Videos

Studying the Constitution

There are tons of fabulous resources for your study of the Constitution, government, and civics! Since I have children in elementary, middle, and high school, I tried to find a large range of comprehension levels for them.

"A Mice Way to Learn"

House Mouse, Senate Mouse
House Mouse, Senate Mouse

This series of books is so cute and fun for your younger students to enjoy and learn about government at the same time. Look also for Woodrow for President: A Tail of Voting, Campaigns, Woodrow, the White House Mouse, Marshall, the Courthouse Mouse: A Tail of the U.S. Supreme Court, and A Mice Way to Learn About the Government Curriculum Guide.

 

Legislative Branch - Article I of the Constitution

The Legislative Branch makes the laws.

~ See the 2 L's there? Legislative - Law

See below for two super Schoolhouse Rock vids

"3 Ring Government" and "How a Bill Becomes a Law"!

Schoolhouse Rock! - & Other Fun Educational Videos

Scholastic Books

The Constitution of the United States (True Books)
The Constitution of the United States (True Books)

This is only one from the fabulous Scholastic "True Books" series where you can find all the facts for kids (and adults)! Others in the series are: The Bill of Rights, The Presidency, The Supreme Court, and The Congress. The pictures are colorful and eye catching while the text is informative yet simply stated for all ages.

 

Executive Branch - Article II of the Constitution

The President, Vice President, and their advisors enforce the laws.

See above for another Schoolhouse Rock video, "Electoral College".

Rock & Learn with Schoolhouse Rock!

Schoolhouse Rock: America Rock
Schoolhouse Rock: America Rock

What a great way to learn and retain important facts through catchy tunes! If you are in my generation, I'm sure you learned many educational concepts via catchy tunes from Schoohouse Rock that you still remember. Now with modern technology, my students and your can memorize the Preamble to the Constitution, learn about the congress with "I'm Just a Bill ... up on Capitol Hill" and others. This set contains historical themes in "America Rock". There are also recordings which contain other subjects such as science and language arts so you can get your money's worth on multiple subjects. (Amazon even has a School House Rock Songbook by Hal Leonard publishers written for piano / guitar / vocal if you prefer to sing it live.)

 

Judicial Branch - Article III of the Constitution

The Judicial Branch interprets or explains the laws; they decide if something is constitutional or not. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country. Cases usually start on the local and state level and build their way up if the original rulings are appealed. One chief justice is resides above the eight associate judges who also work on the cases. The judges are chosen by the President, and approved by the Congress. Their appointment is for life.

A Judiciary Branch mini book is in the lapbook pieces file.

What else does it say? - Articles IV, V, VI, and VII

IV ~ Full Faith & Credit Clause: States work together in accepting one anothers laws.

V ~ Amendments - Changing the Constitution: In order for the Constitution to be changed or amended, 2/3 of the legislature must propose the amendment, and ¾ of the states must ratify or approve it.

VI ~ Supremacy Clause: There is no higher law in the land than the Constitution.

VII ~ Ratification: When the constitution was first introduced to the states in 1787, 9 out of the 13 colonies had to ratify or approve it before it became law.

Living Document: A living document is a document that changes and grows with the nation.

The Contitutional Convention & Signers

Who were these men and what did they discuss at this ever so important convention? Research to find out.

The Bill of Rights & Amendments

The Bill of Rights gives us so many freedoms that we take for granted! I am so grateful for the freedom of religion, press, speech, assembly, petition, and the others that our country has fought hard for!

Special thanks to those who serve our country to bring us these liberties!! :)

The Constitution has been amended or changed a total of 27 times to help the nation grow.

A DVD History of the US Constitution

A DVD History of the US Constitution (1619-2005)
A DVD History of the US Constitution (1619-2005)

Over 4 hours of footage help all who wish to learn move about the Constitution's history.

 
Constitution Lapbook Unit
Constitution Lapbook Unit

Hands of a Child Units

I love units, lapbooks, and project packs from Hands of a Child! I have used several of them. They contain easy to read information pages followed by several mini book templates for your students to take notes about what they learned!

~ The United States Constitution Unit

~ American Government Lapbook Unit

~ American Government Notebook Pack

~ Declaration of Independence Unit

~ Study a President Unit

~ Election Lapbook Curriculum

~ Benjamin Franklin Lapbook Unit

Constitution Webquests

Webquests can be such a fun way to learn about a topic and strengthen valuable internet research skills as well. Enjoy your quest!

Declaration on Independence Notebook
Declaration on Independence Notebook

Excellent Resources!

Find these awesome Declaration on Independence notebook pages from Notebooking Nook.

Review & Evaluation - Here are some ideas for checking your students comprehension!

Walk Through the Constitution - Board game that my children made for review. (You may download it for free at one of the above links to our blog.)

Preamble ~ use the "Preamble Order Game" to practice the preamble - write the preamble by memory on the notebook page - sing the "Preamble" Song by Schoolhouse Rock

Constitution Timeline Chart- match and sequence events! Fill in the blank charts with events.

Constitution Vocabulary - play a matching game.

Amendment Challenge - name as many of the amendments in the Bill of Rights and others that you can in 60 seconds!

Share your lapbook with friends and relatives telling them about the things you've learned!

Review your Constitution Outline.

Notebook Pages ~ write a paragraph about main points of the Constitution; write a paragraph with suggestions for a better government ~ check below for other writing ideas.

Check the Constitution Resource Guide for extra websites, lesson plans, book list, worksheets, webquests, quizzes, games, and other interesting things to add to your study and lapbook / notebook!

Write a letter to your state or national representatives thanking them for their work; or, request information pamphlets about the Constitution or state and national government.

Visit one of your local government buildings or representative offices.

Write a play about the making of the Constitution; act it out with your friends or family.

Compose a song about the Bill of Rights or any aspect of the Constitution.

Play some of the online games listed here!

Did you enjoy learning something new? :)

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    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @FastSecrets: Well, I consider myself a perpetual student who keeps searching for more knowledge all the time and have a long way to go before totally understanding governmental documents, but thank you for your kind words. :)

    • FastSecrets profile image

      FastSecrets 4 years ago

      Itâs nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what youâre talking about!

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Smoak 4 years ago

      You have magnificent educational resources here for the little ones. May I suggest one source for the adults in the family to help guide them through the integration of world politics' influence into our four hundred year history for your children as they grow? I recently found https://mises.org/ and am thrilled with the true history by Murray N Rothbard's "Conceived in Liberty" from 1600 and our Pilgrims arrival to 1800 with our New Republic. The shifting and changes of governance made by the colonists and the ten Kings and Queen was very instructional for the future founders. It fully explains why they designed the Declaration of Independence the way that they did and set the original constitution for sovereign Citizens, sovereign States and a very limited federation to protect and support Individualism. We since, with Lincoln's actions against the Southern States, have turned into a democracy of collectivism that grew into an empire fast becoming a dictatorship. Really a very liberating read. It has fully restored my love of country and has shown a means of getting it back. I'll add one more new financial tool that blew my socks off when discovered. http://www.paradigmlife.net/

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @donnetted: Thank you, Donnette!

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 4 years ago from South Africa

      Absolutely magnificent lens, thank you. Blessed x

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @SandyMertens: I can only recite the Preamble section by memory, but am interested in continuing to learn more about the rest of it.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I wonder how many people can recite the Constitution. Very resourceful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning with fresh angel dust for this amazing and important unit study on the US Constitution.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Your lenses are always full of interesting things. Well done.

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 5 years ago

      Thanks for this great resource, very informative lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I agree at young age, children should learn forms of government and laws for them to create right decisions in the future.

      low iron

    • profile image

      KenRhoden 5 years ago

      Excellent material here! As a practicing attorney I give time to the local Justice Teaching program that helps educate school children about the Constitution. It is a worthwhile and important endeavor! I hope to continue teaching about the constitution when/if I am elected as the Public Defender of Brevard County! www.kenrhoden.com

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      great lens

    • profile image

      peacefullyhappy 5 years ago

      Wow! This is really fabulous! Thank you so much for putting all of that information in one place!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Amazing resource, thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens! My sister is a history fan - she would love this! :)

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Another fabulous lens! You are so generous to share such excellent work!

    • profile image

      misterjake 5 years ago

      Even though I am not American but I find your lens very informative. Keep up the great job. I am new here if you don't mind whenever you have a chance please check out my lens and leave a comment. Thanks.

    • TZiggy profile image

      TZiggy 5 years ago

      You deserve a purple star for this lens. I would have gotten a gold star in school if I had this written out like this for my notes.

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for Sharing informative lens !!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Such an important thing to teach our young! Love that you made this page!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm glad this lens won a purple star, very well done.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Ditto! Important lessons for a;; of us!

    • profile image

      kelli320 6 years ago

      This is a good lens for children and adults, too. Thank you for your extensive knowledge.

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

      I love this lens. I started one back in July 2011 and have been working on it everyday. A lot to cover on this subject for sure. Thanks for posting your lens as it is a great tool for the young children and teenagers today. The public schools just don't teach anything anymore. Wishing you a wonderful US Constitution Day tomorrow. I'm handing out pocket editions from the NCSS site at nccs.net Come by my site also and please feel free to comment. A++ lens

    • profile image

      jopalei 6 years ago

      I am not a teacher, nor do I have children, but this is an excellent Lens. I'd be interested in your opinions on my new Lens: Food Police. Thanks.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      @happynutritionist: Thanks, Claudia! :)

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 6 years ago

      Never too old to learn about the constitution, I think a lot of adults are forgetting how significant and important it is. Blessed!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      What a lot of work you have put into making this great resource. I'm going to share it

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image
      Author

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Hi! Thanks for telling me know about the link. :) I had trouble finding it myself at first, but finally found a link indirectly to get people there. I first listed this about 2 1/2 years ago, so I suspect they changed the site around a little bit. Hope you can find and use it now. Let me know if it still doesn't work and I will try to find another way.

    • profile image

      mrducksmrnot 6 years ago

      Link to USCIS comes back as below:

      The OID specified in the request parameters is either null or invalid.

      otherwise a great site

    • ajtyne profile image

      AJ 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Excellent lens, with so many resources!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      nice links for this topic. Lensroll ed this to my lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderfully done my dear! You spend countless hours on each excellent unit and it shows.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Awsome lens! We the People must never cease to cherish the liberty we have that is guaranteed by our founding documents!

    • photofk3 profile image

      photofk3 6 years ago

      I deeply respect the values and ideals represented in the US Constitution.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      I was doing a Google search for a friend and found your lapbook lens! It is just what she was looking for and I think it is a great resource for many aspects of government study.

      Adding to my favorites and blessing.

      ***Blessed by an Angel***

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 6 years ago

      Great resource. This will be very useful to us. Thanks!

    • kateloving profile image

      Kate Loving Shenk 7 years ago from Lancaster PA

      Excellent work! Kudos!

    • R D Ramos profile image

      R D Ramos 7 years ago

      Great unit! Packed with information. Thanks!

    • tandemonimom lm profile image

      tandemonimom lm 7 years ago

      This looks like an amazing unit study. Thanks for putting all this work in and sharing it with us!

      FYI The Homeschool Club is now open for business - future homeschool lenses built at HomeschoolClub/HQ will have the new club header!

    • writernewbie profile image

      writernewbie 7 years ago

      Wow, Pamela! This is fantastic! So much time and effort obviously went in to making this the most informational and interesting lens on the topic. Very well done! I will refer to your lenses in the future for inspiration. Thanks so much for this! :)

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      Quite an impressive and educational lens.

      A big 5++ for the work that you put into this.

      I am bookmarking it for future reference.

      Poutine

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      Impressive educational lens - good for all Americans to know, not just children.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      You have done fabulous work! It's an inspiration to increase my own lenses! I'll be putting this on our Tea Party site. Teaching the Constitution to children and creating constitutional voters is imperative if we are to maintain our liberty. http://hrteaparty.com

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 8 years ago from USA

      Lots of really terrific interactive resources. Thanks for such interactively educational lens on the Constitution.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Oh my! I can't thank you enough for all your wonderful information! We will be studying this in the fall and this will be a fantastic resource!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Pamela! Welcome to Squidoo! This is WONDERFUL! What a thorough resource you've put together. And thanks for all the freebies. I'm totally impressed with your work here!

      You're officially blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      thank you thank you thank you we are going to study the constitution next school year and you have saved me so much time. everything is so orderly and easy to use. i wish that every lapbook site was set up like this one. kudos for a job well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I am amazed at how much info you have accumulated and put together! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Wow! Nicely done and so thorough. This is wonderful. Thank you!