We the Kids: Constitution Day

PbWorks is cleaning house and deleting wikis, so I’m archiving one of my wikis here on my blog. This one was for a videoconference project.

We the Kids

In this pilot collaborative project, students will study the six phrases of the preamble and present non-linguistic representations to each other to explain the parts of the preamble. These materials were used for a TWICE We the Kids event on November 20, 2008.

Preparation Materials

Preparation Lesson Plan

  • Center for Civic Education Lesson plan along with lesson audio (mp3) and teacher audio (mp3) (or get the files directly here).This lesson explores some the ideas in the Preamble to the Constitution. Students learn the importance of the words, “We the People.” The lesson emphasizes that the power to govern belongs to the people who have created the government to protect their rights and promote their welfare. Students read the Preamble and develop definitions for the six key phrases in the document.

Preparing for the Videoconference

  • Within your classroom, have all the students illustrate the 6 key phrases/stanzas of the preamble with a nonlinguistic representation (drawing, graph, mind map, physical movement, skit, rap, etc – can be done with or without technology). You can do this in groups or individually as you see fit. See lesson plan above.
    • Nonlinguistic representation overview
  • Then choose the representations to present to the other class. Classroom A is assigned the odd numbered phrases; Classroom B is assigned the even numbered phrases as listed below.
  • Tips for Posters (from another project, but principles still apply). You don’t have to use posters, but if you do, consider those tips!

Six Phrases

  • Classroom A – Phrase 1: do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  • Classroom B – Phrase 2: establish justice
  • Classroom A – Phrase 3: insure domestic tranquility
  • Classroom B – Phrase 4: provide for the common defense
  • Classroom A – Phrase 5: promote the general welfare
  • Classroom B – Phrase 6: secure the blessings of liberty

Videoconference Agenda

  • 5-10 min. Introductions from both classes – where are you, a bit about your school & area, etc.
  • 10-20 min. Exchange presentations on the phrases in order.
  • 5 min. Say/read the full preamble together. (enjoy the bit of the delay/echo of the other class saying it too!)
  • 5-10 min. Ask each other questions.

Highly Recommended Books

  • We the Kids
  • Order the free We the People (upper elementary) books. You have to order a free book and then after that you can get a classroom set. From the website: ” The Center for Civic Education provides a limited number of free sets of materials to teachers wishing to participate in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. Priority is given to teachers at any grade level who agree to hold a We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution culminating hearing.”

Other Recommended Books

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