CONSTITUTION DAY is coming up September 17th. Click on the link for my lesson that I do with my Y5's. Centers and song are below.
- Want to know what the Nation is doing for Constitution Day? Click on the link. Constitution Day activities.
- Rather than try to explain what the constitution was all about I wrote a song to the tune of The Muffin Man to explain the constitution in a fun way. Click on the link to print a copy. Oh Do You Know About the Constitution?
- After I'd sing it through once, I'd teach the 1st two verses to my students; they had fun singing it with me. I'd put on some marching music and we'd chant that portion of the song to get it in their heads.
- As the song helps them see, the constitution is a set of laws; laws are rules.
- I review our rules with my Y5's and we list them on our "Constitution Rule Sheet"; then everyone signs the "Signature Page"
- Click on the link to print a copy of our Classroom Constitution.
- I've also included a blank page for you to use as a writing extension.
- This is a great opportunity to give your older students some in-put in making their classroom rules. It's surprising that with a little guidance, they come up with the same ones as an adult will.
- When I taught 1st grade, I sent this assignment home the night before and had my students brainstorm with parents. They had to list at least 3. They could list more if they wanted to; surprisingly, almost all of them did!
- The next day we worked on our Classroom Constitution as a whole group.
- Everyone copied the list on a new sheet of paper.
- I'd send one signature page around and everyone signed it; then I'd make copies for everyone on the copy machine.
Making Parchment Paper
- One year I used parchment paper. They thought that was cool, but the thiing that they thought was especially fun was to make their own parchment page the day before, by dabbing black tea bags on their paper.
- I set up a blotting table with towels; and steeped black tea bags in a small amount of water.
- When my students finished their Table Top work for the morning, they could come and make their parchment paper. We let them dry on the floor in the corner.
- You could also submerge an entire sheet in a 9x13 pan.
- Brew 5 bags of black tea in 4 cups of hot water. Make sure your water is dark brown.
- Let each student carefully submerge their sheet into the water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
- Gently lift it out letting the excess water drip off into the pan. Shake gently.
- Lay flat on paper towel, and blot with extra tea bag for dark spots on paper.This looks nice if you do it around the edges.
- The paper will look yellow, but it will dry darker.
- The longer you soak it, the darker it gets, but obviously you have a lot of kids to get through this center.
- I laid a few big beach towels on the floor for them to lay their paper on.
- Make sure that they write they name with an ink pen on the corner of their paper.
- You need to monitor this center with little ones as they like playing in the water, and the paper once wet tears easily.
Writing with a QUILL
- Another center I set up is a Quill center. I tell my students that they didn't have regular pens the way that they do now. They couldn't go to the store and buy markers and bic pens etc I show them my grandmother's fountain pen and ink bottle. They are amazed. When I tell them that 200+ years ago they wrote with a feather called a quill they can't believe it. I let them each try and write their first initial with a turkey feather and some tempera paint on a special Quill paper. Click on the link to print a copy.
Quill Pattern Pens
- Making a pattern is one of our report card standards and what more fun way to do that than with pony beads!
- You'll also need a bag of feathers, and the kind of pen that you can twist off the clear plastic case, leaving only the metal writing tip and the plastic tube filled with ink. Our Dollar store sells all of these things.
- I keep things simple because it's the first month of school, so I have my Y5's do an ABAB pattern and only choose 2 colors of beads.
- I have a pen already done, and then I model one for them.
- After I slide the beads onto the tube of ink (they won't fall off because they are caught on the metal writing point on the bottom) I put the end of my feather in a dollop of white glue and then shove it in the hole in the top of the tube. Instant "Quill" pattern pen.
- TIP: Make sure that you have written with all of your new pens ahead of time so that you make sure they all write and that you've gotten the ink going.
Constitution Autograph Scrolls
- Because learning to write their name is one of my report card standards I give each of my students a toilet paper roll that I already have pre-wrapped in brown construction paper. (I have volunteers helping me with this sort of thing so that I can plug in extra centers without burning up a lot of time and then I only concentrate on one specific skill..) Older students could cut the paper and wrap the t.p. rolls.
- I write each child's name and the date in black marker on their toilet paper constitution "scroll"
- The t.p. rolls have a sheet of parchment glued to them. We sit on the floor in a circle. Each child has a "quill" pen that they made for the day. We pass around our autograph constitutions and each of our new friends signs it with their quill pen.
- The children then use their "finger muscles" to roll their constitution autograph scrolls up.
- I give them a rubber band to put around them, and they have one of their 1st keepsakes from Y'5's .
- For a copy of the constitution click the link.
- Click here for the A to Z Teacher's site and their page that lists links to what other teachers are doing for Constitution Day.
- Here's a nice "kindergarten-3rd grade" constitution page. It's easy to understand info in a nutshell.
- Since I'm teaching my little ones the ABC's, I also tell them I have an ABC information sheet for their parents that has some rules that the school made up about attendance, volunteering in class etc. I briefly share that with them and send it home in their Take Home Folders. I find it's a nice "quick look" review list in case parents didn't read their child's Student Handbook and ties in with rules and law making of the country versus the school. . I've included MY ABC LIST as well as a BLANK one incase you like the idea and would like to make one of your own. Click on the links to print copies.
- Do your little ones understand Constitution Day? What does your school do? Please take a moment and share with us!
- Whatever you're doing I hope you have a FUN day with your children!