Registration is no longer needed !


Constitution Day Lessons

 1-2-3 Come Do Some Constitution Day Activities With Me

easy constitution day activitiesWith a federal mandate that any schools accepting federal funds, need to do some educational activity associated with the Constitution, on September 17th, I wanted to think up something that my Y5’s could easily understand.  

With everything else that teachers have to cover, I also wanted what we did to be something simple and especially relevant to them.

This packet does exactly that, because I've tied it into classroom management: jobs of students and teachers, as well as the rules and regulations they must follow.

These activities not only tie in with the Constitution, they are quick and easy to implement.  Children can wrap their heads around these Constitutional comparisons and the result will be a more caring classroom climate, with less inappropriate behavior.

The Constitution is a document that serves as the foundation of American government.  To help explain this to students, make a document of jobs as well as rules for your classroom and have all of the children sign it.

The Constitution is broken up into 3 branches.  (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) They all have specific jobs.   Like wise, teachers and students have jobs. 

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherFirst, discuss and make a list of all the  jobs and responsibilities of a good student. Then make up a list of jobs (responsibilities) for teachers.  I’ve included headers for you to put up on your board, so that you can brainstorm with your students and write things under the appropriate heading.

Children’s discussion will often involve what they think the qualities of a good student and good teacher are.   I’m sure some of their ideas will make you smile. ( “Teachers need to smell nice.” )   

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherWrite students’ ideas on the board.  I’ve included a completed list of things we thought of to help you, as well as blank templates to fill in your own.  I’d enjoy seeing what your kiddos come up with. You can e-mail me at: diane@teachwithme.com  

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherHang up your lists on a bulletin board.  There’s also a poster that you can put in the middle of your board, after all of your students have signed it.

Next, discuss your rules.  Because students have been in school for several weeks, you’ve hopefully have already established a list of rules with them.  If you don't have a set of rules posted, click on the link for my simple rules poster.

Review the rules and make a list of them on the board.  (Tie this in with the Constitution, as our country also has rules, which are laws that people must follow.)

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherDiscuss how things are going .  Is everyone following the rules?  Are they good rules; fair rules; necessary?  Do you need to change, modify, or add any rules? (Tie this in with the Constitution by briefly explaining the amendments to the Constitution.) I've included a writing prompt page where students can jot down 3 reasons why doing their job and following rules is important.

What are the consequences of not following the rules?  What do they think would happen if there were no rules to follow and everyone adopted an “anything goes” attitude? (Briefly discuss the correlation of this to the Constitution’s checks, balances and punishment for breaking laws.)

An easy way to make your classroom constitution is to make a social contract.  Head your poster: “We the (kindergarten) students of (Orchard Trails Elementary) promise to . . .” and then list what students feel are important promises (rules, jobs and responsibilities).

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherHave each child sign the poster.  (Remember to have new students sign it too.)  This is now a working document (like the Constitution).  Discuss how signing something is a big deal.  This is binding.   Even young children understand the importance of a promise and following  through.   (“But you promised . . .)  If the class as a whole, or an individual student, is not keeping their promises per the terms of your social contract, refer to the poster and ask:

“Did you promise to follow the rules, be a good listener, be kind to one another? etc.”  (Obviously they did.)  After thy take responsibility for their actions then ask: “What would have been a better choice?  What should happen now?”  Click on the link to view/download the Constitution Day Jobs & Rules Packet.

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherI found a cute social contract over at Corner Character blog spot.  I like how she wrote each promise in a different color marker and then had students add their painted handprint to the side of the chart, adding their names when the paint dried. 

classroom management activities, social contracts, constitution day activitiesI designed my own social contract, tracing my students' hands on a variety of colors of construction paper.

I glued our "promise poster" to the center of a piece of tag board, then "framed" it with the colorful prints.

For more accountability, have children sign their own names, which makes them feel important & more accountable. For added pizzazz, when school pictures come back, copy, cut & glue one to each child's hand.

school rules, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom management activitiesOur social contract has been so successful, that I decided to share it in a "School Rules Classroom Management" packet.  Click on the link to check it out.  

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherFollow up these activities by reading “We the Kids”  by David Catrow.  He makes understanding the Preamble to the Constitution accessible to children in a fun and humorous way.  A glossary of terms and a foreword by the artist are also included.

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherSince the Preamble is one of the most famous and familiar parts of the Constitution, I’ve included several trace and write worksheets in the packet.

I find that a short video is often the best way to review and get more information into my students’ minds.  A nice way to end your day is to choose a short video from this American history website.

The first one is only 4 minutes, another on the Founding Fathers is 3 minutes and a final one entitled America Gets A Constitution is 4 minutes.  They are easy for little ones to understand and include some good background information.

classroom management ideas, constitution day ideas, constitution day activities, social contracts, classroom contracts, writing prompts for constitution day, classroom rules, qualities of a good student, lessons for constitution day, qualitites of a good teacherThanks for visiting.  Time to go watch the Detroit Lions hopefully win a football game!

"If you want to know where your heart is, go to where your mind goes when it wanders." -Unknown

Be True To The Red White And Blue

back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, A big part of going back to school is teaching a variety of routines.

One of the things that my Y5’s were learning for the first time was The Pledge Of Allegiance.

Like many schools through out the US, we started our day with announcements.

Our principal’s voice would boom over the PA system and lead us in the Pledge.

My Y5’s were doing a wonderful job with memorization, but when I asked my little ones what they were saying, they were clueless, or had a very different interpretation of what some of the words meant.

For example, many of them thought indivisible meant being invisible.

I told them that it was important to understand what they were pledging, and asked them if they wanted to know what the words really meant?

Their curiosity was peaked and most of them raised their hands in agreement.

I designed My Pledge Definition Dictionary with kid-friendly synonyms they could understand.

As long as teachers are required to increase students’ vocabularies, why not start with these very important words!

This packet also includes a certificate of praise as well as a copy of The Pledge of Allegiance for students to practice tracing, as a means of memorization, so that they become familiar with the words.

Click on the link to view/download My Pledge Of Allegiance Definition Dictionary Packet

I feel that knowing about our flag is very important.

back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, The Easy Reader booklet My Flag is a wonderful way to learn important facts about the flag, as students trace and then write key words, cutting and gluing matching pictures to the appropriate sentences.

The booklet can be used as an introduction to The Pledge of Allegiance or a review and has 3 different endings, which makes it very versatile.

Click on the link to view/download My Flag.

The 49-page Flag Activities Packet, covers the history of our flag, information about the flag, and includes links, articles, art projects, skill sheets and writing activities.

It’s a wonderful resource for something patriotic to do with your students.

One of my students' favorite activities was making their own personal flag.  These are a great way to learn about your new students and make a terrific back to school bulletin board too.

Click on the link to view download the Flag Activities Packet.

Finally, the I’m Proud To Be An American Writing Prompt fits well at the beginning of the year when you’re teaching the Pledge, or looking for an activity for Constitution Day.

Use students’ finished pages as an easy bulletin board, or collate them into a class book.

back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, Click on the link to view/download Proud to be an American Writing Prompt

Thanks for visiting today.  I hope you can also stop by tomorrow for more back to school ideas.

Do you have one to share?  I’d enjoy hearing from you! diane@teachwithme.com or take a moment and post a comment here.

back to school ideas, back to school lessons, back to school activities, teaching the pledge of allegiance, pledge of allegiance in kid friendly words, flag booklet, flag lessons, flag activities, pledge of allegiance activities, pledge of allegiance lessons, back to school bulletin boards, september bulletin board ideas, constitution day lessons, constitution day activities, constitution day ideas, constitution day writing prompts, proud to be an american writing prompt, class books, Feel free to PIN anything that you think others might find helpful.

“I find that a great part of the information I have acquired was by looking up something and finding something else on the way.” –Franklin P. Adams

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.

pix_constitution

  • 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.
  • SigningAs 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.

Fun CENTERS

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.parchment_paper
  • 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 quilland 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 .

Etc.  

ABC Rules:

  • 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 inabcs 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.

Please Share:

  • 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!

 

 

 

 

Please help keep my site online and FREE.

bear

If you've enjoyed the teaching materials and would like to donate even a dollar to help me with the cost of running TWM, I'd be grateful. Thank you!

pinterest

Share My Button

TeachWithMe.com
 
fb freebies

advertise with us