Constitution Day Lesson

Title Date
Constitution Day Lesson 2010-04-09
Time Frame  DOK
Objective Short Description
1. The learners will participate in a simulation of the Constitutional Convention to further their understanding of the events experienced by the framers while studying the components of the US Constitution.
2. The learners will preview, Charlie Brown’s Birth of the Constitution, a secondary resource, and analyze another perspective on the Constitutional Convention.
3. The learners will be able to empathize with the framers of the United States Constitution by reading Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz.
This lesson contains teachings of the components of the US Constitution to further the understanding of the events experienced by the framers. 
Grade Levels
Vocabulary Materials
Grade Level Expectations   (view gles)
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Lesson Plan

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  1. Objective One will be assessed through a simulation of sealing off the classroom to meet in secrecy and observe the major components (Preamble, 7 Articles, and 27 amendments) of the Constitution.
  2. Objective Two will be assessed through a classroom discussion.
  3. Objective Three will be assessed through the information contained in individual Reader’s Workshop Journals. This information will include vocabulary, student reflective responses and class discussion reactions.

IMPLEMENTATION-ONE 90 minute class period


45 Minutes: The students will line up outside the door and wait for instruction. The windows are covered in black butcher paper and the paper will read, “Shhh….We’re Writing the Constitution.” I will ask for two volunteers to act as guards to keep watch outside of the door. Their job will entail asking each delegate, “What is the Supreme Law of the Land?” The delegates will respond with, “The Constitution.” The delegates will then perform a secret knock to be allowed to enter. Once inside the classroom, the atmosphere is set as it was in 1787. The lights are turned off and we will listen and study the Constitution by candlelight. Two volunteers will be elected as presiding members of the congressional body. Their job is the have them sign the Agreement of Secrecy (a primary document used in 1775.) When all students are seated the two student volunteers will read a short excerpt about the history of this Grand Convention. A reading of the Constitution will be played and each student will have a copy of the Constitutional document to follow.

35 Minutes: After the reading of the US Constitution, the students will watch the reenactment of the Constitutional Convention as told by Charlie Brown.

10 minutes: Students will use active listening skills as the teacher reads aloud Jean Fritz’s Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution. As they are listening, students will complete an entry in their Reader’s Workshop Journal using the attached template. This will be a recurring activity throughout the course of the unit and will take place at the end of each class period.

Instructional Strategies