Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Constitution Day Activities

Constitution Day is just around the corner, September 17th. Today I'm sharing some activities I've done in my second grade classroom that were very effective. I have a 42 page resource that I'm sharing with y'all...of course for free! You can pick it up here from my Google Docs account. I'm going to do a run down of how I've used these pages in my classroom.

I made a KWL flapbook for the Constitution. (K- know, W- want to know, L-learned) Before we began our study of the Constitution, I like for kids to touch on their prior knowledge or schema if you will. You can do a whole class KWL and let the students record in their little flapbooks. 

To put the flapbook together, the kids cut on the dashed lines between the letters K,W and L. Then they fold the tab that says "U.S. Constitution" so that it wraps in front of the letters. 

Here are some great read alouds to get you started on your Constitution Day studies:

When talking about the Constitution, you can discuss that the Constitution was created to help establish our government and all citizens are expected to be an active part in government. When discussing citizens and good citizenship you might want to talk about characteristics of good citizens. You can brainstorm people who are model citizens in our communities and country. I made a good citizens tree map and a writing craftivity to reinforce this:

For this activity your kids can brainstorm people they know who are model citizens and write about them. I included two different writing templates to choose from. I also cut out the writing paper and glued it onto black construction paper and used craft scissors to cut the edges. 

When digging into the actual language of the Constitution, I did a fun group activity with my second graders that was really beneficial. I split kids up into groups of 2-3 and gave them just a few lines of the preamble. (Of course I didn't take pictures!! :( Sorry!) They discussed the meaning of their section and illustrated it the best they could. You can print out the pages with the words already printed on the bottom, or you can give them larger pieces of paper and make mini posters. I've included the words to the preamble in large print if you want to do that. Here's a little sketch I made for an example...

I was really careful about how I split them up. The kids who I knew might struggle, I gave the easier sections such as "We the people" and my GTers or kids who just love challenges I gave them more difficult pieces such as "and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity". 

To help dissect the tough vocabulary you can use these large vocabulary cards whole group or let the kids create them in pairs. It's a great reason to use a dictionary! Here's an example:

After you're kids have shared their understanding of the preamble you can read this cute book:

And that's a wrap! I hope you can use some of this in your classroom!! Don't forget I'm giving away $100 worth of Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards to 4 lucky followers! Make sure you sign up here

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing!!! Great ideas!!!