Constitution Day

Constitution Day (DRAFT)

To be observed on September 17th, 2020

The Windham School District will be observing the 233rd anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution on Thursday, September 17th.  Individual grade level plans for the day can be found below. Students are exposed to developmentally appropriate opportunities to engage with the actual document, which at the elementary level and intermediate levels includes the Bill of Rights and Preamble, and in grades 8- 12, the full text of the US Constitution.  

The district continues to find Constitution Day a great opportunity to highlight that civics instruction is alive and well in the Windham School District.  At a time when many, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter, cite “the pervasive ignorance of the Constitution of the United States and the structure of government,” the Social Studies curriculum in the Windham School District aims to combat this national trend. 


Students are first exposed to the ideas of government in the elementary grades and then again in their American History courses in 8th and 10th grade.  In addition, all WHS students are required to take a Civics course prior to graduation.  Political Science, Practical Law, and AP Government fulfill the Civics requirement. Each of these courses provides students a thorough exposure to the Constitution by going through each article and section of the Constitution, as well as analyzing the major principles of the document.  

The US Constitution was designed to be, and continues to be, the supreme law of the land.  The authority to establish the Constitution comes from the people as reflected in the opening statement of the Preamble, “We the people…”  Embedded in the document are the fundamental principles of US government: popular sovereignty, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, republicanism, and individual rights.  In addition, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to guarantee and protect the existing rights and liberties of the people from governmental interference.


Interactive text:

Short videos and lessons plans:

Grade Level Specific Plans

Kindergarten – 

  •  Students will create a Constitution Day book and complete a coloring activity
  • Students view a grade-appropriate video to be viewed related to the meaning of Constitution Day 
  • Students create Constitution Day headbands and wear them

1st Grade – 

  • Students will get an overview of the Constitution learn that the Constitution is a set of rules that the country lives by. 

  • Students will understand that Constitution Day celebrates the creation of this document

  • A video will be shown regarding the Preamble

  • Students will create a “classroom Constitution”

2nd Grade – 

  • Students will get an overview of the Constitution and learn that the Constitution is a set of rules that the country lives by.

  •  Creation of classroom Constitutions 
  • Readings, timelines, Constitution activity
  • Students will learn about the Constitution and why it was written.
  • Students will write four reasons the Constitution is important.

3rd Grade – 

  • Students will discuss and write about the different parts of the document using a graphic organizer

  • Activities will include:

    • Reading about the development of the constitution and the parts of the document

    • Watch a preamble video 

    • Read “We the Kids” and discuss key vocabulary from the preamble and what they mean

    • Graphic organizer of the different parts of the document outlining what each part does

    • Creating a classroom constitution together as a class

4th Grade – 

  • Students will learn about the constitution by:

    • Discussing the constitution parts

    • Making connections regarding the constitution and life today

    • Watching BrainPop constitution video

  • Students will use a graphic organizer to write about the Constitution  “How would life be different without the Constitution.” This can be done whole group. 

    • Students will plan an introduction 

    • Students will select three parts of the constitution and make personal connections to how life would be different without those parts

    • Students plan a conclusion as part of the graphic organizer 

  • Students make a classroom constitution that is signed by all members taking part in the creation. 

5th Grade – 

  • Introduce the Preamble with a "We The Kids..." read aloud and slideshow/ pear deck & discuss during the slideshow.

  • Show a video of "Shhhh We're Writing the Constitution" to highlight how the Constitution was created.
  • Discussion to follow and conclude.

6th Grade – 

  • Students will watch School House Rocks’ Preamble video.

  • Students will have an opportunity to ask questions about  the Preamble of the Constitution and name 6 duties that the US Government provides under the Constitution

7th Grade – 

  • Class starts with a journal question: What are some of the freedoms we have as Americans? The class will discuss responses. 

  • Students will view a film clip on the Bill of Rights

  • Students will then be put in different scenarios and would have to decide if the scenario was or was not in violation of any amendments. 

    • For example: Can law enforcement show up at your house, walk in, and start searching? Which amendment covers this?

  • Students will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss topics related to the Constitution.

8th Grade – 

  • Students will have the opportunity to engage with the full-text Constitution. They will have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.

  • Students will view a video on the first amendment (“Freedom of Expression”) produced by the National Constitution Center

9th – 12th Grade – WHS will have observances during advisory.  Students will be provided with the full text of the Constitution and then play an interactive game based on the text. 

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