The anniversaries of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, and the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, provide us an opportunity to reflect upon who we are as Americans, examine our most fundamental values and principles and affirm our commitment to them, and evaluate progress toward the realization of American ideals and propose actions that might narrow the gap between these ideals and reality. These lessons are designed to accomplish these goals.
7th Grade Constitution Resources
This lesson is based on the Annenberg Classroom video âA Call to Act: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.,â which tells the law-changing story behind the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Students gain insight into law-making process, consider how statutory decisions made by the Supreme Court can prompt better laws, and learn about the rights and responsibilities they will have when they enter the workforce.
The estimated time for this lesson is four days.
America's independence from Great Britain was a decisive turning point in world history. Join us to explore the causes, character, and consequences of an American Revolution that continues to shape lives around the globe. This site is a virtual museum experience. Explore the American Revolution by timeline, people, and multimedia.
A challenging, fun card game that helps students learn about their rights under the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The game offers three levels of play: Easy, Normal, Difficult.
We've all had that experience, the one where we start arguing with someone and find that we disagree about pretty much everything. When two people have radically different background beliefs (or worldviews), they often have difficulty finding any sort of common ground. In this lesson, students will learn to distinguish between the two different types of background beliefs: beliefs about matters of fact and beliefs about values. They will then go on to consider their most deeply held background beliefs, those that constitute their worldview. Students will work to go beyond specific arguments to consider the worldviews that might underlie different types of arguments.
The Constitution might never have been ratified if the framers hadn't promised to add a Bill of Rights. The first ten amendments to the Constitution gave citizens more confidence in the new government and contain many of today's Americans' most valued freedoms.
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. James Madison wrote the amendments, which list specific prohibitions on governmental power, in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties. For example, the Founders saw the ability to speak and worship freely as a natural right protected by the First Amendment. Congress is prohibited from making laws establishing religion or abridging freedom of speech. The Fourth Amendment safeguards citizensâ" right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion in their homes through the requirement of a warrant.
Join an American Indian Interpreter as they share how the founding fathers looked to native governments when establishing their new republic.
This game immerses students in the workings of our three branches of government. Players take on the roles of legislator, president and Supreme Court justice to get constitutional laws enacted. Players must juggle several bills at once while holding press conferences and town hall meetings.
Join our panelists Thomas Duckenfield, Trustee for the Nomini Hall Slave Legacy Project, Dr. Andrew Levy, Author of The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves, and Gerry Underdown, Actor Interpreter with Colonial Williamsburg, as they discuss those that physically built the nation, those that built the nation with enlightened ideas, and their combined lasting legacy.
This is part of our national conversation series, US: Past, Present, Future. Learn more at colonialwilliamsburg.org/us.
This documentary tells the story of Lilly Ledbetter, whose fight for equal pay for equal work eventually involved all three branches of government. Her U.S. Supreme Court case, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., turned on the interpretation of the 180-day statute of limitations for filing a discrimination complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After losing at the Supreme Court, Ledbetter urged Congress to start the 180-day clock for filing a complaint on the date an employee learned of the discrimination. The result was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
Closed captions available in English and Spanish.
The Founders designed a system of checks and balances into our Constitution so we'd avoid abuses of power that had been experienced under British rule. Join James Madison and John Marshall for a discussion along with 21st century politicians to learn if that system still functions as intended.
This lesson will focus on the case Korematsu v. U.S. in comparison with other times in U.S. history when the government was faced with the challenge of how to protect the country during war and, at the same time, protect individual freedoms. Using primary sources, students will examine five events in which U.S. citizens were forced to give up their civil liberties in times of war, highlighting the tension between liberty and security. Students will analyze these events to determine what groups were affected and the reasoning for and against the government action to decide if the government action was justified. Students will be able to form an opinion on the essential question: Is our government ever justified in restricting civil liberties for the security of the nation?
How does a bill become a law? What is the role of Congress and the President in this process? How did the Clean Water Act of 1972 become a law?
The Sixth Amendment's confrontation clause gives the accused the right âto be confronted with the witnesses against himâ at a criminal trial. This film uses the U.S. Supreme Court case Crawford v. Washington to help explain the history and importance of the confrontation clause and why the framers knew it would be crucial to an effective system of justice.â
How do liberty and equality interact in the Constitution? On Friday, September 17th from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM ET, the Bill of Rights Institute streamed this live event and welcomed scholars, thinkers, and teachers to explore the relevancy of the Constitution today. How can we work to balance liberty and equality in our communities? Where do tensions arise between the two principles, and what tools from the Constitution can we use to work toward resolution?
How is the Constitution structured? In this episode of our "Close Reads: Explained" series, Kirk tackles the Constitution and explains its biggest concepts to you. What does the document teach us about the government it defines?
The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under Americaâ"s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.
The Constitution was written in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by delegates from 12 states, in order to replace the Articles of Confederation with a new form of government. It created a federal system with a national government composed of 3 separated powers, and included both reserved and concurrent powers of states. The president of the Constitutional Convention, the body that framed the new government, was George Washington, though James Madison is known as the "Father of the Constitution" because of his great contributions to the formation of the new government. Gouverneur Morris wrote the Constitutionâ"s final language. The Constitution was a compact â€“ though Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed over whether the states or the people were the agents of the compact.