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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Constitution Day Activities

Our district requires us to celebrate Constitution Day and do activities related to it.  I actually enjoy it.  For one thing, The Constitution is one of the most important documents our country has ever written.  For another, we will be discussing this document in depth in Virginia Studies.  If I take the time to front load the vocabulary and basic understanding of the Preamble, it makes studying the document's history go much more smoothly.

First, we read We the Kids: The Preamble to The Constitution of the United States by David Catrow.  It's a really cool book that uses kid-friendly images and language to explain the Preamble.

There's also a video with the same title as the book that can be used as a refresher later in the year.  It has the exact information and language in it that the book uses, but it's just a nice visual reminder for the students.

We use a graphic organizer to break down the robust vocabulary of the Preamble.

We also do a writing activity that incorporates the vocabulary and talks about the students' personal freedoms.

I have an extension activity set up for students needing a challenge.  These students work in small groups to take a sentence or phrase, rewrite it in their own words and illustrate the main idea.

My complete lesson plans for Constitution Day include:
~The Virginia Reading and Writing Standards and objectives associated with the activity
~Mentor text/video suggestion
~Prewriting activity suggestions (anchor chart, graphic organizer)
~Graphic organizer of robust vocabulary from the Preamble
~Journal prompt
~Challenge/Extension activity

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