A Guide to Constitution Day Materials
Compiled by Jamie Bemis
You can find materials for Constitution Day on the web sites of national organizations, the federal government, nonprofit organizations, and additional resources. We’ve also included links to descriptions of or press releases about Constitution Day activities on specific campuses. We welcome additions to this resource. Please send them to Jamie Bemis.
- The American Bar Association
The American Bar Association supports Conversations on the Constitution, overview materials on specific constitutional clauses or principles. Written from both the historical and contemporary perspective, the ABA’s materials can be used to facilitate discussions on the right to bear arms, the Preamble, cruel and unusual punishment, war powers, separation of powers, advice and consent of the Senate, the establishment of religion, and search and seizure.
- The National Archives
The National Archives offers activities, lesson plans, and downloadable versions of national documents about the Constitution Convention and subsequent historic meetings and event in American history. The web site also contains lesson plans (suitable for middle and secondary schools) on critical movements in American history by era, (e.g., 1754 to1820, 1968 to present)
- The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress provides primary sources, historic documents, summaries, links, webcasts, lesson plans, bibliographies, and more relevant to the Constitution, including the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Bill of Rights, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
- The Bill of Rights Institute
The Bill of Rights Institute’s mission is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America's Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society. BRI works with university scholars to create teacher seminars, student programs, and instructional materials in American history, political science and constitutional law. The web site contains study guides and links about the US Constitution, historic document, people, landmark US Supreme Court cases, civic values and skills, and current events. BRI also provides lesson plans, games, and interactive resources for teachers for Constitution Day.
- The First Amendment Center
Although the First Amendment Center does not offer materials specifically designed for Constitution Day, it does provide a wealth of information, programs, lesson plans, and other educational resources on First Amendment freedoms, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government. The Center also operates the Freedom Forum and is connected to the Newseum, both dedicated to freedom of the press.
- The National Constitution Center
This web site contains lesson plans, activities, recommended readings, and audio visual resources specifically for Constitution Day. It also provides links to description of Constitution Day celebrations in Washington, DC and Philadelphia.
- The New York Times
The New York Times offers a comprehensive Constitution Day planning guide, complete with resources, planning tips, and program suggestions. This site also contains an annotated set of links to other organizations that offer relevant web materials.