The Preamble is the introduction to the United States Constitution, and it serves two central purposes. First, it states the source from which the Constitution derives its authority: the sovereign people of the United States. Second, it sets forth the ends that the Constitution and the government that it establishes are meant to serve.
In order to become informed participants in a democracy, students must learn about the women and men who make decisions concerning their lives, their country, and the world. The President of the United States is one such leader. As a nation, we place no greater responsibility on any one individual than we do on the president. Through these lessons, students learn about the roles and responsibilities of the president and their own roles as citizens of a democracy.
To what shared principles did the Founding Fathers appeal as they struggled to reach a compromise in the Constitutional Convention? In this lesson, students will learn how the Founding Fathers debated then resolved their differences in the Constitution. Learn through their own words how the Founding Fathers created “a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise."
Witness the unfolding drama of the Constitutional Convention and the contributions of those whom we have come to know as the Founding Fathers. In this lesson, students will become familiar with four important, but relatively unknown, contributors to the U.S. Constitution Convention: Oliver Ellsworth, Alexander Hamilton, William Paterson, and Edmund Randolph.
This lesson plan highlights the importance of First Amendment rights by examining Norman Rockwell’s painting of The Four Freedoms. Students discover the First Amendment in action as they explore their own community and country through newspapers, art, and role playing.
In 1691, a group of girls from Salem, Massachusetts accused an Indian slave named Tituba of witchcraft, igniting a hunt for witches that left 19 men and women hanged, one man pressed to death, and over 150 more people in prison awaiting a trial. In this lesson, students will explore the characteristics of the Puritan community in Salem, learn about the Salem Witchcraft Trials, and try to understand how and why this event occurred.
This lesson focuses on the debates among the U.S. Founders surrounding the distribution of power between states and the federal government. Students learn about the pros and cons of state sovereignty vs. federalism and have the opportunity to argue different sides of the issue.
What actions are necessary in order to start a new government? What would one of the major concerns be in preserving the new government and country? What would be the role of the leader or president of the country?
The federal judiciary, which includes the Supreme Court as well as the district and circuit courts, is one of three branches of the federal government. This lesson provides an introduction to the Supreme Court.