Constitution Day Crash Course

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hello Readers! Can you feel the excitement in the air? It's almost September 17th, aka Constitution Day!!! Can you stand it? Ok, maybe it really doesn't elicit that much emotion. However, it is an extremely important day for all Americans. To state the obvious, the principles our country is founded on are outlined in The Constitution! America wouldn't be America without it. BOOM. That's enough proof for why it's a significant date. 

I said I wasn't going to do a blog post with resources because there are so many out there. Then it occurred to me that maybe I have an overflowing digital treasure trove of activities and sites because Social Studies is my jam. You might be desperate for help. Runnels to the rescue! I am going to try to keep this post as concise and to the point as possible. I hope it serves as a database of solid gold resources and suggestions for teaching The Constitution any time of the year! I start thinking SS and I start typing like I'm rewriting War and Peace but I promise to do my best to keep it short-ish and sweet.

Let's face it the Constitution Day train is pulling into the station and we don't have time to waste!! Ready, set, go! Off the train and into Constitution Land we go.  I have links saved on Facebook, pictures "screen-shotted (yes I made up a new word)," bookmarks on Chrome, emails archived, etc. so it's kind of like I don't even know where to look because stuff is everywhere!! I thought it might be helpful to have one home base here!! If it is something that requires a subscription I am going to put an * beside it.

1) School House Rock's America Rock (check your school library because it is likely they have it. I have seen the videos on You Tube but I am not a fan of people taking paid products and posting on there so I'm not linking to any!

You can sign up for a free trial. Super catchy educational hip-hop????? YES, please!! 

3) I have several videos pinned on Pinterest. That shouldn't be shocking to anyone who knows me personally:). have not watched all of them. Even if I have, I ALWAYS rewatch before showing and usually post them directly to my course page or show them through So if you use any of these, please screen before viewing. Here is a link to one I really like. It's called "We the People" and features kids singing. They are awesome! 
Speaking of You Tube, if you aren't familiar with Mr. Betts' Class.....get schooled! He parodies pop songs with American history content in such a way it is borderline genius. Preview them first, some may not be appropriate for your age of students.  This is his take on "What Does the Fox Say?" but instead it's "What Does John Locke Say?"

4) There is a Twitter chat on Monday nights at 7:00 EST called #sschat. They keep an archive of their chats as well and publish it on their Facebook page!  
I highly recommend liking their page because they post great stuff all the time. This week their chat was about Constitution Day! I am posting the link to their Facebook page and the archive from this week. If you want to find other #sschat tweets just search by the hashtag on Twitter.

5) Did you know that Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor founded an interactive website designed to make American government more engaging? Here is a similar resource where you can have your students take a Preamble challenge.

6) I have a Facebook group for Social Studies teachers K-12 called Social Studies Salute. It is a great place to collaborate with teachers across the country! There have been several posts discussing teaching ideas for Constitution Day. One member suggested this site: Your students will love it! Another suggestion was History Tunes. I can't believe I have never heard of this group. This album has 50 songs on it for like $10! They have a song called "The Consitution Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!"

Michelle Luck of THE MICHELLE LUCK'S SOCIAL STUDIES is a member of the group! She has a phenomenal Pinterest account and an amazing blog! I told her she is who I want to be when I grow up! Here is one of her posts about teaching The Constitution. 

7) *Brain Pop is a given for Social Studies! Some of the videos are free! As you can see, there are multiple options. Each video has a quiz, more information, activities, and even games now. 

8) *Discovery Education is another go-to place for streaming videos. Last year they are did a live broadcast from The National Constitution Center. 

9) Did you know that Scholastic does more than sell stellar books? They have lots of free resources for teachers, parents, and students. I get their weekly emails. Here is a link to some top resources from one of those emails.

10) I saved my favorite resource for last TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS!! I just did a search for resources about The Constitution and over 1,000 resources popped up! Guess what? Over 90 of those are free and the rest are extremely affordable!! I'm going to post links to products from a few of my favorite sellers on TPT who specialize in Social Studies. I mean besides myself of course;). I have a collections of Social Studies picture dictionaries which replace boring, traditional study guides. They are great for English Language Learners especially! Here is a link to my free Constitution Picture Dictionary! 

This is an extensive set of primary source documents by Michelle Luck's Social Studies. She also has other resources for government. Just check out her store. You will will be there awhile "wish-listing and oohing and awwing." 

Another seller I geek out over is Molly from Elementary Lesson Plans!! I can't say enough about her fabulous close reading passages/INB sets.  Here is a link to some of her Constitution Day stuff.

My last super fan moment is for Wise Guys TPT!! They have some really thorough and creative novel studies and history activities. This is a really cool Constitution Day Detectives one!

Ok, now I hope this gives you a starting point. LOL. That was a joke. If you still need more ideas for teaching The Constitution reread for comprehension. Teacher joke. No seriously, I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Just comment below or contact me via social media. I better get this post wrapped up and beautified before Pearl Harbor Day comes along! I would love for you to follow up and tell me what activities you do!

9/11 Good Deed Challenge

Friday, September 9, 2016

Sneak Peek!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Homeschooling Families, book your free Social Studies check-up! Slots open next week!! Let's make this the Best Social Studies Year Ever! More info on Power Planning Sessions soon!

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