We the People U. S. Constitution and Civics Projects and activities

"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce
or a Tragedy or perhaps both.  Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors,
must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." James Madison, 1822

U.S. Civics & Constitution - Projects | Essays | Elections and Voting | Civics Extras | Quotes on Government | U.S. Constitution
1.
Reading The Declaration Of Independence like NPR - Divide up the document into sections.
Assign one section to each classmate. Read it to your school or community.
Explain, in your own words, what each section means.

2.
The National Archive holds many important documents in a our nation's history including
the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of 1787.

List 5 important documents about you and your family.

3.
Create a game (PPT template) that asks questions about the 100 Milestone Documents in United States history .
Never mind the exact dates - focus questions on why the document was made or what it did.
Who is your group's top historian? Online sources: US Historical Documents
| Primary Documents in American History - LOC

Or create a game that compares and contrasts the U. S. Constitution of 1789 and the Articles of Confederation

4.
The National Archives cares for 1000's of documents that are important to the United States of America.
You are part of a group that is doing a similar project for your home state's archive.
Which of your state's important documents would you include on a top 10 list?
5.
Founding father, George Mason, was an ardent advocate for the enumeration of specific rights of citizens
in the U.S. Constitution.
The Bill of Rights was the beginning of this critical task.
Compare or contrast a citizen rights under your state's governing document with the rights of citizens protected
by the U. S. Constitution.
Which provides you with more protections? Worksheet for PA.

6.
Freedom of Speech rights at school
7.
U. S. Constitution - Privacy and the Digital Age
8.
Supreme Court Cases and the Constitution
9.
Student Rights
What documents at your school and/or school district define/outline your rights?
How is this information effectively communicated to you and your family?
Select one of your rights and identify which part of the U.S. Constitution supports this right.

Are all the students in your school treated equally?

Student Handbook Presentation project

10.
Research the Bill Of Rights (5th-8th) - Constitution Day
11.
Research Citizen's Rights 7th up- Constitution Day
12.
Who Represents You? civics research project
13.
Constitution Day - Founded on Compromises
14.
Federal Government, State Government, Local Government or Citizens
Whose job or power is it?
15.
About the U.S. Constitution Activity fundamental info
16.
Domestic Spying - What are the Checks on U. S. Presidential Power?
Use the resources at Justice Talking.
Conduct a class debate.

"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people
and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." Dwight D. Eisenhower

17.
War & Peace in the U. S. Constitution ms/hs
18.
U. S. Constitution facts crossword puzzle - likely to require research to complete.
19.
Symbols of the U.S. Government Activity ele/ms
20.
Civics - Histiry Mystery Message - gather the Constitution facts to solve the message - worksheet pdf | worksheet text
21.
Exploring September Civics Activity
22.
October Civics and History activity
23.
First Amendment Rights poll and essay Study shows American teenagers indifferent to freedoms
24.
The Preamble of the U. S. Constitution activity- 5th - 8th
25. The 19th Amendment of the U, S, Constitution granted women the right to vote. It was ratified on August 18, 1920.
Identify a prominent women's suffrage activist from your state. How did that person advocate for suffrage?
How has your state recognized the person's efforts? Women's Suffrage - recognize a suffragette
26. 51st State - What are the protocols for U. S. statehood?
27. Amending the U.S. Constitution - Washington D.C. representation 51st state
28. Who is in Charge? Succession
29. U. S. Flag Facts and History
30. Government - Sunshine Laws
31. Privacy of Personal Information at School problem/project based learning for Constitution Day
32. Federal Regulatory Agencies and Commissions project
33. State, Federal, and Citizen Powers
34. Freedom of Information - the Public's Right to Know
35. November Civics and History Activity | Thanksgiving Fun
36. Conduct a poll in your class or school -
Select the 3 most important documents in United States history. 100 Milestone Documents
37.
The Role of News Reporting and Public Forums in History ms/hs
38.
Government Integrity - Travel & Staffers - PBL
39.
Government Integrity - Earmarks - PBL | Priorities - bridges or legislator's earmarks problem based learning project
40.
December Civics and History Activity
41.
February Civics and History Activity | February Civics Activity 2
42.
March Civics Activity - Women in Government | Founding Mothers & Daughters of Liberty project
43.
April Civics Activity - Exploring Franchise and Elections
44.
May Civics activity - Memorial Day, National Anthem, Arlington National Cemetery new
45.
Theodore Roosevelt - policies then and now
46.
Presidential Math Project
47.
Data Mining and Citizen Privacy
48.
Government Integrity - Pensions of convicted officials - PBL
49.
Economic Policies in Reagan years and now - political cartoon
50.
Chart Reading - Federal and State Budgets
51.
Examine your Government's Demographic Statistics
52.
Select one of Herblock's History - political cartoons at the Library of Congress.
What is the issue? Is it germane to you today?
53.
Lincoln Bicentennial Event
54.
A Note for Freedom reverberating through the centuries project
55.
Make a Crossword Puzzle of Government Vocabulary tech skills, rigor, creativity, language crossword puzzle bullet Rubric added
56.
Historic literature activities - Johnny Tremain | April Morning | Scarlet Stockings Spy | Anna Sunday | The Birchbark House | Revolutionary War on Wednesday | Children of the Longhouse | Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy | Night | Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry | Fever 1793 | Sing Down the Moon | Gentle Annie - Civil War Nurse
57.
Fact Check - State of the Union or State of the State
58.
U.S. Senate - Senate Chamber Desks - Why should they have candy when you cannot?
59.
Diversity - what is the government's role?
60.
Each year, to recognize George Washington's Birthday, a Senator of the United States reads aloud Washington's Farewell Address of 1796.
The message is often cited as an important set of guidelines for citizens and government. President Washington warns against entangling alliances with European powers, big public debt and a large military establishment. (Listen to it)

Read it Washington's Farewell Address 1796

61.
Thomas Paine's Mighty Pen - Common Sense & American Crisis
62.
Fourth of July Celebration Plan project based learning ele/ms/hs/adult flag
63.
Holding Government Officials Accountable hs/adult
64.
Salaries of Elected Officials hs/adult
65.
The Yes Men - Try your hand at this approach to dealing with a problem/issue facing you today. WTO/GATT hs/adult
66.
What should be done about the House of Representatives vote? hs/adult
67.
Land use & Population ms/hs/adult
68.
Watch: Katrina Revisited - look into one of the issues. hs/adult

Evaluate the federal, state or local government's performance regarding Katrina recovery. What grade do you give them?

Should areas that are risky to live in - fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes be repaired/restored or abandoned?

Who should pay for the repair and replacement work?

69.
Tough Talk on Impeachment Watch the video - Gather some facts.
Engage in your own civil debate on the issue. ms/hs/adult
70.
American's Creed Day project hs/adult
71.
What are your Civil Rights? problem based learning project
72.
Government, Statistics and the Media the effects of social propaganda ms/hs
73.
The League of Peace of the Iroquois Nation is the oldest form of government in North America.
It is called the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee. What is the Great Law of Peace?
74.
Watch these online videos about George Washington.
Make a poster or pamphlet noting some facts of his life and lauding some of his lesser known accomplishments or actions.
75.
Put your town on the map - a cybergeography problem based learning project
76.
Check out Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents exhibit at the Library of Congress
77.
The right of the people to rule Spoken by: Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive Party candidate for U.S. President.
recording date: c. August 1912 text
78.
The Progressive Era (1890 to 1920) was a period of great reform activity in the United States.
Research the period in your state. Identify one woman and one man.
Explain how they contributed to the discourse.
Would you have supported their position? Why or why not?
79.
Dig into Lobbying in Pennsylvania Government ms/hs/adult
80.
Explore the issues surrounding an advertisement about the U.S. Judicial process.
What do you conclude?

Should the U.S. Judicial system be changed to deny citizens the right to sue for Civil wrongs?

81.
Identify the first man and first women elected to a political office in your state.
What office did they hold? How many years separates their elections?
How long did each serve in public life? new
82.
Use the contemporary novel Nothing But the Truth by Avi to explore issues regarding the Bill Of Rights
83.
Consider the message of Nickeled and Dimed and the concept of "The American Dream"

American Dreams through the Decades LOC webquest
84.
Is free trade good for the United States? Conduct a class poll. How has it affected your community or state?
85.
Chart Reading: Uninsured in the USA - Who should pay?
86.
Gouverneur Morris, The Constitution and Slavery
87.
Tell the story of Polly Cooper and the Oneida people at Valley Forge
88.
Photography Art Mystery - Investigate the story
89.
Bonus Army treatment and veterans today
90.
eGovernment - Government websites Expectations & Evaluations
91.
Mystery Disk History Challenge
92.
Patriotism - National Anthem, the flag & free speech
93.
Patriotic or National Song Photo Story
94.
January Civics and History Activity
95.
Home Ownership - the positives and the negatives
96.
Watch the Wisdom of Crowds video and grasp the power of elections - it's funny. Test this theory in your class.

Evaluate this essay - Harnessing the “wisdom of the crowds” to reboot democracy.

97.
Cars - Individual Privacy, Public Safety and Justice
98.
June Civics Exploration - The Supreme Court
99.
Emergence - do it yourselves order
100.
Lost Hero: Who Was Really Our First President?
101.
Limits of US Government Power
102.
Emancipation Proclamations
103.
Power of the people in the U.S. Constitution new
104.
Mount Vernon Images for kids to use in multimedia projects new FREE
105. Gas and Diesel Taxes new
106 Compare and Contrast forms of Government - Make a preference list
107 C-SPAN's StudentCam is an annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think seriously about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students are asked to create a short (5-8 minute) video documentary. Accept the challenge.
108 Actively seek out alternative information - President Obama's commencement speech May 2, 2010 new
109 On January 6th 2011, the members of the US House of Representatives collaborated to read the US Constitution aloud on the floor of the House. This had never before happened. Watch it - CSPAN Archive online

| Historical US Documents
110 Draw a Schematic Representation of a bill moving through U.S. Congress new
  Teen Government - flash - be sure to click on words (not underlined) for deeper links off site
  YouTube project teaching about the U.S. House of Representatives
  Encouraging Voices - Revolution Quotes | History, Character, and the Future | Archiving Early America
  Centuries of Citizenship a Constitution timeline OUTSTANDING online multimedia resource
  Constitutional Themes - Separation of Powers
  Signers of the Declaration database | Signers of the Declaration worksheet - Technology integration off site
  Image as History: Stamp Act Cartoons
  Read Robert V. Remini's "Ordinary Heroes: Founders of Our Republic." HS
  The Supreme Court - Supreme Court history, notable decisions, authority, Majority rules, landmark cases
  100 Milestone Documents  - The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has assembled a set of documents that have had a significant impact on the lives of Americans. It is a valuable resource for Constitution Day activities. The Teacher Sourcebook includes an annotated timeline, key themes, guidelines to primary sources, and detailed lesson plans. These activities can be useful in preparing for the American History AP exam.
 

Political Cartoons in the Classroom

"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety." Benjamin Franklin


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Updated 12/2013 posted 2/2006 by Cynthia J. O'Hora