Friday, September 12, 2008

Celebrate the Constitution

Did you know that Constitution Day is September 17? On that date in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by our Founding Fathers. Now Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is a time for the citizens of the United States to reflect and celebrate the history of the American Constitution.

You can read more about the U.S. Constitution and the history of the United States in World Book Online and Britannica Online by logging in with your library card number, or check out our new We the People Bookshelf along with other items in our online catalog:
Below are some Web sites that provide educational materials and activities for educators and students:

The National Constitution Center's Constitution Day site includes resources for teachers/students/community leaders/military members, all searchable by resource type and age group. The search defaults to free resources only, but note that the site does include items that require payment to use. There is also a handy calendar of Constitution Day events and special audio visual resources.

The National Archives Teaching with Documents program covers Observing Constitution Day, a listing of activities, lesson plans and information related to our Constitution and government. Students in grades 4-12 can participate in an online U.S. Constitution Workshop.

The Bill of Rights Institute provides numerous activities for teachers and middle and high school students. Examples include weekly eLessons which offer 20-minute discussion guides for middle and high school history and government teachers. Each eLesson includes a lively background reading, discussion questions and extension options. High School students can enter the Being an American Essay Contest for a chance to win up to $5000.

"Constitution Day is every day" at the U.S. Courts. Older students interested in legal theory may want to check out the streaming videos and online recordings that cover various interpretations of the Constitution by some of our U.S. Supreme Court justices as well as other Constitution-related educational resources.

After reading up on our founding document, you can test your knowledge by taking this online quiz offered by ConstitutionFacts.com.