The United States Congress and the President have enacted a provision of law requiring every educational institution receiving federal funds to “hold an educational program” on September 17 of each year in observance of “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”
Resources and excerpts from related History-Social Science and English-Language Arts content standards.
The following resources were provided by the California Secretary of State’s Office in September of 2006. These resources were provided to potentially assist educators in obtaining materials for Constitution Day activities at their schools. Although the Secretary of State’s office does not endorse any of the listed Web sites, it is believed that educators may find them useful in planning activities.
Constitutional Rights Foundation
Classroom activities for kindergarten through grade twelve.
Center for Civic Education
Lesson plans for kindergarten through grade twelve.
National Constitution Center
Activities, materials, and resources for teachers, students, federal employees, individuals, and parents.
U.S. National Archives
You can obtain a copy of the original Constitution and the Bill of Rights by clicking on the home page, or enter “Constitution Day” into the “Search” box and this will take you to “Teaching With Documents: Observing Constitution Day” for curriculum materials and activities.
Library of Congress
Enter “Constitution Day” into the “Search” box in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. Click on “Constitution Day Resources ---Thomas (Library of Congress)” and that will take you to “Constitution Day Resources” with materials for teachers (including primary source documents), lesson plans for all grade levels, and Web casts.
Bill of Rights Institute
Lesson plans and activities for all grade levels.
U.S. Printing Office
“Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids” uses the image of Benjamin Franklin to organize information for different grade levels, as well as for parents and teachers. The site includes information on historical documents, citizenship, the election process, branches of government, and more. It also has games and classroom activities.
Federal Department of Education
Educational materials from the Federal Government’s “Constitution Resources --- Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)” Web site.
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
You can obtain an “Implementation Guide” that includes the notice from the federal government regarding Constitution Day, as well as background information, statistics, sample programming ideas, and additional links and resources. Click on “Public Policy” on the menu bar on the left side of the home page, and then on “Constitution Day Implementation Guide” (under “NASPA Public Policy News” in the left-hand column).
Palidan Legal Exchange
If an educational institution (or individual teachers) would like assistance in identifying possible speakers (or resource persons) from the community who are knowledgeable about the U.S. Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship, they may wish to contact the local bar association or the county court administration. The following Web site provides links to many of California’s local bar associations.
In the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Education has identified some educational resources pertaining to the U.S. Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship.