Teaching the Constitution

Expand/Collapse Teaching the Constitution


This collection includes resources that support teaching the fundamentals of the U.S. Constitution.

Students will understand the issues involved in the creation and ratification of the United States Constitution, the new government it established, and its continuing significance.

  • Separation of Powers

    The framers of the Constitution feared too much centralized power, adopting the philosophy of divide and conquer.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Federalism

    Federalism is one of the most important and innovative concepts in the U.S. Constitution, although the word never appears there. Federalism is the sharing of power between national and state governments.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Equality

    In the wake of the Civil War, three amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Rights

    What is a right, and where does it come from? A right is a power or privilege that is recognized by tradition or law.

    Grades: 9-12
  • 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1865) and Resource Materials

    This document includes an image of the 1865 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Constitution of the United States (1787) and Resource Materials

    This document includes images of the 1787 Constitution of the United States.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • The Constitution: Fixed or Flexible?

    This Democracy in America activity outlines the foundation and design of the Constitution, as well as controversial "hot spots" in the historic document.
    Grades: 12-13+
  • The Constitution at Work

    In this activity, students will analyze documents that span the course of American history to determine their connection to the U.S. Constitution.

    Grades: 8-11
  • 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Direct Election of U.S. Senators (1913) and Resource Materials

    This is an image of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1868) and Resource Materials

    This document includes images of the 1868 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1870) and Resource Materials

    This document includes an image of the 1870 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Constitution

    This Library of Congress educational unit includes newspaper articles, notes, and original documents, which trace the process of drafting and adopting the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Grades: 6-12
  • We the People

    In this activity, students will examine the original and final drafts of the Constitution and evaluate the significance of the wording differences in the Preamble.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • Election Foundations

    This video provides students with background information on why the United States holds presidential elections.
    Grades: 6-12
  • 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Women's Right to Vote (1920) and Resource Materials

    Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote in elections.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Federal Income Tax (1913) and Resource Materials

    Passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment established Congress's right to impose a Federal income tax.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • A More Perfect Union

    In A More Perfect Union, Peter Sagal explores the Constitution’s most striking and innovative feature: its resilient brand of federalism.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Created Equal

    In this episode of CONSTITUTION USA, Peter Sagal explores the high ideals of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” endowed with “inalienable rights,” that didn’t make it into the Constitution in 1787.

    Grades: 6-12
  • It's a Free Country

    Ask Americans what the Constitution’s most important feature is, and most will say it’s the guarantees of liberty enshrined in the Bill of Rights. In this episode, Peter Sagal explores the history of the Bill of Rights.

    Grades: 6-12
  • We the People

    Peter Sagal travels to Iceland where leaders decided to create a new constitution, turning to the U.S. Constitution for inspiration. This prompts Peter to consider why our own founding document has been able to last for more than 225 years.

    Grades: 6-12

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