Unit and lesson plans prepared by teachers using CongressLink resources and features.
Mock Constitutional Convention
The purpose of this lesson is to provide students an opportunity to step into the shoes of the framers of the United States Constitution to analyze and evaluate the social, political, economic and geographical forces that shaped the United States Constitution. Students will conduct research in the role of one of the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention and then participate in civil discourse as the delegates might have 200+ years ago using the principles of parliamentary procedure. Students will have "reality checks" throughout the experience to compare their convention results with the actual U.S. Constitution.
One of the most important but least used powers of Congress is the ability to amend the Constitution. Since ratification, over 7,000 amendments have been proposed, only 33 passed by Congress, and just 26 ratified by the states. In this lesson, students become familiar with both ratified and failed amendments, connect a current amendment proposal before Congress with past efforts, determine how decisions are made with regard to amendments, and develop an original proposal for an amendment.
In this lesson, students analyze the basic components of the U.S. Constitution in order to create a "class constitution" to be used to maintain order and discipline throughout the school year.
The general purpose of this unit is to teach students the amendments to the Constitution through the use of CongressLink, Internet resources, and creative activities. In this unit students will gain a sense of their rights as United States citizens, as well as the reality that many rights are limited and controversial.
The U.S. Constitution Power Grab Game
The purpose of this lesson plan is to encourage students to comprehend these points of emphasis and relate them to the study of the three branches of the federal government. Several activities are described. The culminating activity is the “Power Grab Game” given before the final test on the Constitution unit. Students will be able to (1) identify the three branches of American government, (2) describe the function of each branch of government, (3) explain how the “checks and balances” system functions to protect the individual citizen from power-hungry politicians, (4) describe how each branch of government is “separate” in its powers from the other branches of government, and (5) explain how the amendments to the Constitution function today.
A dramatic scene in a high school government or civics class provides the setting. Students follow a process of inductive reasoning in a situation which is especially relevant to their daily lives. In the scene, the teacher grants a student permission to get a drink of water and the student begins to leave the room. But does he or she have “implied” authority to get out of his seat, open the door, and walk out into the hall?