Constitution Day

A Web Exploration for 4th & 5th Grade

"We the People ... " are the memorable words that begin the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America. What is the Constitution? When was it written? Why was it written? Who wrote it?

The following questions and tasks will help you learn about the U. S. Constitution and its importance to our country. The Internet sites have been pre-selected to help you locate a variety of reliable resources about our Constitution.

1. What is a constitution?

Use the Word Central online dictionary to look up "constitution. "

  • Note: You'll find 3 possible uses of the word "constitution."
  • Choose the definition that best fits the word's use as a founding document for our country.
  • Write the best definition on your answer sheet.

2. Constitution Day, September 17, is a celebration of the day that our founding fathers signed the newly written Constitution. 

Go to The U. S. Constitution Center to answer these questions:

  • In what year was the U.S. Constitution signed into law?
  • How many "brave men" signed the Constitution?
 
 

 
3.  Use Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids to answer the next questions.
  • What are the 3 main parts of the Constitution?
  • Which part allows the Constitution to be changed?
 

4. In the second part of the Constitution, the Articles define the plan for the new government.  The plan sets up 3 branches of the government.

5. The president is head of the Executive branch of government. He (or she) is elected by the people.  According to the Constitution, not everyone can be president.

  • How old must a candidate be in order to run for president?
 

 
 
6.   The Constitution was signed at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Visit this interactive map site to view some photos of Independence Hall.
  • Explore the map and locate Independence Hall.
  • Click on the building to view photos.
  • What other important U. S. historical document was signed at Independence Hall?

7. Cameras hadn't been invented at the time of the signing of the Constitution.  Fortunately, an artist named Howard Chandler Christy painted a scene which shows the signing of the Constitution. 
  • Click here to view the painting.
  • Hold your mouse over each figure to see his name.
  • What is the name of the tall figure standing on the platform?

8. Thanks to the Internet, you can view a picture of a handwritten copy of the original Constitution at the National Archives. Since it was written over 200 years ago with a quill pen, it's a little hard to read.

  • What are the first 3 words of the Constitution?
  • Why do you think they were written so large?
  • What do you think they mean?

9. The first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. They guarantee our individual freedoms and rights.

  • Go to Fact Monster to read a kid-friendly list of the first 10 amendments.
  • Which amendment guarantees freedom of speech?
  • Which amendment guarantees the right to a jury trial?

 


10. In this interactive game, the national computer has crashed. 

  • Your mission is to restore the Bill of Rights. 
  • Before beginning the game, go back to Fact Monster and print the Bill of Rights for reference.
  • Good luck!

 
Page developed by Jeanne Barnes

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