Author: Emily Farris (Texas Christian University).
Constitution Day is a day that commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution at Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
Constitution Day falls in the middle of the semester, when I’m already covering it in my Introduction to American Politics classes. Talk about convenient timing!
There are many online resources that can help universities celebrate Constitution Day. Cengage hosted webinars on Constitution Day with our Political Science authors. You can watch the recordings online.
Here are some additional ways to learn more about the Constitution in your classes by using online resources
Start with a Scavenger hunt
Ask students to view this video about how the Constitution ended-up in the National Archives. Students can also “go in” to the National Archives vaults and view some of the rarer documents.
My class discusses with students how we glorify Founding Era documents, Framers. Instead of lecturing about the Constitution’s articles, I create a “scavenger hunt” where students can team up to find the answers. This gives students a hands-on experience with the Constitution. I love the idea of a scavenger hunt through cartoons from the U.S. archives.
Make an amendment
The amendment process is the final part of my discussion on the U.S. Constitution. This animated video, from the National Archives, gives a great overview of how we amend our Constitution through the proposal and ratification processes.
Students should think about the Constitution today to see it as a political document. Students can read and respond to Dr. Jennifer Victor’s post about which parts of the Constitution are performing poorly, or think about possible amendments.
I also had my students read the blog post by Julie Novkov and then propose their own amendments in class discussion.
Cengage hosted webinars on Constitution Day with our Political Science authors. Check out the recordings to get more ideas and insights.