Outline of Teaching the US Constitution Worksheet!

bill of rights curriculum & lesson plans for history teachers u.s. constitution
Outline of the US Constitution Worksheets!

The United States Constitution, drafted in 1787, is the foundation of our national government!

 

It was at the Constitutional Convention that the framers of the Constitution sought to devise a more perfect Union by replacing the Articles of Confederation. Our Founding Fathers' many considerations when creating our federal government included everything from:

  • The general welfare and protecting the blessings of liberty to the people of the United States
  • Promoting domestic tranquility and providing for the common defense of the new nation
  • Establishing the Congress of the United States
  • Outlining legislative powers
  • Defining the amendment process
  • Creating a fair judicial system (establishing a process for criminal prosecutions, appointing federal judges, etc.)
  • The role of state government
  • and so much MORE!

 

So, what are some of the best ways in going about the creation of US Constitution worksheet?

 

Depending on the respective grade level(s) you're teaching, I like to break it out into the following:

(For example, the grade level(s) you're teaching will determine how deep you go with each of the following items)

 

#1. What is the Constitution's overarching goal?

The Constitution of the United States is the founding document of the federal government of the United States of America and the supreme law of the land. Further, it protects citizens' fundamental liberties and provides the framework for a general election in order to elect public officials in an orderly and fair manner.

 

#2. Where did the ideas that became the foundation of the United States Constitution come from?

The ideas that formed the principles of the U.S. Constitution arose out of the Age of Reason (Enlightenment) and its progeny, including the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the English Bill of Rights, Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and so on.

 

#3. What are the Constitution's key provisions?

Key provisions of the U.S. Constitution are centered around fundamental ideas, such as forming a more perfect government, limited government, establishing three branches of government (system of checks and balances), patriotism, and representation, as well as safeguarding U.S. citizens rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

 

Three Branches of Government worksheet from my 5th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Bundle!

 

#4. Article I: Legislative Branch

  • Section 1: Congress
  • Section 2: The House of Representatives
  • Section 3: The Senate
  • Section 4: Elections
  • Section 5: Responsibilities of Congress
  • Section 6: Rights of Members
  • Section 7: The Legislative Process
  • Section 8: Powers of Congress
  • Section 9: Limits on Congress
  • Section 10: Limits on the States

 

#5. Article II: Executive Branch

  • Section 1: President, Vice President, and Electors
  • Section 2: Commander in Chief
  • Section 3: Responsibilities of the President
  • Section 4: Impeachment

 

#6. Article III: Judicial Branch

  • Section 1: Establishment and structure of Judicial Power
  • Section 2: Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, and Supreme Court
  • Section 3: Treason

 

 

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#7. Article IV: Citizenship and States/New States

  • Section 1: Each State shall be given Full Faith and Credit
  • Section 2: Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of U.S. Citizens
  • Section 3: New States and Territories
  • Section 4: Republican Form of Government, Protection, and Federal Property

 

#8. Article V: The Amendment Process

  • Describes the process for amending the Constitution

 

#9. Article VI: Oaths, Debts, and the Supremacy of the Constitution

  • States and recognizes the U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land

 

#10. Article VII: Ratification of the Constitution

  • Describes the process for ratifying the Constitution

 

Ratification of the U.S. Constitution worksheet from my 8th Grade U.S. History Curriculum Bundle!

  

 

Key Facts and Specifics of the U.S. Constitution

(Share some of these with your students!!)

 

It was in 1787 that the Constitution was drafted. To create the Constitution, a group of men known as the Framers got together. They believed that laws were necessary to establish order in the country.

 

  • The Framers met at Philadelphia's Independence Hall to draft the U.S. Constitution
  • Some of the more notable Constitutional Framers were Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and James Madison
  • James Madison, who went on to become the 4th President of the United States, is widely regarded as the "Father of the Constitution"
  • Upon completion of the Constitution's drafting, it was submitted to the individual states for ratification - It took some time, but eventually every state did that
  • On September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the actual Constitution of the United States was adopted
  • The U.S. Constitution devised a system of checks and balances with the creation of three branches of American government: the Executive Branch (the President), the Legislative Branch (Congress), and the Judicial Branch (Courts)
  • The Constitution explains the roles and responsibilities of each of the three branches of government and the authorities that have been delegated to each one
  • The Constitution was written to prevent any one part of government from amassing too much authority (the term "Checks and Balances" describes this arrangement)
  • Laws are made by Congress (Legislative Branch), whose members are chosen by the people
  • The President is responsible for upholding the law, and the people elect him or her
  • The Judicial Branch (namely the U.S. Supreme Court) resolves any ambiguity in the law 
  • Appointees to the Supreme Court must be confirmed by the Senate after being made by the President 
  • Procedures for declaring war are also laid out in the Constitution (the President "Commander-in-Chief" is given authority over the armed forces)
  • The Constitution's Framers anticipated that succeeding generations would want to make amendments
  • The Founding Fathers responded by including a mechanism for making changes to the document (the amendment process - which can either add a new amendment to the Constitution or modify an existing one)
  • While there are several ways to add or change an amendment, the most common way is for Congress to approve a proposed amendment by a two-thirds majority vote and if the legislatures of three-quarters of the states vote in favor of the amendment, it will be ratified and added to the Constitution (the U.S. Constitution has been amended 27 times)
  • The Bill of Rights refers to the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution; The Bill of Rights is broken down as follows:
    • First Amendment: Freedom of Religion, Press, Speech, Assembly, and the right to petition the Government
    • Second Amendment Amendment: Right to bear arms
    • Third Amendment: Prohibits soldiers from quartering in privates residences and/or businesses
    • Fourth Amendment: Prohibits unreasonable search and seizure
    • Fifth Amendment: U.S. citizens may not be subject to criminal prosecution without due process and may not be tried for the same crime twice
    • Sixth Amendment: U.S. citizens have the right to a speedy trial by a jury of their peers
    • Seventh Amendment: Civil cases preserve the right to a trial by jury
    • Eighth Amendment: Disallows excessive bail or fines, and prohibits all forms of cruel and unusual punishment
    • Ninth Amendment: Outlines that the rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution is not exhaustive and that People have additional rights which aren't defined in the Constitution
    • Tenth Amendment: Designates all powers not delegated to the federal government, to either the States or to the people
  • In 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, comprising the first 10 amendments
  • The last amendment was added in 1992 (the 27th Amendment which addresses members of Congress compensation)

 

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-Jillian (a.k.a. the "Lesson Plan Guru")  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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