top of page

3 Tips for Teaching the Constitution

by Debbi Rollo, Author and former Homeschool Mom.


Guest writers are invited for their insights into different aspects of the Homeschool Hub Utah’s four pillars, which are to connect, empower, educate, and serve homeschooling families in Utah. While we feel each guest blogger’s message will be helpful to homeschooling families, not all ideas presented by every guest blogger are officially endorsed by Homeschool Hub Utah.

 


How can we teach the U.S. Constitution in our home in a way that isn’t boring? Many parents want to teach the U.S. Constitution as part of their curriculum or as a family, but aren’t sure how to do it or where to start. It can be daunting, and since most American adults do not read it themselves, it can feel a little intimidating and overwhelming. According to a recent Marquette poll, 57% of Americans haven’t read the Constitution, even though it’s one of the shortest in the world, and 33% do not know that the ‘Bill of Rights’ is the first ten amendments of the Constitution. As challenging as it may seem, there are engaging, fun and easy ways to teach the Constitution.



TIP #1 – TEACH WHAT AND WHY


Start by discussing what the U.S. Constitution is, in simple terms, and why we should study it. The Constitution is a 7,500-word blueprint for America, establishing our national government and basic rights. It is the Supreme law of the land and was established to secure rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is considered by many to be one of the most important historical documents in American history that all Americans, especially the rising generation, should read and understand. It is important to be clear about what the Constitution is and why it should be read and studied.


Introduction Activity: A fun activity to introduce the Constitution is to pretend that you are going to play a new game. Put out things such as dice, game pieces and a piece of paper to keep score. Ask one of the children to go first. When they ask how to play, say that there is no instruction manual, so you need to make it up as you go. Try to play. Explain that anytime we play a new game, the first thing we do is read the instructions so we can play it properly. Then hand out a pocket Constitution to each member of the family (have them put their name on it) and tell them that the U.S. Constitution is the instruction manual (the game plan) for our self-government. We, as citizens, are participants in this game, so we should know what the rules are and our role in the game. Otherwise, we become like pieces on a game board being moved around without understanding how things work. How could we know the object of the game, how to play, if we’re winning, or if someone is cheating, if we don’t know the rules? Let’s learn the rules of how America is supposed to function! Start by reading the Constitution!



TIP #2MAKE IT ENGAGING (25 IDEAS)


Make learning the Constitution interesting! Hands-on activities, activating as many of the senses as possible, and creating meaningful experiences will help spark interest in the Constitution:


1. Purchase and give a pocket Constitution to each member of your family. Write their name on it and decorate it.

2. Read and recite a little bit of the Constitution each day and discuss it (take turns choosing different ways to recite it, such as in a whisper, in an accent, singing, etc.).

3. Pick & Tell: Everyone picks their own part of the Constitution and takes turns sharing and discussing it (a sentence, paragraph, amendment, etc.).

4. Amendment Dice: Roll 2 dice and multiply. Read the Amendment that it equals and discuss it.

5. Patriotic crafts.

6. Create a “Patriotic Notebook” for each child to decorate to use for notes and lessons, etc.

7. Plan field trips: Court house, museums, liberty events, virtual field trips, etc.

8. Read the Constitution and tell patriotic stories in places other than in the house. Stories about the founding fathers, Declaration of Independence, etc. They can be shared on a blanket on the lawn, on the trampoline, at the park, and other places.

9. Memorize the Preamble to the Constitution with a celebration prize when memorized (out for ice cream, bowling, etc., or perhaps a $5 bill). Practice reciting it together every day.

10. Create a “Constitution Table/Area” with a flag, patriotic books, games, puzzles, workbooks, coloring pages, crafts, etc.

11. Spiral Notebook for each member of the family to copy the Constitution in its entirety (a little at a time). Eventually they will have the entire Constitution in their own handwriting.

12. Create spelling word lists from the Constitution.

13. Computer keyboarding practice from parts of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

14. Have an “Article of the Week” from the Constitution (broken up in chunks to discuss).

15. Download the U.S. Constitution on your phone and kids phones.

16. Do reports and research on the signers of the Constitution.

17. Find Constitution websites, online games, and videos.

18. Alphabetize the Signers of the Constitution.

19. Constitution A-Z: Everyone flip through the Constitution and take turns saying a word that starts with letters in order A-Z. Repeat several times. Declaration A-Z as well.

20. Bill of Rights in order: type, laminate and cut out Bill of Rights, then shuffle and put in order.

This can be done daily or regularly throughout the week. Same thing with the Preamble of the Constitution.

21. Buy Constitution Games and play them often.

22. Create “Constitution Memory” by printing and cutting out parts of the Constitution.

23. Liberty Library Day: Everyone picks a patriotic book to read. Find some on the Constitution.

24. Create writing prompts about the Articles and/or Amendments and have them use the Constitution for research.

25. Watch Schoolhouse Rock.



TIP # 3 – TEACH PATRIOTISM


Patriotism is defined as “The quality of being patriotic; devotion and vigorous support for one’s country.” Patriotism means different things to different people. There is a lot of confusion in today’s culture about how to view America, its founding, and the Constitution. It is important to acknowledge that although our country is not perfect, nor was its founding, we do have a system of self-government that allows for continued improvement (in order to “form a more perfect union”). Discussing the good and bad and how things have improved since the country’s founding can be helpful to instilling patriotism, the love of country and liberty. The principles of liberty are integrated throughout the Constitution. Teaching patriotism in our families can be a big part of teaching of the importance of the Constitution. Here are some tips to teach Patriotism:

  • Display a flag on your front porch or yard

  • Play patriotic music around the house and car (download patriotic music)

  • Wear patriotic attire

  • Attend liberty events

  • Keep a copy of the Constitution out in the open

  • Teach the history and how to honor and care for the American flag

  • Display patriotic art, crafts, knick-knacks, etc. around the house

  • “Patriotic Day”, perhaps once a month (patriotic clothes, field trip, patriotic food, music, stories, games, etc.)

  • Speak positively about America



Teaching the United States Constitution, as mentioned, can feel a big overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Studying the Constitution to understand its purpose and values is a noble cause for ourselves and our posterity. Remember to keep it simple, engaging, and consistent.

 


Debbi wrote her books to encourage others to read the Constitution and learn it in a fun and easy way. Debbi loves America and is passionate about promoting freedom, individual rights, and liberty for all. She is a former

homeschooler and enjoys finding creative ways to make things that are difficult to understand fun, interesting, and enjoyable. She lives in Orem, Utah.


Debbi enjoys sharing her message and Constitution rhymes with others. Please contact her if you are interested in having her visit your homeschool group. Visit Debbi’s website for details about her books, to sign-up for her email list, contact information, and for additional Constitution resources at https://www.readconstitution.com/.


Enjoy a free copy of Debbi’s PDF “Teaching the U.S. Constitution Packet”, which includes ideas and worksheets for teaching the Constitution.



15 views0 comments

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page