Press Release: Constitution Week Lesson Plans

National Association of Scholars

New York, New York; April 18, 2024The Civics Alliance and Freedom in Education have published Constitution Week Lesson Plans: For High School Teachers, written by Jonathan Burack (MindSparks). Constitution Week is designed for Grade 12 civics or United States history courses and leads students through a week-long discussion of the United States Constitution. The lesson plans seek to further students’ understanding of the debates that crafted the Constitution and its amendments.

“Students are often left stumped when tested on the reasons for the Bill of Rights or the separation of powers,” explained Civics Alliance executive director David Randall. “To make the informed decisions the ballot requires, it is imperative that our high schools graduate students with a strong understanding of their Constitution. These lesson plans seek to make headway in that greater project.”

These lesson plans bring students to understand the views of Federalists and Anti-Federalists as they debated and compromised while drafting the Constitution. Constitution Week advances students’ understanding of the separation of powers, checks and balances, and the distribution of power between federal and state governments. The lesson plans dive into the negotiations that engendered the Constitution’s “Great Compromise” on slavery and the Bill of Rights.

“It is unfair to chastise a generation for their lack of patriotism if they’ve never been clearly taught why America was founded, how our government is supposed to function, and what their role in it should be,” said Freedom In Education President and Co-Founder, Melissa Jackson. “Our goal is to cultivate a civically virtuous society by empowering parents, teachers, and administrators to diligently screen the various curriculum providers to ensure their primary goal is to deliver high-quality content free of political ideologies or social justice agendas.”

Constitution Week includes five lessons, within each are Lesson Overviews, Student Learning Objectives, Teacher Directions, Terms and Phrases to Understand, Sources to Read, Standards Met by this Lesson, Sources for Teacher Enrichment, Background Essay, Sources for this Lesson, and Student Activity. All these lessons have been keyed to a Grade 12 class, but teachers will be able to adapt them to any high school Civics class—and to any high school United States History class that devotes class sessions to the nature and the creation of the Constitution.

“We created Constitution Week to compliment and follow up on our model K-12 social studies standards, American Birthright,” continued Randall. “Those guidelines teach students about the ideals and institutions of liberty, civic virtue, and republican self-government. Constitution Week focuses on the most important lesson of all—how our Constitution was created and how our republic preserves the liberties immortally articulated in the Declaration of Independence. Constitution Week is the keystone for the lessons of American Birthright, because the Constitution is the greatest American birthright of all.”

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If you would like more information about this issue, contact David Randall, Executive Director, Civics Alliance, [email protected].

Sabrina Caserta, Media Director, Freedom In Education; [email protected].

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