Constitution Day Activities

September 1, 2009

On Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by thirty-nine brave men who changed the course of history. Now Constitution Day is a time for us to continue their legacy and develop habits of citizenship in a new generation of Americans.

Today, by law, Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17th, and any educational institution that receives federal funds must hold an “educational program on the U.S. Constitution for the students served by the educational institution.”

If you’re looking for things to do to promote Constitution Day in your school, HSBJ offers the following suggestions:

Prep for the Five Freedoms PSA Contest

Each year, HSBJ hosts the Five Freedoms PSA contest, which challenges students to create an original Public Service Announcement that demonstrates the importance of the First Amendment. The contest opens on November 15th, but it's not too early for your students to start planning their PSA.

To see best practices on creating a video, check out last year's winners.

Learn about the Student Press Law Center

Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center has graciously agreed to answer questions from students (and teachers) on our Forum on Constitution Day.

Visit Ask Frank LoMonte about the Student Press Law Center for information on how student can submit questions.

Watch First Amendment videos

Sam Chaltain of the Five Freedoms Project produced a set of short First Amendment videos featuring high school students. Watch the video with your students and stop the video when Sam asks questions and see how your students would answer.

Visit Teach the First Amendment

Funded by the Knight Foundation, Teach the First Amendment (www.teachfirstamendment.org) is a site with several fun teaching tools, including a First Amendment Quiz

First Amendment Lesson Plans and Courses

Other Websites

The following are some other websites with Constitution Day materials that you might find useful:

Annenberg Classroom

Scholastic News

Center for Civic Education

The National Archives

National Constitution Center

ChannelOne News

U.S. Courts - The Federal Judiciary