Monday, January 22, 2018

The Best Websites for Teaching the Constitution

 I love teaching students about the Constitution. It can certainly be challenging, but there's a beauty to the document that's undeniable - after all, it's one of our country's founding documents! I love to encourage my students to explore it in depth, debate it's principles and understand that it's a "living" piece of our government. Finding ways to link it to modern news stories is always interesting and my students love seeing the modern day implications of the decisions our Founding Fathers made two centuries ago. While nothing can truly beat studying the actual text of the Constitution, there are some useful websites that help bring it to life in new ways. Without further ado, here are my favorite websites for teaching the concepts in the Constitution:

The Constitutional Convention: Before diving into the Constitution, it's important to set the stage. Teaching American History has a fantastic interactive site that discusses various aspects of the convention in an engaging way. From interactive paintings to in-depth information about the delegates, this website covers it all. Click HERE to check it out for yourself.

Interactive Constitution: This is one of my favorite websites to use to examine the text of the Constitution. The website breaks down the Constitution into manageable sections and summarizes the content while providing student-friendly examples. Check it out HERE.

iCivics: I know I've probably said this before on the blog, but my students L.O.V.E. iCivics. They actually beg to play the games if they finish a test early during class. It's music to this teacher's ears because they're actually learning while playing a computer game. Genius. There are several games that pertain to the Constitution and honestly I find so many effective that I can't pick just one favorite! Click HERE to see the full list of games available. Don't be surprised if you find time slipping away quickly while testing these games out for your classroom!

National Constitution Center Games: Along with creating that amazing interactive Constitution resource I mentioned above, the National Constitution Center also has a page with games that reinforce Constitutional concepts. There are four to choose from - the "Which Founding Father Are You?" activity was fun and educational! Click HERE to visit the site.

The Constitution: Many of us have access to a textbook with a copy of the Constitution inside, but if you're the exception or prefer have a digital copy available online for your students to access at home, look no further than the National Archives. They have a transcript of the Constitution HERE for all to read.

Did I miss any websites? If so, let me know in the comments. I'm always on the hunt for great resources for my classroom!

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