Friday, September 23, 2011

Constitution Day

       In honor of Constitution Day, our whole school dressed in Red, White, and Blue! I love dressing up - here was my "patriotic outfit" *grin*
     Since US Government is a 5th grade benchmark I planned our Social Studies lesson on the US Constitution to fall on Constitution Day. We have been learning about how the Constitution is like the "Play Manual" (connections to Video games and computers help with this new generation!) for all the laws and rules that are made in our Country. I also found a NEAT comic book blog (The Fourth of July Project) that compared the Constitution to a "Hulk-like" Superhero character.
The idea is that the Constitution creates a powerful federal government that rules our country effectively, HOWEVER, our Founding Fathers (wise men that they were!) realized that they may have created too powerful a government (a monster!) that had the possibility of  going rouge (like many governments we see today!) ... and so, as every good super hero story goes, they added a Side Kick, The Bill of Rights.
    The first 10 amendments (Bill of Rights) protect our rights as PEOPLE so that government can never become so powerful it takes away the fundamental RIGHTS of all men and women. I understood this difficult concept better with this funny analogy and boy did my kids understand this! IT WAS EXCITING!
Then we watched an AMAZING movie produced by Discovery Education Streaming that shows students what life would be like if we did NOT have the Bill of Rights (watch for a couple places where there are some inappropriate language - you would THINK that an educational video for kids wouldn't have any but these days ...ugh) Here is the link for the video - Bill of Rights Fright
We then partnered up and created posters identifying each of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights. These turned out really cool too!

I really feel like these lessons helped the kids connect with the Constitution and the Bill or Rights - both of which are very DIFFICULT concepts for kids to understand. SUCCESS!
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