Constitution Activities – Tips to Engage Kids Through Song and Movement

By admin ~ June 13th, 2010 @ 9:59 am

Educators looking for constitution activities for children ages 9-12 may get inspired by this approach. It is a provocative inroad to the study of the constitution with a fun and practical outplay. Here are a few questions to consider in preparing your constitution activities:

We the People

Who are “We the People”?
Who did the founding fathers mean by “We the People”?
How has the definition “the People” changed since 1787?
The Three Branches of Government
What is the structure of the federal government?
What did the founding fathers mean by “checks and balances?
How are we protected from misuse of power in our government?

Politics without politics

Politics is defined as the science and art of government. The constitution process is meant to be unbiased and neutral. How have current world affairs affected your view of the constitution?
What is the best cure for apathy or cynicism? How to pro-actively prevent apathy and cynicism in your students?
What activities demonstrate CARE for the integrity of the constitution?

Now you have a premise for planning your constitution activities. Here are a few suggestions for projects and activities that affirm our value for the U.S. Constitution: activities that can all lead to and support learning a powerful and evocative song called “We the People”.

Visit your state capitol.
Visit your town or city”s courts of justice.
Visit the police department.
Visit the department of education.
Find out what environmental laws exist in your state.
Who protects the planet?
Who protects the air and water?
Write a congressman/woman.
Write the mayor.
Create a government for a day in your classroom.
Clean up a street.
Clean up a hallway.
Clean up a park

ASK THE BIG QUESTIONS!

Now, these are few starter constitution activities for you and the children in your care. And finally, here is a gift from our school to your school, from our community to your community, from our hearts and minds to yours. It is a song written with the help of a group of 4th and 5th graders in a public school in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a result of their own constitution activities. We hope you enjoy it! We’re making it available at: http://www.constitution-activity.com.

Listen to the song and follow along with the lyrics provided.

Sing along with the song (in various groupings) using the lyrics provided.

Take some time to open up these questions, the children will give their own examples that can be written on the board:

Who are we the people? (our true democracy)
What do we say no to? (our moral compass)
What are we free to do? (our rights)

Re-look at the lyrics of the song and have the children find movements that work with the song (can be full body or just hand movements). You can look at the YouTube video of “We the People” for ideas; (insert link)
Sing the song again with the added movements.
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