Free Lesson for Teaching the Parts of the US Constitution
Do your students struggle to understand how the US Constitution is organized? I’ve created a foldable graphic organizer to help upper elementary and middle school students understand:
- the parts of the Constitution
- the purpose/function of each part
Lesson objectives: I can explain how the US Constitution is organized. I can explain the purpose of each part of the US Constitution.
1. Pass out foldable graphic organizer to students (download the resource at the end of this blog post).
2. Explain that the US Constitution can be split into the following three sections:
However, these three sections can be broken down further into nine sections:
- Article 1
- Article 2
- Article 3
- Article 4
- Article 5
- Article 6
- Article 7
- Bill of Rights
- Other Amendments
Assemble the Graphic Organizer
3. Students cut around the outside border of the graphic organizer. Next, they cut along the dotted lines to form ten flaps. Then, they and glue along the middle spine of the graphic organizer and stick it in their social studies notebook (or onto a piece of paper).
Research the Purposes of Each Part of the US Constitution
4. Students write the purpose of each part of the Constitution underneath the flaps. There are several ways for students to research this information. The obvious place to start is reading the US Constitution. Here are a few ways to access the Constitution in your classroom:
The US Constitution
- Print a PDF version of the Constitution (click the link and then click “print this page” on the right sidebar)
- Order a class set of pocket Constitutions
- Have students view an interactive online version of the Constitution
5. Because the US Constitution is 200+ years old, it is confusing for most students. Below are great secondary sources that your students can use.
- This kid-friendly article explains the functions of the preamble, articles, and amendments. It is a great place to start; however, it does not go into detail about the function of each article.
- This wikipedia page describes the main ideas in each article. It is a good summary, but the text may be difficult for students to understand.
- Mr. Raymond’s video explains how the US Constitution is organized and the purpose of each section.
- Mr. Hill’s video is a great overview of the three main parts. It does not go into detail about the articles.
- Mr. Bett’s song parody of “Despacito” briefly covers all of the parts of the Constitution. Students will need to turn on the captions and pause the video to catch it all.
- School House Rock’s classic video explains the purpose of the Preamble.
Download the Free Constitution Graphic Organizer
I hope that this free graphic organizer will help your students understand how the US Constitution is organized. In the file, I’ve included an answer key. To download, simply click the button below.
More Resources for Teaching about the US Constitution
You may need more than one lesson for your US Constitution unit. I’ve listed some of my best resources below.
Need a FREE Bill of Rights Lesson?
In this lesson, students match picture cards to descriptions of each amendment in the Bill of Rights. Then they evaluate scenarios in which the Bill of Rights are violated by reading task cards around the room. Finally, they write a classroom Bill of Rights.
This lesson includes picture cards, task cards, a writing prompt, and student worksheets and answer keys.
I’ve created this lesson for Constitution Day. But, it would be great for any time of the year.
Enter your email below to grab your free Bill of Rights Lesson.
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Do you want to save yourself even more time? Check out my US Constitution 3 Week Unit. Your students will love the Constitutional Convention simulation where they act as delegates and make decisions about the Constitution.