» July 26th, 2012
It is not hard to share the great values of history through fun activities. In this article, we propose some fun activities, which would help our kids to learn about the history of US constitution. These three games are set up to teach the bill of rights for kids.
1. Memory game
It is a game, which can be played with any number of children. Kids form two groups. Each group will have cards of the Bill of Rights – twenty cards of ten pairs. If there are fewer than 10 players, then each player can hold one or more cards. This game will be helps promote an an understanding about the constitution.
The game rules
Players should not show their cards to other players. Each team member should look at their cards. will have a chance to look on their card. On every card, along with the amendments, there will be a symbol or image – whatever you like. Split the card pairs and distribute one half of each pair to each team. Taking turns, each child try’s to find the matching bill of rights in the opposing group. If the child’s guess is wrong, the child on the opposing team that was just queried, must briefly show the card he/she is holding, before hiding the symbol. .
If the kid successfully finds their matching card, then the child collects the pair. The team with the most pairs at the end wins. This game is designed to teach kids the individual amendment names of the bill of rights.
2. Find a way to freedom
This activity is a map game. On the map, there will be different paths to reach the castle of freedom. This game will be helpful to understand the Bill of Rights.
The game rules
To find the real route to the castle, a kid must identify some clues to reach the castle. The ten amendments of the Bill of Rights will be placed in a different order. Kids have to find out the amendments to recognize the real way. There will be many signboards and kids have to identify the signboards mentioning the ten amendments. The route will become clear once the kids properly order the amendments As with any treasure hunt – prizes await at the end.
3. Hot or cold game
In this, game kids have to find ten hidden rolls of paper, one for each of the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights. This is like any hot/cold game, the blindfolded (optional) child receives periodical alerts from the other kids when they are close to (hot), or moving away from (cold) the hidden paper roll. There could also be decoy rolls that contain nothing.
The game rules
One or more locations can be used for this game. Paper rolls can be made colorful and can be kept with small gifts or sweets. Maximum points will go to the kid who finds the most rolls.
These three games will help kids to identify the Bill of Rights by making the Constitution accessible for kids.
» June 22nd, 2012
The 3rd step I mentioned in teaching constitution for kids is as follow:
“Explore the beginnings by learning about the buildup of the association, gaining independence from the British, and the complete principles of individual freedom.”
We know that United States of America is the oldest democracy in the world and it emerged as the world’s number one economy in the 20th century, keeping its head up to the challenges it faced. However, there were moments in history which forced the country walk through the thorns. The world wars and economic crisis in the midst of the 20th century tested her ability to withstand.
Conveying the values of the Constitution and making the Constitution for kids, our future leaders, is essential to make them aware of the history and social structure of our great country. Understanding history is like finding a treasure and can be shared by telling kids the fascinating stories of history:
- Learning the stories of the fight for freedom from the British to the Constitutional privileges we enjoy today is important for children and can be made easy with the help of books, videos and informative CD’s. At nights when children ask for stories, tell them the stories of George Washington or James Madison and their struggles to design the structure of the current fabulous rich country.
- The day July 4, 1776 was a golden day for the US history. Every year the day is celebrated proudly throughout the United States of America and by Americans abroad. Stories based on the actual incidents are available and provide a simple but informative way which helps to make the narration of Declaration of Independence for kids interesting.
- The courageous stories of George Washington.
- The dramatic preparation of the Declaration of Independence carried out by Jefferson and signed by fifty six delegates in a perplexing background. These incidents are the catalysts that enabled US citizens to lead their life in liberty and prosperity.
» June 22nd, 2012
The CONSTITUTION is a very important document which must be taught and known by all Americans – living in America and abroad. I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of American parents to teach and make the constitution for kids and the declaration of independence for kids. It starts by getting a copy the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Read it, master it well and become familiar with the content of this important legal document:
- Learn more about who wrote and signed this constitution.
- Learn about the buildup of the association, gaining independence from the British, and the complete principles of individual freedom.
- Discuss the separation of powers, as directed by the constitution, among the Congress, Supreme Court, and the President with your kids. Select a recent event to illustrate how the different branches of the government function as a check and balance of power towards the others.
- Learn how the constitution divides power between the state governments and the federal government.
- Learn how the Founding Fathers prescribed how amendments can be added to the Constitution.
- Explore how the Bill of Rights was added into the constitution.
As any parent knows, young kids love stories and are visually oriented. American parents should therefore use short interesting stories to teach their kids the constitution. These stories should be able to make American kids living abroad to be aware of the oppression that the Americans went through under the colonialism of England. The stories should also help the kids to understand why the declaration of independence needed to be written down and implemented.
Singing the National Anthem with the kids is also a great way help them to learn more about their heritage.
» April 18th, 2012
I was searching for teaching materials for my kids when a good friend introduced me to TeachersPayTeachers.com. She told me that she gets great ideas and materials on this site for a low cost. I was curious and started exploring the website that she referred. Here’s what I learned.
What is TeachersPayTeachers.com all about?
I found out that TeachersPayTeachers.com is an online market website where educators trade their lessons plans and teaching materials to their fellow educators. The website’s vision is to empower educators to share original educational materials and make teaching an even more rewarding experience. A product from this site includes Teacher-Created Lesson Plans, Activities, Exams, PowerPoint Presentations, Worksheets and other similar curricular formats. Their wide-range of teaching materials was arranged accordingly from subjects, specializations, to the type of teaching material desired and down to grade levels. This systematically arranged style of the materials allows you no hassle in finding the right products that you want.
How can I find the right teaching product?
As mentioned earlier, this online market website arranged their variety of products according to subject, specializations, type of teaching material and grade levels which makes it easier in browsing the right teaching material for you. You can seek for a teaching material by subject on the Subject section where you can find, English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies–History, Arts & Music, Foreign Language and Specialty. You can seek into a more specialized materials by browsing through the Specialty category that sort subjects ranging from Computer Science-Technology, Special Education, Career and Technical Education, Health, Critical Thinking, Family Consumer Sciences and a whole lot more specialties. This website also offers you the teaching material you needed by exploring through the Type category section.
Adding fun to a dull Social Studies-History Lesson.
TeachersPayTeachers.com offers a whole new range of teaching materials that improves the teaching and learning experience of both the teacher and the students. A lecture and activity teaching product for a social studies for kids or History class for the Constitutional lesson is available from the said website through this link which is made creatively for parents like me. This product material consists of lecture material that teaches the background study of the lesson. Activity for students includes writing their own constitution, their own declaration of independence and their bill of rights. This writing activity enhances their creativity and thinking skills and at the same time gaining familiarity of the mechanics about constitutional writing and the like.
TeachersPayTeachers.com is not an ordinary market website; it helps educators and parents in building a creative and fun experience without jeopardizing the teaching-learning experience. Lesson plans and teaching materials don’t come in a boring practice anymore with the help of this online market website teaching and learning can be FUN and CREATIVE at the same time.
» March 24th, 2012
As I mentioned in my previous post I will focus on activities to implement the steps I mentioned in teaching the constitution for kids. I will concentrate on the first step for this post.
“Get a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. See if you can read the signatures of the 39 delegates that signed it.”
The best way to implement this step is through the use of stories. Kid’s are very imaginative, visually oriented and have a small retaining ability for details. Due to these facts, stories offer a creative way of bringing out the importance of certain laws, expressing the history of how a law came about or simply showing circumstances where the laws could be applied. A good example would be stories that serve to show how the declaration of independence came about. Kids must be made aware of the oppression that the Americans went through under the colonialism of England. Through these stories they begin to understand why the declaration of independence needed to be written down and implemented.
Another way is through the use of movies or clips. As stated previously, children remember visuals more easily than things they read. The bill of rights is a part of the constitution that can easily be weaved into a series of short span movies to explain why each bill is important. The children will get to see how easily their freedom can be violated and exactly how the bill of rights can protect them. They are able to see that the bill of rights removes supreme power from the government which then means they have some form of power in the running of the country and ultimately their personal lives.
Also the constitution can be taught in a class setting through subjects such as social studies. Using such a method would mean the kids would have to study the constitution at one point in their lives whether they like it or not. Also when put in the curriculum it will be in terms and formats suitable for young minds hence easily understandable.
Lastly, the constitution can be taught to children using plays, drawings, and other forms of visual arts. These carry some weight for the children as they are involved in the process of acting the plays out. As such they get to memorize some bits of the constitution for kids their own age and for themselves. As they ask their directors questions of why and how, they get a deeper understanding of pertinent issues.
» February 15th, 2012
Below is a list of activities we wrote about, and sent around for publication on other websites and blogs. I would also add one more to the list, in order to help make accessible the constitution for kids that don’t live in the us – sing the National Anthem with them. I started doing this with my girls. Or rather I should say, I sing songs to my kids every night before bed. I have now added the Star Spangled Banner to the play list. I act like I’m at a sporting event, waiving my arms to the music. Don’t forget the cheer of the crowd at the end. We have a great time, especially when my voice cracks at the high notes.
Anyway, I’ll be looking for specific activities to implement the steps below with my kids and sharing those ideas here on the Constitution for Kids blog. I’d love to hear about your ideas.
- Get a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. See if you can read the signatures of the 39 delegates that signed it.
- Select a delegate to learn more about. The goal here is to gain some knowledge about the political forces and knowledge of the founding fathers. Explore the intrigue of the fact that the Declaration of the Independence was written behind closed doors, in secret.
- Explore the beginnings by learning about the buildup of the association, gaining independence from the British, and the complete principles of individual freedom.
- Discuss the separation of powers, as directed by the constitution, among the Congress, Supreme Court, and the President. Select a recent example to examine how the different branches of the government functions as a check and balance to the others.
- Learn how the constitution divides power between the state governments and the federal government.
- Learn how the Founding Fathers prescribed how amendments can be added to the Constitution. Explore how the Bill of Rights was added in 1791.
» February 7th, 2012
NYTimes sidebar about the status of the US constitution in the world today
I read the following from the first lines of a NYTimes article this morning (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/us/we-the-people-loses-appeal-with-people-around-the-world.html?_r=1&ref=us)”Sure, it is the nation’s founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning. In 1987, on the Constitution’s bicentennial, Time magazine calculated that “of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version.”
I must admit, this made me proud. I’ve always known that many countries modeled parts of their constitutions on the US. But I was surprised by the number the article stated. OK, that was 1987 – fast forward to 2012 and apparently not as many countries continue to use the US constitution as a model. The article sights many reasons – it is too difficult to amend, it does not guarantee many rights, and perhaps the most intriguing reason – there are more appealing models. For instance the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
I don’t want to start a discussion on the reasons why, or even if the reasons are valid. I am sure others will take on those discussions. I want to emphasize that the US constitution was used as a model for many other thriving republics. Perhaps those countries have taken our great legacy and improved upon it? At any rate, it made me think of adding this to my lesson plan for teaching my kids about the Constitution. The fact that it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world, and that it influenced the world.
The article reminded me of a quote I’ve read, attributed to Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He was asked what form of government we would have, a republic or a monarchy. His reply – “a republic, if you can keep it.” I thought of it because the only way to keep it is to ensure those we pass it on to will appreciate and understand why it is so important. They also need to be educated about its significance, because they will be tasked to keep it relevant, or risk losing it.
Finally, the NYTimes article quoted Antonin Scalia speaking to the Senate Judiciary in October 2011 “Every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights. The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours…We guarantee freedom of speech and of the press. Big deal. They guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of street demonstrations and protests, and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. Whoa, that is wonderful stuff! Of course, it’s just words on paper, what our framers would have called a ‘parchment guarantee.’” In other words, it’s not the tools but how you use them that counts. Teach your children how special ours is.
» January 26th, 2012
Hi, I’m Mike. I’m an American, living in Germany. I am married to a beautiful German lady and we have two terrific kids. I will likely never live in the US again. Since my children attend German schools, they will never learn about the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence. Their education on these important documents and their heritage falls to me. On this site, I will explore methods, products, and ideas how expatriate Americans can teach their kids about these great documents. This site is not only for expats, anyone who wants to make available the Constution for kids I hope you will follow along.