This lesson gives an article-by-article overview of the structure and function of the U.S. Constitution. Students learn about the duties and powers of the three branches, the amendment process and role of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. Anatomy of the Constitution now includes content previously covered by the lesson Directions for Democracy.
Students will be able to:
ANTICIPATE by asking students where the government gets it’s instructions. How does Congress, the President, or federal judges know what to do? Give students a moment to think, then randomly call on students to share their thoughts.
DISTRIBUTE one reading packet to each student.
READ through the first two paragraphs on page one with the class.
DISPLAY the transparency, Breaking it Down: The Preamble and explain the statement, phrase by phrase. The students should add the annotations to their reading. Also note that people living in the 1700s had different rules about capitalization than we do today.
READ the rest of page one, continuing through page three with the class. Explain that you will go into greater detail on the amendment process on the next page.
READ the information about the amendment process on page four and take the students through the various paths to the addition of an amendment to the Constitution.
DISTRIBUTE the tent foldable activity page and show the class how to fold it correctly.
PROJECT the Whose Job Is It ? Active Review Transparency, revealing one at a time.
ASK students to show the correct branch on their tent and note the correct answer on the projection. If you see areas of confusion, stop and clarify as needed.
ASSIGN the review pages to be completed. Go over answers if needed.
CLOSE by asking students to silently recall one purpose of the U.S. government, based on the Preamble. Call on students until all 6 goals discussed in the lesson have been named- without looking at the packet.