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Constitution Day quiz competition

Posted by on Aug 18, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments



Constitution Day Quiz Competition


Have students compete (either individually or in groups) to demonstrate knowledge about the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights


• Students will demonstrate knowledge of the history and content of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
• Students will assess their own level of familiarity with the Constitution and its effects.
• Students will the priorities apparent in the Constitution to their own lives and beliefs.

Common Core State Standards

Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).


Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


30-50 minutes

Materials / resources

Constitution Day Quiz (See these links for QUIZ and ANSWER sheet)
Constitution Day Quiz on Kahoot

Lesson step-by-step

Step 1 — Introduction and Set-Up (2-5 minutes)

Introduce the day and activity (For example: “Constitution Day is a federal observance celebrating the anniversary of the day the U.S. Constitution was signed. The law formalizing the observance in 2004 mandated that educational institutions provide information about the Constitution and its signing every Sept. 17.”).

Set up the activity with the materials necessary depending on what you plan to use. You may be handing out print-outs of the quiz for individuals or groups to answer, getting students into groups to answer questions read or displayed by the teacher, or getting students set up for the Kahoot version of the quiz.

Step 2 — Quiz/Competition (15-25 minutes)

Administer the questions/quiz. There are several options available for this:
Have students using devices to join the Kahoot quiz that you are also displaying using a screen and projector at the front of the classroom. Students will be seeing the correct answers and their progress as they go, but feel free to take some time to discuss answers missed by large numbers of students.

(or) Have students grouped into teams and responding to each question as they are read aloud by the teacher or projected on a screen. Groups may either write answers on whiteboards to all display at the same time or raise hands to compete for a chance to answer. Someone will also need to keep track of correct answers (or points) earned by each team.

(or) Have students answer the questions using a print-out of the quiz (either individually or in teams) within a certain time limit. Groups/student may then exchange papers to peer grade as the teacher shares the correct answers.

Step 3 — Recognition (2-5 minutes)

Try to cap off the competition with a simple prize of some kind for the winning students (maybe top 3 or so) or groups. Prizes could range from some small candy to extra points to some sort of small certificate to even just some words or recognition or applause.

Step 4 (optional) — Connection (5-10 minutes)

Finally, ask students to respond in writing to the following or similar prompt: What effect do you think the structure of our Constitution has had on our national character? What priorities do we seem to have, as Americans, and how have they impacted your own life?


The flexible nature of the lesson allows for quite a lot of differentiation. Students needing more assistance could be paired with students who can provide that assistance. If devices are lacking for the Kahoot, student could also be paired up to share technology use.


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Letter to editor

Posted by on Aug 18, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments


Write a Constitution Day Letter to the Editor

Use this assignment to have your students engage with your local newspaper to share their free expression experiences as a student in your school or community.


  • Students will explore the rights of the First Amendment and discern how it impacts their lives.
  • Students will engage in their community through the act of writing a letter to the editor of their local newspaper
  • Students will edit and proof each others work before final submission of a selected letter


Common Core State Standards


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2.B Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.2.E Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3.A Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grades 11-12 here.)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.




2 class periods of 50 minutes


Materials / resources

Editorial pages explained from the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Letter to the Editor rubric


Lesson step-by-step

Step 1 — 10 minutes

Ask students to brainstorm in small groups of 2-3 what they know about their First Amendment rights and their application to their particular school.

(Encourage students to apply any previously learned court cases for this activity.)

Step 2 — 10 minutes

Ask student groups to share their brainstorm.

Step 3 — 30 minutes

After a discussion of how students in your school practice the First Amendment, introduce the following prompts to the students and ask them to choose one of them to write a 250-word letter. The Star Tribune published an annotated page detailing the purpose of the letters to the editor.

Prompt #1 In honor of Constitution Day, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper that illustrates the benefits of your application of the First Amendment in your school. You may write this from the perspective of a journalist or as a student in general. Make sure you reference Constitution Day.

Prompt #2 In honor of Constitution Day, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper which illustrates the what voices and viewpoints you would empower if you could exercise your First Amendment privileges more freely. Be careful not to make this an attack, focus on the power of your voice and what you could or should be doing with it. Make sure you reference Constitution Day.


Day 2

Step 1 — 50 minutes

On the second day, you as a teacher select at least 5 of the best letters and copy them for the students to assess in groups you select using the rubric attached. Each group should select the letter they believe is most convincing and/or representative of their school or community and make suggestions and revisions before the final. The letter with the most votes from different groups will be submitted by the student after final edits.


As a means of differentiating, students may do this activity in groups of 2-4 and may also use the time to facilitate generation of ideas to support one of the prompts.  A teacher may also add on a day before the assignment to brainstorm ideas to support either prompt for the whole class.

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Ways to celebrate Constitution Day 2018

Posted by on Aug 18, 2018 in Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments


The Scholastic Press Rights Committee is again excited to provide lesson plans and activities to help you celebrate Constitution Day and the First Amendment. Constitution Day recognized Sept. 17 each year, and we have a trove of new and archived lessons and activities to help you raise awareness of the First Amendment’s rights and applications for students.

Take a look at the new lessons:

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Constitution Day highlights from previous years

Posted by on Aug 18, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments


As we brainstormed ideas for this version of Constitution Day, we realized how many previous activities and lessons were still relevant today. Here are our top eight. If you’d like to revisit the previous years’ lesson and ideas, we’ve included links to each year at the end of the page.


Celebrating Constitution Day (Lori Keekley, 2015): This activity encourages the English, social studies and journalism teachers to engage students in exploring the Constitution’s relevance to their daily lives, facts about the Constitution and understanding the amendments to the Constitution


First Amendment School Dialogue (Jeff Kocur, 2017): Guide your students through a class-sized (or whole-school) dialogue about the five freedoms of the First Amendment. Students will identify and evaluate the impact of the First Amendment in their own lives and the lives of others.


The Importance of an Independent and Active Press (Matthew Smith, 2017): Expose students to the many possible benefits of independent media in a democracy through quotes and video excerpts of world leaders espousing the necessity of a free press. Students will evaluate and discuss their own reaction to these arguments.


Understanding the perils of prior review and restraint (Jeff Kocur, 2015): Click here for the activity. For additional resources and model ethical guidelines and staff manual procedures for this, go here and here.


Examining the gray area between political correctness and free speech (Matthew Smith, 2016): Students will explore several topics through peer discussion and real-world examples in small groups followed by a large-group discussion. By Matt Smith


The Decision to Report: Because You Can, Does that Mean you Should? (Jeff Kocur, 2013): Allows students to explore the conflict of reporting the truth when that truth may have consequences. Students work with several leading questions and apply them to several scenarios.


Our Right to Comment (Jeff Kocur, 2016): Since media organizations have moved to online formats, they have struggled with the practice of hosting online comments next to their content. Many news organizations require posters to meet specific standards, moderate the comments, and reserve the right to remove or delete comments and users. Some organizations even require each post be approved by a human before it can be live on their sites. More recently, NPR is the latest news organization to completely remove comments from its news sites. Students will explore the question whether the ability to comment on news stories creates a more or less informed culture. By Jeff Kocur


Takedown demands (John Bowen, 2014): This lesson addresses how to handle takedown requests. Students will work through two scenarios and then create a takedown request policy.


Previous Constitution Day lessons and activities by years:








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What is copyright?

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in Law and Ethics, Legal issues, Teaching | 0 comments


When students violate copyright, they are stealing from the original copyright holder.

This reference area provides information on what copyright and fair use are, provides guidelines and provides best practices and copyright free resources.


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