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Lesson Plan
Why Celebrate Constitution Day?


This lesson includes an editorial commemorating Constitution Day. The reading examines two competing schools of constitutional interpretation and explains the philosophical basis of the Constitution. Discussion questions follow the reading.


Students will analyze an editorial including primary sources to understand the significance of the United States Constitution.


National Council for the Social Studies: Thematic Strands I, II, V, VI, X
Arizona Academic Standards, Social Studies: 1SS-E17; 2SS-E3, P1
California History-Social Science Content Standards: 8.1, 8.2, 8.3; 11.1; 12.1, 12.2
Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills: Social Studies 8.1, 8.4, 8.5, 8.16, 8.21, 8.23; U.S. Government 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17


Harry V. Jaffa, Storm Over the Constitution (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 1999).

Suggested Procedure:
  1. Ask students to explain why we study religious, literary, and political texts from the past.
  2. Tell students that historical texts are important because they often reveal universal truths that apply to the both the past and present. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution are two such texts.
  3. Distribute copies of the reading “Constitution Day”
  4. Have students work individually or in groups to read the editorial and complete the discussion questions. With the entire class, discuss the reading and the student responses to the questions.
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