Episode IV: Built to Last? (We the People)

In this last episode, Peter Sagal travels to Iceland where a few years after the country’s economic collapse, leaders decided to create a new constitution, turning to the U.S. Constitution for inspiration. This prompts Peter to consider why our own founding document has been able to last for more than 225 years.  He looks at the systems that have kept the Constitution healthy--amendments, judicial interpretation, checks and balances —and also at the political forces that threaten to undermine the framers’ vision:  excessive partisanship leading to gridlock, money in politics, and gerrymandering. Does our Constitution stand up to the 21st Century? Have we lost the art of democratic deliberation? How are you represented – and does your voice get heard?

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Middle School Student Guide
High School Student Guide

Video Segments for the Classroom

Bring Technology into the Classroom

In this digital age, teachers often incorporate video into the classroom as these teachers have done through the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab program. Click here for a project-based video journalism curriculum, media literacy resources and student videos about constitutional issues in their schools and communities.

From the National Endowment for the Humanities

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The National Endowment for the Humanities, a major funder of CONSTITUTION USA with Peter Sagal, offers additional resources on Separation of Powers, Political Process, Amendment Process for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality material. Find even more on the EDSITEment website.

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