Preamble of the Constitution
Students will be able to learn about the preamble of the constitution of the United States by watching instructional videos and reading articles in MeL (Michigan eLibrary). Students will be able to create a rewriting of the preamble into today’s terminology.
- Understand the definition of a preamble.
- Understand the importance of the constitution, preamble, and the bill of rights.
- Apply their knowledge in a unique rewriting of the text.
- Preamble: A preamble is the introductory part of a statute, deed, or the like, stating the reasons and intent of what follows.
- Constitution: A constitution is the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is governed and specifically the document embodying these principles.
To prepare for this lesson:
- Watch the video, Schoolhouse Rock: Constitution Preamble.
- Be familiar with MeL and set up an account with your Michigan Driver’s License if you don’t have one yet. At school, your Tech Director at a Michigan school is able to send the school's IP addresses to MCLS using this form and the students will not need to log in with their library card or Michigan state ID. At home, the students may need their parent's driver's licenses or state ID to log in.
- Read: MeL article: Constitution of the United States and Britannica School’s article on the United States Constitution. If you have trouble accessing the site, try going to the MeL library: eResources (mel.org); click on Britannica School Elementary Home (eb.com); go to the US Constitution and explore topics within and photos, etc. You can increase the reading level to two, which takes you to Britannica Middle in the same topic.
- Use Quizlet for flashcards of the US Constitution.
- Do a lesson on the US Constitution with fun facts, terms, a quiz, and more.
- Check out this full lesson plan with each part of the Preamble on GoOpen - The Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make a More Perfect Union.
- Review Images of the American Revolution from the National Archives and how to create your own Classroom Bill of Rights | GoOpenMichigan. Decide if you want to use them in your lessons.
See Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students.net site in the Teacher Resources.
Directions for this activity:
- Introduction: Have students watch the video, Schoolhouse Rock: Constitution Preamble.
- Then have them apply their knowledge by practicing with flashcards, doing assessments, and writing.
- Activity: Read a couple of articles, practice with flashcards and take a quiz.
- Read: MeL article: Constitution of the United States and Britannica School’s article on the United States Constitution.
- Use a full lesson plan with each part of the Preamble on GoOpen - The Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make a More Perfect Union?
- Have students review Images of the American Revolution from the National Archives.
MITECS COMPETENCIES & ISTE STANDARDS
MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
6c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
6d.Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Devices and Resources
CONTENT AREA RESOURCES
- Students watch videos that combine words and songs/speech.
- Memorize the Preamble.
- Rewrite the Preamble into common terminology. Create a rap or other way to learn it.
- Investigate the practical application of the Preamble today and show it with video or illustrations, cartoons, etc.
- Do a then-and-now comparison to why our founding fathers thought each area of the preamble was important and why it is (or not) today.
- Show in a news report or slideshow.
Create a budget related to the preamble:
- What is the budget for some of the items mentioned in the preamble?
- For example, the defense budget?
- What does the money go for?
Have students explore the questions:
- Explore the concept of tranquility?
- How does that work in earth science?
- What natural phenomena promote and disrupt tranquility?
- Read or watch a documentary on one of the writers of the Constitution.
- Examine each part of the Preamble by dividing into groups, discussing, and sharing how each of these areas play out in our everyday lives. How would that have looked over 200 years ago?
This task card was created by Caryn Parker, Gull Lake Virtual Partnership, January 2021.