Federal law mandates that all publicly funded schools, colleges and universities teach about the Constitution on "Constitution Day", held annually on September 17th to commemorate the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. APSA offers the following resources to aid faculty to fulfill this requirement and to all faculty generally in teaching about the US Constitution.
For APSA Members: Seeking Political Scientists to Work with High School Teachers on Constitution Day Activities (September -October)
Each fall, in conjuction with the Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania and the Civics Renewnal Network, APSA invites our members to participate in a civics community outreach program for Constitution Day, September 17th. Secondary school teachers can invite a political scientist to their classroom through AnnenbergClassroom.org, which provides classroom-ready digital resources for their Constitution Day activities.
To participate, sign up now through MyAPSA. Look for the gray "Constitution Day" banner toward the bottom of the page.
Resources for Teaching about the Constitution Materials for Constitution Day (September 17th)
APSA Papers and Articles on the Constitution
This Constitution: A Bicentennial Chronicle: 22 essays to expand the discussion and knowledge-base about the Constitution and other historically relevant issues.
APSA Journal Articles: The three APSA journals--APSR, PS, & Perspectives, have featured many articles on the Constitution, and on teaching the Constitution, American government, civic education, and related topics. APSA journals are fully accessible online to APSA members and institutional (e.g., university library) subscribers. For details, consult the membership pages of this site or information provided by your institution. To view only the table of contents or abstracts from this or any of APSA's journals, please go our publisher's website: Cambridge University Press (http://journals.cambridge.org).
APSA maintains an online archive of selected articles for public view from the APSA journals:
- Online Archive List - By Topic
- Online Archive of Articles on American Government
- Online Archive of Articles on Teaching American Government, Civic Education, and Related Topics
External Constitution Day Teaching Resources
Annenberg Classroom offers a wide array of educational resources. Educators can find curricula, lesson plans, multimedia programs, and other teaching materials all indexed and in conformance with the educational standards of their state. Search by keyword, by subject area, or by state standard to find one of the richest sets of teaching aids available in a single location.
Civics Renewal Network
The Civics Renewal Network is a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations committed to strengthening civic life in the U.S. by increasing the quality of civics education in our nation's schools and by improving accessibility to high-quality, no-cost learning materials. On the Civics Renewal Network site, teachers can find the best resources of these organizations, searchable by subject, grade, resource type, standards, and teaching strategy.
Find hundreds of free, standards-aligned classroom resources for all grade levels to help you teach about the Constitution from the 26 partner organizations that form the Civics Renewal Network. The network is committed to raising awareness of civics education and making it easier for teachers to access classroom resources.
Constitution Day Speech by USC Dean Howard Gillman (audio stream):
Listen to a speech given in Sept 2007 by USC Dean Howard Gillman. The speech, “Conversation on the Constitution,” was organized as a symposium with USC faculty and graduate students and focused on the war on terror’s implications for freedom, civil liberties and the historic balance of powers among the three branches of government. Dr. Gillman is a professor of political science and history, leading scholar of the Constitution and judicial politics, and chair of the APSA Law and Courts Organized Section.
University of New Hampshire's Democracy Initiative; U.S. Constitution Materials and Links: a set of resourcee developed to assist faculty and staff in planning programs and events associated with Constitution Day.
National Constitution Center; Constitution Day Resources: lesson plans for college, high school and middle school teachers.
Center for Civic Education; Lessons for Constitution Day and Citizenship Day: lessons for pre-college classes.
University of Maryland University College Constitution Day Site: information to help teach the meaning and history of the Constitution. It includes a set of online resources for specifically for teachers, for the adult learner, and for children.
Justice Learning: resources for Constitution Day teaching. It includes live interviews with Supreme Court Justices and articles from major newspapers.
U.S. Courts Constitution Day Resources: a variety of resources from the website of the Federal Judiciary System that includes links to classroom handouts and interactive games.