WHAT DO THE WORDS IN THE PREAMBLE MEAN?

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1 WHAT DO THE WORDS IN THE PREAMBLE MEAN? Learning Objective(s): Students will 1. Enhance their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. 2. Demonstrate their understanding of the phrases in the Preamble to the Constitution. 3. Identify Constitution Day as a celebration of American freedom. 4. Apply their critical thinking skills by obtaining information from pictures, symbols, electronic sources and print material. 5. Communicate verbally and through the creation of visual materials. TEKS: SS K.10C, K.14B, K.15, 1.14F, 1.17B, 1.18, 2.14D, 2.18B, 2.19 Materials: We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow, School House Rock: The Preamble (You Tube), computer, LCD projector, a projected image of the Constitutional Words Attachment, cut-out copies of the attached Preamble Captions, crayons or markers, glue Vocabulary: colonies, common defense, compromise, constitution, Constitutional Convention, delegate, domestic tranquility, democracy, freedom, general welfare, independence, justice, liberty, posterity, preamble, Revolutionary War, union Teaching Strategy: 1. Explain to students that September 17th is Constitution Day. It is the day that we honor the signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 men on September 17, This year we celebrate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. 2. Read the introduction to the book We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States by David Catrow. Discuss with students how the constitution is a list of rules and laws that explain what our government can and cannot do. It also includes the rights and freedoms that we enjoy as Americans. 3. Tell students that the preamble is the beginning or introduction to the Constitution. Read the rest of the book to the class, noting the illustrations, symbolism, and what the dog is doing in the story. 4. Divide students into pairs. Give each group a 12 x 18 piece of drawing paper and one of the captions attached to this lesson. Have students glue their captions on the top or bottom of their papers. They should then create a poster illustrating the meaning of their caption/phrase by drawing pictures and/or symbols. Posters

2 should also be colored. (Students may refer to the visual of the Constitutional Words attachment for ideas.) 5. After the posters have been completed, have students arrange their phrases in the correct sequence on the classroom wall or a bulletin board. Students should explain their illustrations before posting them. 6. Show the class the You Tube video School House Rock: The Preamble. Encourage students to sing along with the video. Lead a discussion concerning new information students learned about the Constitution from the video. Extension for Gifted and Talented: Have students create a Preamble for a Classroom Constitution. They may model it after the original preamble. They can also write the rest of the classroom constitution including a Kids Bill of Rights, if desired. Kathy Aldridge, Law-Related Education Consultant, 2012

3 CONSTITUTIONAL WORDS CONSTITUTION A written document listing the laws of our country, how the government is organized and the rights and freedoms of its citizens. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES All the people in our country, including you and me. IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION To come together to make our country stronger. ESTABLISH JUSTICE To make sure everyone is treated fairly. INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY To make sure there is peace and that everyone gets along with each other. PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE To protect us if other people or countries try to harm us. PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE To work together for the good of others and not just take care of ourselves. AND SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY To be free to say what we think, worship as we want, and meet with our friends and not let anyone take our freedoms away. TO OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY To you, me, our parents, friends, other adults and to those who have not been born yet. DO ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH THIS CONSTITUTION To write down the rules/promises of our government so that everyone will obey them. FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for the country where we all live. Adapted from: Catrow, David. We the Kids: The Constitution of the United States. New York: Puffin Books, 2002.

4 Preamble Captions The Constitution of the United States We the People of the United States in Order to form a more perfect Union

5 establish Justice insure domestic Tranquility provide for the common defense

6 promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

7 do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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