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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Constitution Day is Coming in September! Interactive Notebook Activity

Click here for a free downloadable version.

Each year, Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17th. This is the date, in 1787, when delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution. They had met for 116 days, at the State House (now called Independence Hall), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 2017, Constitutional Day will be observed on Monday, September 18th, since September 17th falls on a Sunday. Constitution Day is also called Citizenship Day. It’s a day to celebrate this important national document!

Did You Know?

  1. Did you know that Ben Franklin arrived at the Grand Convention in Philadelphia on a sedan chair? Four prisoners from the local Philadelphia jail carried Franklin on the chair.
  2. Before deciding on Mr. President, names for George Washington, the first leader of the United States, included “His Most Benign Highness” and “His Highness, the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.”
  3. Philadelphia, the largest and most modern city at the time of the Convention, had a population of 40,000. Gravel was used to cover the cobblestone streets to make it less noisy for the meetings.
  4. It took 116 days to complete the draft of the document called the Constitution.
  5. To date, only ONE amendment to the Constitution has been removed (repealed). The 18th Amendment (1918), which abolished the making, sale, and transportation of alcohol, was repealed in 1933.
  6. Each night, the Constitution is lowered into a specially-made vault for its protection.
  7. George Washington announced the first national “Thanksgiving Day,” November 26, 1789, to “give thanks” for the creating of the Constitution.
  8. The words “democracy” and “God” do not appear in the Constitution.
  9. Eighty-one-year-old Ben Franklin cried as he signed the Constitution.
  10. James Madison, who would become the fourth President of the United States, was called the “Father of the Constitution.”

Teacher Page—Things to Do

  1. Have students pretend they are the Constitution on display at the National Archives. Ask students to describe a day in their life as people come to see them. What do they hear? See? Feel?
  2. Enter the Constitution Day Poster Contest. Submissions must be postmarked by October 2, 2017.
  3. This page explains the Bill of Rights for kids. Break students up into groups. Assign each group one of the rights and have them make a poster. Have students write a paragraph explaining which right they feel is most important and why.
  4. Have students create posters or greeting cards for Constitution Day.

The Constitution Day website has a wealth of information and resources.

 

By Gail Skroback Hennessey

*Check out my Ms. Bie Ografee play on James Madison, Father of the Constitution.