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Virtual Viewing Party: Constitution Day

Monday, September 17, 2018 | 1:00 PM ET

Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the constitution of the United States on September 17th, 1787, is officially known as Citizenship Day. This is an important distinction, because all citizens are affected by, and responsible for upholding, the Constitution. Give your students the opportunity to understand the history and evolution of this document that shapes their lives as Americans by participating in our Virtual Viewing Party and utilizing the accompanying classroom resources.

Explore the Importance of Constitution Day

What is a Virtual Viewing Party?

A virtual viewing party is a shared viewing experience of the Discovery Education video Celebrate with DE: Constitution Day. The video discusses the importance of a constitution, the development of the document, and the ways in which people mark the day.

Thousands of classrooms will simultaneously access this video and share their thoughts and reflections about the importance of celebrating culture and heritage. If this is your first virtual viewing party read our FAQs for additional information.

The content and activities are suitable for all grades but we recommend you preview the video to determine if it is appropriate for your students.

How to Watch

We recommend you download the video, Celebrate with DE: Constitution Day, in advance of your viewing party for the most seamless viewing experience.

This video is available to all Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook, and Math Techbook customers. If you are not currently a subscriber to these services, you can sign-up for a free trial to watch the video for this event.

Register Today

Join the Discussion

During our Virtual Viewing Party, join the conversation by following @DiscoveryEd on Twitter. Share photos of your classroom viewing, reflections from the essential questions, and more using #CelebratewithDE. Not on Twitter? Our Constitution Day Padlet will enable you to share reflections, photos, and outcomes while seeing what other classes have to say.

Made with Padlet

Viewing Party Essential Questions

Why is a constitution important?

How does a constitution impact your life?

If you could, would you make any amendments (or changes) to the constitution?

Suggested Viewing Activities

To make the most of the virtual viewing party with your class, we suggest the following activities.

Before the Viewing Party

To familiarize students with the purpose of the constitution, distribute or show The Preamble and Articles of the U.S. Constitution Infographic and review it with the whole class. Students may highlight or underline printed copies or you may perform a Think Aloud while reading a projected copy. Then, have students work to answer Essential Question 1: Why is a constitution important? Students may answer individually in writing, in small groups, or through whole class discussion.

In preparation for the activity during the viewing party, begin the steps in the activity Vocabulary Stepping Stone, by preparing sets of the following terms and distributing one set to each student or group.
• Government • Confederation • Convention • Amendment • Federalism • Legislative • Executive • Judicial • Congress

During the Viewing Party
As the students watch the video, continue with the strategy Vocabulary Stepping Stone by encouraging the students to listen for the words in the set and arrange them in order. Be sure to remind them that the words may be part of a title.

After the Viewing Party
Review the list of words with your students: have them talk about the meanings and ensure that they have a clear understanding. If necessary, provide concise definitions verbally or in writing to help them solidify their understanding.

Then, engage your students in a discussion about what rules and structures they would establish if they were to be given governance over the classroom (or school). Note: The discussion is likely to get lively! Provide structure with a fishbowl format or Talking Sticks to be sure everyone is heard. If your students are ready for the complexity, have them choose grades or classrooms to represent in a mock convention, so multiple groups are represented in the design of the governing document.

As a final celebration, have your students create a poem about constitutions (in general, the U.S. Constitution, or their student-created version) and run a session of Poetry Slam to honor this incredibly important document that has such a profound effect on our lives. (Listen to Lodge McCammon Songs: We the People for inspiration.)

Don’t forget to share your students’ thoughts, poems, and performances from the activities via your personal, class, or school Twitter account. Share it with us on Twitter using @DiscoveryEd and #CelebratewithDE.

Related Resources

You may also be interested in the following timely resources available from Discovery Education.

Content Collection:
Constitution Day, Grades K-12

Constitution Day 2017: Trip to the U.S. Senate, Grades K-12

Assorted Resources:
Constitution Day 2015 at the National Constitution Center,
Grades K-8

Video Segment:
The Fabled Birth of the Constitution,
Grades K-12