Observe Constitution Day with a Library of Congress Primary Source Set

The Constitution: Primary Source Set

The Constitution: Primary Source Set

For Constitution Day this year, explore our Library of Congress primary source set, The Constitution, for everything you need to facilitate a meaningful classroom activity. This primary source set offers a selection of key primary sources, a Teacher’s Guide with background information and teaching suggestions, and tools to help your students closely analyze each item.

Teaching Ideas

Here’s a sampling of the teaching suggestions in The Constitution Teacher’s Guide.

  • Ask each student to select a single amendment from the 12 proposed in the draft of the Bill of Rights, analyze it, and make a case to their classmates for its ratification. After the class debates each amendment and votes on its ratification, compare the class’s list of rights with the Bill of Rights as it was eventually passed. How would the nation be different if your class’s list of rights were in effect?

    Bill of Rights: The Proposed Amendments to the Federal Constitution

    Bill of Rights: The Proposed Amendments to the Federal Constitution

If Internet access isn’t available for your students, you can facilitate the activities by printing out the PDF of each primary source ahead of time, along with the primary source analysis tool.

Are you a Library Media Specialist?  Consider printing out the primary source set to check out to teachers. Or create a Constitution Day center in your library by laying out all the items along with magnifiers, pencils, and sticky notes on which students can record their thoughts about each item.

Have access to iPads? Students can do the activities using the free eBook version of the primary source set.

You’ll find many more ideas for Constitution Day – and the rest of the year – in our previous blog posts:

What are you planning to do to observe Constitution Day in your classroom or library?

Civil War Photography: New Technologies and New Uses, a Teacher Primary Source Set from the Library of Congress

Can you imagine a photograph made of metal? A picture book made with egg whites? A wood-and-glass device that lets you see 3-D images? In the 1850s and 1860s, these were all cutting-edge photographic technologies. The Library’s newest primary source set, “Civil War Photography: New Technologies and New Uses,” immerses students in the new methods and formats that emerged in the decades around the war.