Helpful Resources for Attorneys & Teachers

LYC/NYSBA Sites & Programs:

Center for Civic Education
Lessons for grades K-12 are available for no cost from the Center's website on Constitution Day . These lessons, designed to assist schools and federal agencies to meet the requirements of the legislation, have been adapted from the Center's We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution and Foundations of Democracy curricular materials. Audio recordings of selected Constitution Day lessons are also available on the Center's website. And . . .

Women and the Constitution
The Center also has developed a special Women in Constitutional History set of resources based on an institute held in Seneca Falls this past June.

The Civics Roadmap
The website presents a pre K-12 civics education scope and sequence for New York State teachers, supervisors, and curriculum developers including the following components: Concepts, Content Understandings, Learning Objectives, Knowledge Goals, Learning Skills and Civic Dispositions. It was compiled by NYSBA’s Law, Youth and Citizenship Program consultant Dr. George Gregory, with input from our many state and national partners. The project was funded by the New York State Bar Association, the New York Consortium for Civic Education and the Carnegie Foundation. It is broken down by grade level, linked to state and national standards and offers each level of instruction various classroom activities. We feel it is very teacher friendly.  

Our Partner Sites:

Newspapers In Education Program
Newspapers in Education is a worldwide effort in which school textbooks and teaching materials are supplemented with the use of the local newspaper. The habit of reading a newspaper provides the necessary practice to build reading and writing skills and develop an interest in the welfare of one's community--valuable skills and attitudes to carry students through life. Two recommended NIE resources are: 

Citizens Together five-day lesson plan, revised and refreshed according to Common Core State Standards, integrates newspapers into study of the Bill of Rights. This curriculum guide for middle- and high-school students can be used for Constitution Day on Sept. 17, or at other times when teachers focus on the nation’s founding documents and their significance today; and 
First Things First a newspaper activity guide that teaches the freedoms of the First Amendment.

Meet your Constitution Day education requirement with this free and engaging lesson plan. Shows how the U.S. Constitution sets up our government. Students will learn how Articles I-III describe the structure, function and powers of the three branches of government. Readings and activities will guide students through the articles, as well as the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances.

The Constitutional Sources Project
ConSource was founded in 2005 with the singular goal of creating and maintaining the first, free, fully-indexed, comprehensive online library of constitutional sources. Towards this goal, the project launched on Constitution Day, September 17, 2007 with five core founding collections containing roughly 1,000 documents. Washington's Papers, a collection of over 10,000, was added in time for President's Day February 2008. A huge repository for primary documents.

American Bar Association
On this date in 1787 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution, a written charter for a new—and enduring—federal government. Congress designated September 17 as a day “to hold educational programs for students” on the Constitution.Access classroom lessons appropriate for elementary, middle, and secondary students. Explore “Uncle Sam’s Attic” to learn about voting rights and the election process. Test your knowledge by taking interactive quizzes on constitutional issues. Sign the U.S. Constitution manuscript, alongside the signatures of the framers.  See also

New York State Social Studies Standards
The New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework integrates existing New York State Learning Standards and the New York State Core Curriculum for Social Studies into a single 3-part document. It is intended to serve as a guide for local districts to develop their Social Studies curriculum. It incorporates the New York State Common Core Learning Standards and recommends the use of the C3 Inquiry Arc as instructional methodology. Social studies practices are identified, as well as the key ideas, conceptual understandings and content specifications.

Recommended Sites:

(Please note: we have listed sites that contain free resources for teachers. However, some of these sites also contain additional resources for sale. We do not encourage or discourage the purchase of any materials contained within these sites.)

Pinterest Pins
Find out what many educators have discovered - Pinterest is a great repository for lesson plans, infographics and engaging classroom materials. We've linked the search for Pins on the word "Constitution." As with all online resources, choose the links that would best meet your needs. Stop by our LYC boards while you're there,

National Constitution Center
In honor of Constitution Day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the U.S. Constitution; this year schools around the country may join in a national reading of the Preamble called The Preamble Challenge.

Let Freedom Swing
We love this site! This project grew from an impromptu conversation about jazz and democracy between retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and musician, composer, educator, and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis. Finding that they shared a passion for jazz and democracy and the belief that the two are intricately linked, a unique collaboration by Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Documentary Group, and Columbia University’s Teachers College, developed short videos (20 minutes), study guides and a dedicated website that explore how jazz captures the essential principles of American democracy.

Constitution Day Planning Guide
Following the federal requirement for educational institutions to celebrate Constitution Day, The New York Times Learning Network and the American Democracy Project asked colleges and universities across America how they planned to observe the holiday. This guide is a compilation of their planning suggestions and programming ideas, as well as resources for a meaningful and successful Constitution Day.

A short documentary on the history, meaning, and provisions of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the operation of government within the parameters set forth in the U.S. Constitution. Video footage highlights the operation of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government by providing footage of several recent events and activities such as presidential inaugurals, impeachment proceedings, legislative events, and Supreme Court oral arguments. Chief Justice Roberts also talked about ways in which the Constitution had been interpreted and its function as a working document.

Constitution Facts provides a series of free educational resources and Internet links to help educators comply with the new federal regulation requiring the development of student programming to celebrate U.S. Constitution Day on September 17th of each year. Poster contest this year.

A&E Television Networks site has multimedia and content-rich resources on the Constitution and related history.

National Archives
On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. The National Archives and Records Administration celebrates this important day in our nation's history by presenting the following activities, lesson plans, and information. Encourages teachers and students at all levels to learn more about our Constitution and government.

US Constitution Day Federal Mandate  
The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement announces that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. This notice implements this provision as it applies to educational institutions receiving Federal funding from the Department.

Library of Congress
In celebration of Constitution Day, the Library of Congress has compiled a variety of materials from across its collections. Explore these rich resources and features to learn more about one of America’s most important documents.  

Annenberg Classroom has created classroom-ready digital resources to help schools celebrate Constitution Day.

National Council for the Social Studies