Constitution Day resources offered by ABA

As the nation celebrates Constitution Day on Sept 17, the date in 1787 when the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia, the American Bar Association Division for Public Education has assembled a collection of resources to help citizens, educators and students learn more about our nation’s most treasured document.

The Constitution, though considered short in length, is long on how it has influenced and shaped our history.  According to the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, when students understand the importance of civics education, they are more likely to be engaged with the communities in which they live by voting and volunteering.

The resources below are available — visit — to jump start the conversation on Constitution Day and its focus this year on the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights:

• The Pocket Guide to the Constitution of the United States, which contains the full text of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other important American documents.

• Conversational starters — short, easy to read text or images meant to be thought-provoking and designed to solicit civil discussions and debate about topics including the Right to Bear Arms, Cruel and Unusual
Punishment, War Power, Unreasonable Searches and Seizures among others.

• Lessons that assist students and the general public to analyze the Preamble, understand the Separation of Powers, constitutional rights and voting responsibilities.

• Lesson plans designed to help students understand how the Constitution is entwined in their lives every day.

• Constitution Text (the text of the U.S. Constitution is available for download or you could explore a specific Article or Amendment of the Constitution).

• Landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases include summaries citing the issue, result and importance of each case including, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) and Miranda v. Arizona (1966).

• Bill of Rights posters with dramatic images representing the Right to Assembly, Freedom of Speech, Religious Freedom and Equal Protection, which could be used for classrooms, community centers or office use.