At less than 5,000 words, the U.S. Constitution is
considered very short compared to the constitutions of other developed
countries. Despite its length, the U.S. Constitution is full of significance
and has influenced almost every other written constitution in the world. A
document of this significance should be taught in a fun and exciting way. Here
are five constitution games and activities that my students love, and I’m sure
your students will love too!
If you’re looking for even more fun ways to teach U.S.
history, make sure to check out the complete list of U.S. history posts at the
end of this article.
Interactive Constitution Escape Room
When it comes to getting students engaged and excited about learning, there is nothing better than a classroom escape room! In my Early American Government Escape Room, students travel back in time to study the U.S. Constitution. In order to return to the present, they must complete a series of challenges that show what they have learned about the Constitutional Convention, preamble, articles, and amendments. These challenges incorporate a variety of critical thinking skills, and my students are always asking to complete another escape room as soon as they complete this one.
Bill of Rights Foldable
One of the things my students struggle with the most when it
comes to the Constitution is all the memorization. Students are expected to
remember the main ideas of all seven articles and at least the first ten
amendments, which can be a lot. I have found that when there is a lot of
memorization involved, it helps to have students list out the important
information in a foldable. Creating this Bill of Rights foldable is a fun
constitution activity that my students always enjoy. When they are finished,
they can use the foldable to play a constitution game by quizzing a partner on
Articles and Amendments Matching Game
You’d be surprised how many different constitution games you can include as part of your early American government lessons. Another great way to help students memorize the main ideas of the constitution is with an articles and amendments matching game. I have created a matching game where students match each article and amendment number to a summary. I keep several sets of the game stored in Ziploc bags. During my Constitution Unit, I use the activity as a center game. When I finish teaching the unit, I keep the game at an easily accessible place in the room. Then, early finishers can play the game at any point throughout the rest of the school year as a review game.
Constitution for Kids Scavenger Hunt
Another one of my students’ favorite constitution games is a
constitution scavenger hunt. For this activity, I divide students into teams.
Each team receives the constitution worksheets and a way to access the
Constitution (such as a pocket constitution or a digital version on a tablet).
The constitution worksheets require students to research information about each
article. Using their copy of the U.S. Constitution, each team races to find the
correct answers and information. Not only do students love this activity, but
it is also a great way to put learning in the hands of the students as they are
looking for the information themselves rather than me giving it to them.
If you would like each of your students to have their own constitutions, the National Center for Constitutional Studies sells inexpensive pocket constitutions in English and Spanish. If you know you will be teaching the constitution annually, it is worth it to purchase a class set.
Constitution Games with Task Cards
Task cards are always a fun way to review information. I use my Constitution Task Cards to play a variety of constitution games with my students. For example, I have created another form of a scavenger hunt by hiding the cards around the room. Each student draws a number from a basket and must find the task card with the matching number. After they answer the question on that task card, they must select another number and continue the process until they have found all the task cards.
Jeopardy is another fun game to play while using task cards.
Divide a set of constitution task cards into different categories such as
articles, amendments, the preamble, and the Constitutional Convention. Assign
each card a point value. Write the point value on the back of each card and
tape the cards to the board. Have students work in teams to answer the
questions and earn points.
A document as important as the U.S. Constitution should not
be taught in a boring way! These are just a few constitution games and
activities that will get your students excited about U.S. history and will help
them memorize the main ideas of the Constitution. Most of the activities I have
detailed here can be replicated in your classroom, but I know planning time can
be a problem for many teachers. If you are short on time, I’ve got you covered!
I have created the following constitution teaching resources:
I hope your students enjoy completing these constitution games and activities. I am passionate about creating hands-on history lessons so that we can inspire students to have a love for history. If you want quick and easy access to more engaging U.S. history ideas, be sure to bookmark the Hands-On History page on my blog.
Other U.S. History posts you may enjoy: