Constitution Day recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become American citizens. Constitution Day is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
NCSC has gathered a list of Constitution Day activities taking place across the country.
American Bar Association (ABA)
On September 17, the nation marks Constitution Day by reflecting on the U.S. Constitution and the role that we as citizens of this constitutional democracy play in bringing to life the cherished principles enshrined by this great document. From the opening three words of its Preamble – We, the People – the Constitution makes clear that the true power of our nation emanates from and resides with the individuals who make it up.
As the nation welcomes new citizens participating in naturalization ceremonies throughout the country, let’s reflect on the meaning of good citizenship and ask ourselves what more we can do to promote civic education and participation in our communities.
The ABA Division for Public Education has a number of helpful resources to discuss free speech topics in a classroom setting. These include:
Teachers can sign up to receive a complimentary issue of Insights on Law & Society, the ABA Division for Public Education's magazine for teachers providing information and resources for teaching law in the classroom (valid school address required).
ACLU has an interactive website with a host of games students can play online. There are brain teasers, quizzes and more! In one exercise, students write down the freedoms they appreciate the most. E.g., “My Name is ______.” I Am Happy that I can ______. More info on "Fill Me In."
The goal of the Bill of Rights Institute is to help the next generation understand the freedom and opportunity the Constitution offers.
The CATO Institute celebrates Constitution Day each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review, and with a day‐long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court term and the important cases coming up.
The Constitution Day website provides biographies of the Founding Fathers, transcripts of the Constitution and has an online gift shop where you can buy Constitution Day goodies.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation offers free online lessons suitable for elementary, middle and high school schools, as well as links to help educators design their own Constitution Day program.
Constitutionfacts.com 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 17 of each year. Download their Pocket Constitution app. They also offer a poster contest for K-12 students.
CRFC strengthens American democracy by providing elementary and secondary students with hands-on learning about the Constitution to prepare them for informed civic engagement.
This website gives the history of Citizen Day and Constitution Day, a poster where students can sign their own name on the Constitution, as well as a list of federal resources and related links.
The Indiana Supreme Court provides history, background and other classroom resources on its website.
The Law Library of Congress provides readers with a list of Legislative and Executive Branch documents, journal articles and web resources that relate to the Continental Congress and Constitution Day.
The Maryland Courts website lists resources including links to peruse the Maryland Constitution, the National Constitution Center's educational resources, other lesson plans, interactive quizzes and engaging information.
Montpelier, a museum of American history, celebrates Constitution Day with house tours, garden and archaeology tours, a food truck, live music, Mr. Madison onsite and a sale in the Museum Shop. Visit the Montpelier website for details. Optional: Listen to their podcast, American Dissent.
The National Archives celebrates Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
Every year, the National Constitution hosts the best Constitution Day Celebration in the country. Join the museum for its outstanding and engaging programs that are great for all ages.
Download their interactive Constitution App.
The NEA provides lesson plans, activities, quizzes and videos for grades 6-8.
The State Bar of Michigan has designed a resource page to help bar associations, individual lawyers and teachers lead exciting and educational classroom activities on Constitution Day.
In one of the videos on U.S. Courts' website, high school students interpret the promises and the impact of the preamble on their lives. As a discussion starter the video can stimulate reflection, writing
, and civil discourse among teens and adults searching for common ground in the celebration of the Constitution. In another video, it's simply the words of the preamble to the Constitution, projected at a comfortable pace for easy reading at any group recitation.