The Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court join together to bring you resources for celebrating Constitution Day. Below are links to several outstanding websites with everything from general information about the United States Constitution to lesson plans for all grades.
225th Anniversary of the Signing of the Constitution
September 17, 2012
Classroom Activities and Resources for Teachers
Local Events and Resources
American Bar Association Division for Public Education
Here you will find the Preamble, all seven Articles, and the 27 Amendments, including the Bill of Rights. You may also link to Landmark Cases of the United States Supreme Court. Conversation Starters suggest thought-providing topics, and several lesson plans are provided.
Center for Civic Education
Downloadable, ready-to-use lessons for kindergarten through twelfth grade. Kindergarten and Level 1-2 lessons examine the theme of authority. There is also a Flag Building poster and a Constitution Day Rap! Lessons for grades 3-4 and 5-6 explore ideas in the Preamble, such as "We the People." A new lesson, Building Tolerance,' is included. The Level 7-8 lesson helps students understand the federal system. Level 9-10 students examine amending the Constitution. Grades 9-12 look at the Constitution and responsibility. Finally, for levels 11-12, there are lessons on "The Role of the President," What Does Returning to Fundamental Principles Mean? and An Historical Analysis of Constitutional Amendments.
Selected lessons are available to download to an MP3 player. Notes for the teacher may be downloaded as audio recordings for some of the lessons.
Center for Civic Education – Citizens, Not Spectators
Constitutional Rights Foundation
Provides free online resources including lessons for K-12. The K-2 lesson title is The Tired King. Grades 3-5 titles: Mr. Madison Needs Some Help, and Trouble in Gold Flats; Grades 6-8 titles: Rome: Republic to Empire; The Federalist Papers. Grades 9-12 titles: Aristotle: In Search of the Best Constitution; Diversity and Equality; Constitution and Governance; Foundations of Our Constitution; and Bill of Rights in Action Archive. Arizona's SB 1070 and State Policing of Immigration is news.
A Visitor from Outer Space is listed as being suitable for Grades 3-12. Additional resources for Grades 3-5 are Boston Plays with one-page scripts. For Grades 5-12, A More Perfect Union slide show prompts questions to be answered in pairs. Teachers need to log in to access the free resources.
From the home page, go to Teachers. Enter "Constitution" in the Search box, and you will be taken to lists of Resources and Activities (including free articles and lesson plans), Book Information, and Printables.
NOTE: The website also provides lessons and resources for middle and high school students.
Middle SchoolThe Bill of Rights Institute
Brand New: Constitution Duel – take the 15-question quiz as an individual or with a team. Come back often, as there are several quizzes with different questions. Also, "Representative Government" video with viewing guide. "Life Without the Bill of Rights" activity, including games and a quiz is also accessible via this web page.
NOTE: Other lesson plans for middle and high school are provided on this web site.
A website with numerous resources, including The Story of the Bill of Rights, The Annenberg Guide to the U.S. Constitution Key Constitutional Concepts video, other videos, books, games and "issue" pages. Even an iBook resource is provided.
Find biographies of the 39 delegates who signed the Constitution; a simulation of the Constitutional Convention, issues related to ratification; reestablishment of the Navy ; and fascinating facts about the Constitution. Also: Teaching with Documents: U.S. Constitution Workshop at http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-workshop/index.html.
NOTE: Teaching with Documents provides resources suitable for grades 4-12.
Constitution Day Resources, featuring interactive educational games: Being John Marshall; The First Amendment; The Constitution Convention. Four additional games have been produced in partnership with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's iCivics project: Branches of Power; Executive Command; LawCraft; and Court Quest. New videos made available in 2011 were "Thurgood," 1 hour, 44 min., about Justice Thurgood Marshall and "A Call to Act: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber," 23 minutes about equal pay for equal work for women. Check back for 2012 materials.
Street Law, Inc.
From the home page, select Resources, then select Teachers and Educators. Click the Resources tab on this page also for free lesson plans and links to other publications and research.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)
Click on "See All 27 Resources" to find a variety of documents from the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Constitution Center. Here you may find an online, searchable Constitution, The Federalist Papers, and much more.
The Constitutional Sources Project
The nonprofit, non-partisan online resource is designed for online research and education. It offers free public access to a comprehensive library of source documents related to the U.S. Constitution.
Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska State Bar Foundation
-Connecting teachers with judges and lawyers for classroom presentations
A web page updated to include information on resources for the 2012 retention election of judges. The site explains what a retention election is and why Nebraska has retention elections.
Biographical information about judges on the ballot is at
Also, check out Secondary Classroom Resources on the theme, "Democracy and the Duty to Vote," that were prepared for the 2012 Law Day celebration for secondary classes.
Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s Mock Trial Cases
2011 Mock Trial Case – Phoenix O. Perdante vs. Dalton Academy
This is a civil case in which a student sues a rival mock trial school for slander when that coach's accusation of cheating coasts a mock trial student a full ride scholarship to college.
2010 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Alex B. Toakliss
This criminal case involves the death of a college student at a Halloween party.
2009 Mock Trial Case - IN THE MATTER OF Kev Inruser A23 571 113
In removal proceedings
This civil case involves a foreign citizen in a removal proceeding. The process for the asylum seeker is complicated by evidence that he/she was involved in persecuting others under the now deposed government of his/her home country.
2008 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Chris Byrd
This criminal case involves procurement of alcohol for a minor.
2007 Mock Trial Case – A & M Records, Inc., et al vs. K.C. Jones
This civil case is a copyright infringement suit brought by several recording companies against a college student for allegedly downloading and sharing music.
2006 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Willie Flounder
A criminal case involving an attempted murder charge against a student for the shooting of another student. The defendant claims s/he was legally insane at the time of the incident. The case points up the problem of bullying and provides opportunities for discussing ways individuals and schools may respond.
2005 Mock Trial Case – Pat Christianson vs. William Jennings Bryan Public High School
A First Amendments rights case. It centers around the Student Council election at WJBHS where the principal, Dr. Eddie U. Cation, has told Pat that she will be allowed to participate as a candidate for student body president only if she eliminates her religious rhetoric from the campaign. Pat refuses to comply with the school’s mandate to purge her campaign message of any religious references. She maintains that her First Amendment rights have been violated and seeks a resolution by filing a lawsuit. Also posted at this site are relevant case law summaries and suggested additional readings.
United States Courts
- "Federal Courts: Guardians of the Constitution" video
- Fast Facts About the federal Judges' Oath
- Video clip of Justice Elena Kagan's taking the oath of office
- Information about the Judiciary Act of 1789
- A biography of Oliver Ellsworth, framer of the Judiciary Act
This site provides information for voters in the following categories:
- 2012 Elections
- General Voter Information
- Military Voters
- County Election Officials
- Overseas Voters
- Voter Information Center
- Information for Candidates
- Voter Forms
- Previous Elections
- Student Voters
- Information in Spanish
- More Links
Nebraska Public Television and Radio – Campaign Connection 2012: Voter Voices
State and national coverage of the 2012 elections. The Voter Voices project features a collection of videotaped interviews taped at libraries around the state. Interviewees share their concerns for Senate candidates. The site also additional resources to assist with decision making and links to other websites and blogs.
Reaching the Age of Majority Booklet – Nebraska State Bar Foundation
Online booklet on rights and responsibilities for young people coming of age
You the Juror – Nebraska State Bar Foundation
Free juror orientation video on DVD or VHS