Friday, September 27, 2013

Constitution Day at Cedar Ridge Academy Private Therapeutic Boarding School

On September 17th, the country celebrated Constitution Day.  At Cedar Ridge Academy Private Therapeutic Boarding School, we held an assembly for the students to learn more about the Constitution to understand why the Constitution is so essential to our government. This assembly was a great opportunity for the boys and girls to enhance their academic development and continue our blended learning model. As a certified teacher of Social Studies, I was really glad to have this opportunity to explain to the students that even if you don’t agree with the government’s decision or how the Constitution is interpreted; you still can appreciate the fact that it was revolutionary for its time and what our country would be like without it.

Students work on placing quotes
We started out by discussing what exactly happened on September 17, 1787 and painted the picture of what it was like to be at the Constitutional Convention.  The students began to understand what it was like to be a member of the 55 delegates for three and a half months trying to form a government in the middle of the summer. They were very amazed to find out how much work this really was.

We then went over the six principles established by the Constitution. These principles were: federalism, limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances, individual rights, and popular sovereignty. After defining these principles, the students split up into groups with ten quotes from the Constitution.  As a group, they read the quote and determined which principle it matched with and then taped it to a poster for that principle. Overall, the campus did a nice job with getting the quotes in the correct spot.

After we split up all of the quotes, we focused in more on the individual rights principle and talked about the Bill of Rights.  The students were given eight scenarios that had been presented to the Supreme Court as violations of the Eighth Amendment that prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment”. They gave their own opinions on whether it was or not and then we learned what the Supreme Court actually said.  Some of the decisions genuinely surprised the students.  As we ended, the students wrote down what they took out of our discussions and what impressed them the most about the Constitution. 
This visual shows the student's responses
to why they feel the Constitution is important

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