Many government and civics teachers have their students read the Constitution. This Article I project, in contrast, will help students apply what they are reading to the modern United States in which they live.
This Constitution project is intended to help students gain a much better understanding of the ways in which Congress actually uses the powers granted to it in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution -- the portion of the text that's commonly referred to as the “Enumerated Powers.”
A GOVERNMENT PROJECT THAT HELPS STUDENTS SEE THE POWERS OF CONGRESS IN ACTION!
As they complete the steps of this project, students will:
• Re-read the Enumerated Powers, looking for ones that most interest them
• Research reputable news sources looking for instances in which Congress has recently used one or more of the Enumerated Powers
• Evaluate the newsworthiness of online sources
• Summarize and analyze a news article
• Demonstrate their understanding of a specific enumerated power by marking the text of a news article they choose
• Demonstrate their understanding of the same news article by composing critical thinking questions about it
• Craft an original news story of their own that demonstrates Congress using another one of their Enumerated Powers
• Practice key electronic publishing skills to make their creative writing piece look as professional as possible
• Gain confidence in public speaking by performing a dramatic reading of their creative writing piece
Most steps of the project require students to be working at the application or analysis level of learning, not the rote recall level!
A CONSTITUTION PROJECT THAT FEATURES SCAFFOLDED SUPPORT FOR STUDENT LEARNING
The project contains detailed instructions, but to scaffold instruction to help students achieve all objectives, a Student Project Sheet is also included. This 5 page-document provides additional step-by-step assistance for several phases of the project.
STUDENTS PRODUCE COMPLETELY INDIVIDUALIZED WORK!
Unlike a worksheet with a given set of answers that some students may decide to copy, this project requires each student to produce completely original work. From selecting a news story to analyzing it by writing their own critical thinking questions to writing an original news story of their very own, this project challenges all students to master the Enumerated Powers and then demonstrate that mastery in a way that can be shared not just with the teacher but also with their classmates!
COMPONENTS OF THE PROJECT
The zip download contains two files, one for the teacher and one for the student. Both are in Microsoft Word format so they are fully editable and can be customized as much as you like.
The teacher file contains an overview and helpful tips for implementing the project with students.
The student file contains detailed instructions and a Student Project Sheet that students fill out, step by step, to complete the project.
Government Resources and Constitution Materials by Elise Parker