United States Constitution Project Ideas for Middle School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

The United States Constitution provides a framework for our form of government and outlines basic laws and the rights of citizens. This asset provides suggestions for middle school projects about the United States Constitution.

United States Constitution

The United States Constitution became the guiding document for our federal government after replacing the Articles of Confederation. The projects in this asset provide students with opportunities to reflect on the transition to the U.S. Constitution, the opposition the U.S. Constitution faced, and the components of the U.S. Constitution through active, interdisciplinary projects.

Articles of Confederation to the U.S. Constitution

Grade level: 6th - 8th

Time: 1-2 days

Key Terms:

  • Continental Congress
  • executive branch
  • judicial branch

Guiding Questions

  • What led to changing the Articles of Confederation to the United States Constitution?
  • What are the differences between the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution?

Materials:

  • chart paper
  • computer/internet
  • markers
  • primary documents - Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution

Procedure

  • Students will research the history, strengths, and weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
  • Students will compare the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. Students will identify differences and discuss reasons for these changes.
  • Students will create a T-chart on chart paper that explains the differences.
  • Students will present their project.

Federalist V. Antifederalist Debate

Grade level: 6th - 8th

Time: 2-5 days

Key Terms:

  • Antifederalist
  • Federalist
  • ratify

Guiding Questions

  • Why were some people opposed to the Constitution?
  • How did those in favor respond to these concerns?

Materials:

  • computer/internet
  • primary documents - U.S. Constitution & Federalist Papers

Procedure

  • Students will research the Constitutional Convention and the ratification process.
  • Students will identify the differences in opinion of the Federalists and Antifederalists.
  • Students will identify 5-10 major arguments on each side and will write a rebuttal for each so that students are capable of arguing either side of the argument.
  • Students will engage in a friendly debate about the ratification of the Constitution.

Preamble to the Constitution

Grade level: 6th - 8th

Time: 2-3 days

Key Terms:

  • domestic tranquility
  • justice
  • liberty
  • ordain
  • posterity
  • union
  • welfare

Guiding Questions

  • What is the purpose of the Preamble to the Constitution?
  • What does the Preamble mean?

Materials:

  • colored pencils
  • computer/internet
  • primary document - Preamble to the Constitution

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