Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.

Featured Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about the United States Constitution in your classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine

Why Everyone's Talking About Impeachment

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about how President Donald Trump is being investigated and that he could be removed from office. This fall, the U.S. House of Representatives launched a special examination of the president’s actions, known as an impeachment inquiry. What does that mean? 

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The Three Branches of Government
Analyze a diagram and answer questions.
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Checks and Balances
Analyze a diagram and answer questions.
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5-Minute Guide to the U.S. Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our government and guaranteed our rights. More than 200 years later, here's how the Constitution affects you.

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Make Your Voice Heard
Write a legislator about an important issue.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Video: The U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution is one of the most important documents ever written. Watch this video to learn how it came to be and how it continues to shape the world today.

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Checks and Balances
Read a diagram about the U.S. government's three-branches system.
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What's the Story?
Answer these questions after watching the video.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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What You Need to Know About the First Amendment

More than 200 years ago, the nation’s founders drafted the First Amendment to safeguard Americans’ most important individual freedoms.

Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Quotes
 

“[The federal government] will indeed deserve the most vigilant and careful attention of the people, to see that it be modelled in such a manner as to admit of its being safely vested with the requisite powers”

— Alexander Hamilton

“We have the oldest written constitution still in force in the world, and it starts out with three words, 'We, the people.'”

— Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon."

— George Washington

"Time and changes in the condition and constitution of society may require occasional and corresponding modifications."

— Thomas Jefferson

Key Figures
 

Four Supreme Court justices who made an impact

John Marshall

In his 34 years as Chief Justice, John Marshall gave a new, broader meaning to the Constitution, strengthening not only the Supreme Court but also the federal government itself.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg became known for her work on behalf of women's rights. She had faced discrimination during and after law school. But she overcame it to build a brilliant career, culminating in her appointment as the second woman ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thurgood Marshall

The first African American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court was a powerful civil rights advocate who, prior to his appointment to the Court, developed a successful legal strategy to end the era of official segregation in the United States.

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia was named to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He generally favored executive over legislative or judicial power. Among the most famous decisions authored by Scalia was District of Columbia v. Heller (2008); it found that the Second Amendment established an individual right to bear arms for self-defense.

Glossary

Terms and definitions that pertain to the U.S. Constitution

checks and balances

noun

a system in which the different parts of an organization (such as a government) have powers that affect and control the other parts so that no part can become too powerful

amendment

noun

a change in the words or meaning of a law or document

preamble

noun

a statement that is made at the beginning of something (such as a legal document) and usually gives the reasons for the parts that follow

due process

noun

the official and proper way of doing things in a legal case; the rule that a legal case must be done in a way that protects the rights of all the people involved

impeach

verb

to charge a public official with a crime done while in office

suffrage

noun

the right to vote in an election

Explore Other Topics

Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources.

Dan Thornberg/EyeEm/Getty Images (We The People); hundreddays/E+/Getty Images (Supreme Court); Tetra Images/Alamy Stock Photo (Pledge); Bettmann/Getty Images (Suffragists); Istockphoto/Getty Images (Constitution); Library Of Congress (Signing Of Constitution); Everett Historical/Shutterstock.com (John Marshall); MCT via Getty Images (Ruth Bader Ginsburg); Stock Montage/Getty Images (Thurgood Marshall); Charles Ommanney/Getty Images (Antonin Scalia)