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Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.
The United States Constitution
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.
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
After being impeached last month, President Donald Trump stood trial in front of the Senate. The Senate voted not to remove the president from office. Why was he impeached in the first place? Why did the Senate vote to acquit? And what does it mean for Americans going forward? Read the article to find out.
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.
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.
More than 200 years ago, the nation’s founders drafted the First Amendment to safeguard Americans’ most important individual freedoms.
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“[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
Four Supreme Court justices who made an impact
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.
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 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.
Supplemental resources for teaching about the U.S. Constitution in your classroom
Center for the Study of the American Constitution
The CSAC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan center dedicated to serving scholars, educators, and students who are interested in the American Constitution in its historical context.
National Constitution Center
This one-stop civics education headquarters brings “We the People” to life through a hands-on museum experience and tools for teaching the Constitution in your classroom.
Constitution USA with Peter Sagal
In this four-hour PBS series, Sagal hits the road to find out where the Constitution lives, how it works, and how it unites us as a nation.
Terms and definitions that pertain to the U.S. Constitution
checks and balances
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
a change in the words or meaning of a law or document
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
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
to charge a public official with a crime done while in office
the right to vote in an election
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Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources.
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From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.
An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.
The Civil Rights Movement
Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.
Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality
Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.
The History and Heroes of World War II
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Real Teens of History
These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.
Social Studies Debate Kit
Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.
Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy
In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.
Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.
Middle School Civics
An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.
The Civil War and Reconstruction
Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.
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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)