History is a challenging subject to impart to students, especially 7 and 8 year olds. As with all subjects, showing a connection to their daily lives ensures its relevance and an enduring understanding. Students have some sense of their basic rights, but they do not know how these rights came to be and how they differ for noncitizens and those outside the United States.
The aim of this unit is to teach students how our constitutional rights evolved and why they are salient today. It’s divided into sections to ensure this complex topic can be presented at an elementary level. It will provide the students with an overview of the Constitution of the United States with a focus on the rights and privileges of citizens that will be most intuitive to children (1
, and 19
). Activities include producing a narrative writing, a research booklet, a dialogical notebook, and a take-action choice piece with an eye to promoting critical thinking about historical change. Upon completion, students will have a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and how they can contribute to the betterment of this country.
(Developed for Reading, Writing, Social Studies, grade 3; recommended for Reading, Writing, Social Studies, grade 4)