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The United States Constitution

Students: On these pages, you will find resources and websites to learn about the United States Constitution. You will have the following tasks to hand in or complete online:
  • Constitution Scavenger Hunt (this page)
  • We the People Worksheet (Preamble page)
  • Three Branches of Government graphic organizer (Three Branches of Government page)
  • Extra credit: letter to your senator (How Laws are Made page)
  • Enter at least one comment on the Bill of Rights pages

After the colonists gained independence from England, they started the job of governing the new nation, a loose union of 13 separate states. Their first attempt, the Articles of Confederation, was careful not to weaken the rights and identities of the states. However, this led to many problems. States had separate money, armies and laws, making trade difficult as well as relations with other countries.

In May of 1787, states sent delegates, people to represent the state, to The Federal Convention in Philadelphia. Their mission was to revise the Articles of Confederation. After discussing and debating, it became clear that a completely new document would be needed as a plan for the government of the still new nation.
Delegates worked all through the summer drafting and debating. Some of the main points they argued about were:
  • how much power to allow the central government
  • how many representatives in Congress to allow each state
  • how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by representatives
The Constitution is the work of many minds and remains a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.

Use this Website for the: Constitution Scavenger Hunt

Academic vocabulary: know the meaning of the boldfaced words above

Sylvie Schweig
Green Meadow Elementary School
East Greenbush CSD