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CNN Student News Learning Activity: The Constitution in action

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(CNN Student News) -- Students will identify contemporary applications of the U.S. Constitution.

Procedure

As a class, review the articles and amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Next, print out a copy of the Constitution. Cut out each of the articles and amendments, and post them on a large bulletin board. Next, direct students to print and online news sources to find as many examples of news stories that are connected to the Constitution as they can. Examples might include:

  1. court cases,
  2. actions by the president or Congress, and
  3. stories about basic liberties referenced in the Bill of Rights or other amendments.

Direct students to print or cut these stories out and bring them to class. Collect all of the stories in one pile. Challenge each student to pick a story, read it, and identify the specific constitutional article or amendment that a person would associate with it. Then, have each student post his or her news stories under the appropriate constitutional article or amendment on the bulletin board.

Curriculum Connections

National Standards for Civics and Government

I. What Are Civic Life, Politics, and Government?

  1. Defining civic life, politics and government
  2. Necessity of politics and government
  3. Limited and unlimited government
  4. The rule of law
  5. The relationship of limited government to political and economic freedom
  6. Concept of "constitution"
  7. Purposes and uses of constitutions

II. What are the Foundations of the American Political System?

  1. The American idea of constitutional government
  2. Fundamental values and principles

III. How Does the Government Established by the Constitution Embody the Purposes, Values, and Principles of American Democracy?

  1. Distributing governmental power and preventing its abuse
  2. The American federal system
  3. The institutions of the national government
  4. Major responsibilities of the government in domestic and foreign policy
  5. Judicial protection of the rights of individuals

The National Standards for Civics and Government (http://www.civiced.org/912erica.htm) are published by the Center for Civic Education (http://www.civiced.org/).

Keywords

Constitution, executive branch, legislative branch, judicial branch, amendments, Bill of Rights, current events, news stories E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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