Constitution Day recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. Constitution Day is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
NCSC has gathered a list of Constitution Day activities taking place across the country.
On September 17, the nation marks Constitution Day by reflecting on the U.S. Constitution and the role that we as citizens of this constitutional democracy play in bringing to life the cherished principles enshrined by this great document. From the opening three words of its Preamble – We, the People – the Constitution makes clear that the true power of our nation emanates from and resides with the individuals who make it up.
This Constitution Day, as the nation welcomes new citizens participating in naturalization ceremonies throughout the country, let’s reflect on the meaning of good citizenship and ask ourselves what more we can do to promote civic education and participation in our communities.
The ABA Division for Public Education has a number of helpful resources to discuss free speech topics in a classroom setting. These include:
Teachers can sign up to receive a complimentary issue of Insights on Law & Society, the ABA Division for Public Education's magazine for teachers providing information and resources for teaching law in the classroom (valid school address required).
ACLU has an exercise where students write down the freedoms they appreciate the most. E.g., “My Name is ______.” I Am Happy that I can listen to music I like. More info on "Fill Me In."
The goal of the Bill of Rights Institute is to help the next generation understand the freedom & opportunity the Constitution offers.
The CATO Institute celebrates Constitution Day each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review and with a day‐long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court term and the important cases coming up. They will be hosting their annual symposium virtually on September 17, 2021 beginning at 10:45 am ET.
The Constitution Day website commemorates Constitution Day. The site provides biographies of the Founding Fathers, transcripts of the Constitution, and has an online gift shop where you can buy Constitution Day goodies.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation offers free online lessons suitable for kindergarten, grades 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, and links to help educators design their own Constitution Day program.
Constitutionfacts.com is pleased to provide a series of free educational resources and Internet links to help educators comply with the new federal regulation requiring the development of student programming to celebrate U.S. Constitution Day on September 17 of each year. Download their Pocket Constitution app.
CRFC strengthens American democracy by providing elementary and secondary students with hands-on learning about the Constitution to prepare them for informed civic engagement.
This website gives the history of Citizen Day and Constitution Day, a poster where students can sign their own name on the Constitution, as well as a list of federal resources and related links.
The Indiana Supreme Court provides history, background and other classroom resources on its website.
K-12 offers Constitution Day lesson plans for grades K-12.
The Law Library of Congress provides readers with a list of Legislative and Executive Branch documents, journal articles and web resources that relate to the Continental Congress and Constitution Day.
The Maryland Courts website lists resources including links to peruse the Maryland Constitution, links to the National Constitution Center's educational resources, other lesson plans, interactive quizzes and more engaging information.
Montpelier, a museum of American history, is celebrating Constitution Day with house tours, garden and archaeology tours, a food truck, live music, Mr. Madison onsite, and a sale in the Museum Shop. Visit the Montpelier website for details. Optional: listen to their podcast, American Dissent.
The National Archives celebrates Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17th each year to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
This Constitution Day, the National Archives is hosting two online events in 2021:
- September 16, 11 am ET: National Archives Comes Alive! Young Learners Program: Meet James Madison
- September 17, 1 pm ET: The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union
Every year, the National Constitution hosts the best Constitution Day Celebration in the country. Join us for at the museum outstanding and engaging programs that are great for all ages! The Constitution Center will celebrate Constitution Day on September 17.
The Constitution Center is hosting three online events on September 17:
- 12 pm ET, State of the Union: Civics
- 1 p.m. ET, Online Classes: Constitution All Stars
- 2 pm ET, Judges on Judging
The NEA provides lesson plans, activities, quizzes, and videos for grades 6-8.
The State Bar of Michigan has designed a resource page to help bar associations, individual lawyers, and teachers lead exciting and educational classroom activities on Constitution Day.
In one of the videos on U.S. Courts' website, high school students interpret the promises and the impact of the preamble on their lives. As a discussion starter the video can stimulate reflection, writing, and civil discourse among teens and adults searching for common ground in the celebration of the Constitution. In another video, it's simply the words of the preamble to the Constitution, projected at a comfortable pace for easy reading at any group recitation.
Take the newspaper's "It's Constitution Day" quiz to see how much you know about the document.