Constitution Day and Citizenship Day: September 17, 2007

To:Superintendents, Principals and Other Interested Parties
From:David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education
Date:August 24, 2007

A federal law enacted in December 2004 designates September 17 as "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," to commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. The federal law is included in Section 111 of Pub. L. 108-447 (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005). It contains the following provision in Section 111(b): "Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution." The U.S. Department of Education has published additional information about the new law at www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-2/052405b.html. Many excellent resources are available on why the Constitution was written, how it describes the structure of our federal government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Among these are: Constitution Resources:
Links to many agencies, libraries, archives, and museums National Constitution Center:
Text of the Constitution; timeline of constitutional history, maps, debates; searchable database of topics related to the Constitution, such as civil rights, school prayer and Supreme Court decisions National Archives:
Description of how the Constitution was created and ratified; biographies of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 Library of Congress:

The Center for Civic Education:
Lessons for Kindergarten, grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 Discovering Justice (at the Moakley Federal Courthouse, Boston):
A curriculum for the early elementary grades, dramatic presentations of historic cases and legal issues for middle and high school, courthouse tours and resources on the US legal system and important cases First Amendment Schools:
Information and lesson plans on the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights The Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework:
Massachusetts standards for learning about U. S. history, civics, government I hope you will find these resources useful. For further information about the role of schools in commemorating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, please contact: John Chiang Keh, Content Specialist for History & Social Sciences, at (781) 338-6226 or jkeh@doe.mass.edu.



Last Updated: August 27, 2007



 
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