As you know, federal law requires that all high schools, colleges and universities that receive federal funds educate students about the Constitution during the week of September 17. The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands has created the Sunnylands Constitution Project, a collection of classroom-ready digital resources, to help schools celebrate Constitution Day.
INTERACTIVE EDUCATIONAL GAMES
Featured for 2011: The Bill of Rights: Many Americans take for granted the freedoms contained in the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. As students play this game, they will discover surprising facts about the story behind the Bill of Rights and gain a clearer understanding of these important amendments.
And, in partnership with U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics project:
Featured Videos for Constitution Day 2011
Laurence Fishburne portrays civil rights legend Thurgood Marshall in a one-man show based on the life of the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. As chief legal counsel for the NAACP, Marshall coordinated its efforts to end racial segregation in American society. His legal strategy culminated in the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that not only ended segregation in public schools, but also helped launch the civil rights movement (1 hr, 44 mins; Strong language and some content may not be appropriate for younger students).
Note: Our contractual agreement with The Stevens Company limits online viewing of "Thurgood" to non-commercial/educational use intended for students, faculty members and administrators of primary and secondary educational institutions only. To receive a link to view, school personnel (teachers, librarians and administrators) should register here. This is our only video that requires registration.
A Call to Act: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
This documentary tells the story of Lilly Ledbetter, whose fight for equal pay for equal work eventually involved all three branches of government. Her Supreme Court case focused on the interpretation of the 180-day statute of limitations for filing a discrimination complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After losing in court, Ledbetter urged Congress to start the 180-day clock for filing a complaint on the date an employee learned of the discrimination. The result was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 (23 mins).
Available at SunnylandsClassroom.org:
A Conversation on the Constitution with Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy: Brown v. Board of Education. Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy discuss the landmark case Brown v. the Board of Education of Little Rock, AR with high school students. In this 27-minute video, they explore the background of the case, the role of Thurgood Marshall, how Brown was decided and the events following the unanimous ruling that said "separate education facilities are inherently unequal" (27 minutes)
A Conversation on the Constitution: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Justice Stephen G. Breyer and a group of high school students discuss the pay-discrimination case that resulted in the 2009 law: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. (9 mins).
A Conversation on the Constitution: The Nature of Dissent in the Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer talks with high school students about the role of dissenting opinions when the Supreme Court decides cases (18 mins).
The Story of the Bill of Rights This Bill of Rights documentary tells the sometimes-surprising story of how the Constitution came to have a Bill of Rights and explains the meaning of these fundamental protections (17 mins).
The Bill of Rights: The First Ten Amendments In 10 short documentaries (1 - 3 minutes each), leading Constitutional scholars, lawyers and judges discuss each of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution that collectively make up the Bill of Rights. From freedom of speech to privacy protections to the rules and procedures for trials in both civil and criminal court proceedings, the Framers were extremely careful to balance the rights of individuals against the power of the State.
Previously published Constitution Day Resources
Sunnylands Classroom videos