The United States from 1787 – 1826
By Kelly Kesler, Kathie Hayes, & Chris Rose ( 14 July 2004 )
Appleby, Joyce. The American Journey: Beginnings to 1877 Volume I. New York : Glencoe McGraw-Hill. 2002.
This is a supplementary textbook I keep in the classroom for additional information and as a student resource outside their own textbook. Middle and high school level reading.
Aten, Jerry. Symbols of a Great Nation. Michigan : Instructional Fair. 1998.
This book is about the symbols of America from the Statue of Liberty, the flag, the Liberty Bell, our Constitution, monuments, holidays, etc. Each short lesson is about a particular symbol, a short reading, sometimes a drawing activity or poem/writing activity, and discussion starters.
Baier, Lee. What Gives You the Right To … New York: Junior Scholastic. Vol. 98. Number 3. October 6, 1995 .
“Why We Need the Bill of Rights”, “Power to the People”, “Will New Laws Curb Teen Smoking are a few of the articles and plays inside the weekly magazine.
Bates, Elizabeth Bidwell. The Making of the Constitution. England : Jackdaw Publications Ltd. 1972.
This classroom resource includes: Exhibits: Buell Map of the United States of America, 1784; A Chronology on the Making of the Constitution and a List of Delegates to “The Grand Federal Convention”; Edmund Randolph’s Presentation of the Virginia Plan; First Page of George Washington’s Copy of the First Printed Draft of the Constitution; Draft of Benjamin Franklin’s Speech to the Federal Convention; A Broadside Version of the Constitution of the United States; George Mason’s Speech on Slavery; Gallery of Portraits with Contemporary Comments; Proposal for the Bill of Rights; Transcript of the Virginia Plan: Resolutions proposed by Mr. Randolph in Convention May 29, 1787; transcript of the draft of Benjamin Franklin’s Speech to the Federal Convention; transcript of Resolution of the First Congress Submitting Twelve Amendments to the Constitution: Wednesday, the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. Broadsheets: “Prophecies of the American Downfall,” “The Grand Federal Convention,” “The Results of Accommodations and Compromise”, Ratification-“Not the Work of a Day”, “Brief Moment of Harmony”.
The above material is used each year with 8 th grade U.S. History stu dents to teach the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sometimes the material is presented, explained, passed around to students and then displayed on a bulletin board for future use. Students use this material as a resource for varied projects or support n a position paper.
Branson, Margaret S. We the People… Project Citizen. California: Center for Civic Education. 2001.
The emphasis and exercises within this book are to guide students to an understanding that government is not allowed to interfere with a person’s freedom or belief. A proposed policy does or does not violate this limit on the power of government is also a question for students. The various ideas in the teachers edition gives examples of projects for middle school and high school students to approach change in their society from the standpoint of the Bill of Rights.
Briggs, Bonnie-Anne and Catherine Fish Petersen. Brief Review in United States History and Government. Massachusetts : Prentice Hall. 2001.
This text is a supplemental work to be used in the teaching of the Constitution and the Amendments. It has short 15 minute lesson ideas and pre- and post-tests. There is a reading level of middle to high school; and there is a section for ESL and learning disabled students’ to better understand the content.
Brinkley, Dennis. Great Documents That Shape American Freedoms. California: Janus Books. 1987.
This resource is a book of duplicatable blackline master copies that were developed to help students understand principles and see them at work in their own lives. Primary source materials, lessons, guided reading exercises, and activities help build skills and vocabulary while teaching students important concepts about their country’s government. Students learn about the Constitution and 9 other documents.
Broussard, Albert S. and Donald A. Ritchie. American History: The Early Years to 1877. New York : Glencoe McGraw-Hill. 1997.
Another text book that is kept on the resource shelf in my classroom for student use. Middle and high school reading level.
Burger, Warren E. The Constitution: Foundation of Our Freedom. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1990.
This book is a collection of essays by Chief Justice Warren Burger. He comments on “Why we needed a new Constitution in 1787” to the “Ratification of the Constitution”, to “Why no Bill of Rights in 1787?” This is a teacher resource that can be copied or read to students for clarification.
Burger, Warren E. The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. Washington D. C.: Commission oft Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. 1993.
This is a small pamphlet printed by the United States government in recognition of the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger wrote the forward and helped compile useful information. Not only does it have the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, but it also has “dates to remember”, and index for quick reference, and short comments and essays by people like John Marshall and Alexander Hamilton. Students are given one of these pamphlets to use as a resource.
Cantu, D. Antonio. Take Five Minutes: American History Class Openers – Reflective and Critical Thinking Activities. California : Teacher Created Materials. 2002.
The first five minutes of class are among the most critical in teaching for the role they play in setting instructional stage and transitioning students into the lesson. This book includes themes addressing topics from American history that span from the pre- Columbian era to the present. Each of the 72 themes includes 6 different types of reflective and critical thinking activities: journal writing prompts, time lines, decision- making scenarios, concept maps, Venn diagrams, and vee heuristics. There are numerous activities for the Federalist Era and the Building of the Constitution and the Amendment process. This book is for middle school and high school students.
Compston, Christine. Constitution Study Guide. Massachusetts : Prentice Hall. 2001.
This study guide takes the teacher and students through the roots of constitutional government, colonial rebellion, and influences of Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu. It also addresses landmark decisions, expanded court powers, the amendment process and other rights. Middle and high school students would enjoy this resource to help them with a position paper.
Fritz, Jean. Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution. New York: Putnam. 1987.
Children’s book that tells the story of the Revolutionary leaders and their hard work putting together a Constitution when the states thou t the framers were simply working on revisions of the Articles of Confederation.
Gallagher, Suzanne and Martha Hopkins. Adventures in Economics and U.S. History: Volume II, A Young Nation (1765-1877). Virginia : EconFun, LLC. 2001.
The resource is for grades 4-8. The lessons are written to help elementary and middle school teachers apply the economic way of thinking, as they instruct their students about events in U.S. History. The lessons are adaptable to the curriculum in a variety of regions of the country.
One of the lessons is Writing the Constitution was Hard – costs and benefits, trade-offs, another is The Constitution: What Freedoms Did the Framers Want? Economic freedom, costs and benefits, trade-offs, and entrepreneurship.”
Hakim, Joy. A History of Us: From Colonies to Country, 1710-1791, Book 3. New York : Oxford University Press. 1999.
At the end of book 3, Hakim begins the process of having students understand the process of government for a new nation. She tells the events as though it is a story to get students’ attention. The students begin the journey with Philadelphia and the state leaders meeting to talk about a central governing body. She leaves off there and I assume book 4 takes up the story.
Hakim, Joy. A History of Us: The New Nation 1789-1850, Book 4. New York : Oxford University Press. 1999.
Book 4 does not go in-depth but it does talk about the Bill of Rights and the citizens’ question why they weren’t added to the Constitution in the first place. The book is written for middle and high school students. It has numerous quality pictures, charts, and fun facts in the side bars.
Hakim, Joy. A History of Us: Liberty for All? 1800-1860, Book 5. New York : Oxford University Press. 1999.
Book 5 deals with the pre-Civil War and the question of human rights for all people – women and people of color. There are only a few brief entries, but enough information that a student could use the material as a resource for another larger work or project.
Hakim, Joy. A History of Us: War, Terrible War 1860-1865, Book 6. New York : Oxford University Press. 1999.
The book deals with the Civil War as a stepping stone to expanded human rights.
Hakim, Joy. Freedom: A History of Us. New York : Oxford University Press. 2003.
This book is the companion to the PBS series of the same name about democracy and struggle for fairness in the United States .
Hartley, William H. and William S. Vincent. American Civics. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1996.
This is a high school civics text, but I use it and some exercises in it for middle school students. The book information ranges from the Constitution, Amendments, Rights and Responsibilities of Self and Government, Separation of Powers, etc. This is an extremely handy and informative book that I feel grateful to have at my fingertips.
Katz, Bobbi. American History Poems. New York : Scholastic, Inc. 1998.
Grads 4-8 could easily use this book. It makes history come alive with 30 original poems, plus background information, writing prompts, and various activities. American history lessons explore eras from the Pilgrim, American Revolution, Civil War, Pioneers, Immigration, World War II, the Moon Landing and more. This is a nice supplement for students and their teacher to take a softer look at America .
Long, Cathryn J. Crossword America : American History to 1900. Chicago: RGA Publishing Group, Inc. 1998.
The book is divided into section such as The New World, Birth of a Nation, The Country Grows, etc. Each section or puzzle has a short synopsis of information. The student reads the work and applies the knowledge to the crossword puzzle. The book is for grades 5-8.
Patrick, John J. The Young Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States . New York : Oxford University Press. 1994.
This resource book deals with the history of the judicial system in the U.S., the justices, the court system from the local level to the Supreme Court, and landmark court cases that have impacted the U.S.
Matz, Judith A. We the People: Level 2. California : Center for Civic Education. 2002.
Middle level soft cover book with lessons dealing with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Exercises are numerous and often the teacher has to winnow the assignments.
Matz, Judith A. We the People: Level Elementary. California : Center for Civic Education. 2002.
The lessons provided about the making of the Constitution and the Amendments are for grades 4-6. This book is for the grade school student.
Monk, Linda R. The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide. Virginia : Close Up Publishing. 2000.
This book and its accompanying study guide are designed to help students understand how the Bill of Rights became part of the U.S. Constitution, what t contained in it mean, and why it continues to be so important to everyday citizens. This guide offers classroom activities and handouts to promote active learning and enhance student understanding of the material covered in the Bill of Rights. In addition to reinforcing facts, the activities require students to conduct independent research; evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information; and hypothesize about the future. Students will understand and discuss the history and development of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, analyze the language and meaning of each amendment in the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, explain why the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment are so important to American democracy, and examine the role citizens in enforcing the Bill of Rights.
Prolman, Marilyn. The Story of the Constitution. Chicago : Children’s Press. 1969.
This Weekly Reader book is about the time of May 1787 and the place is Philadelphia . More than 50 delegates are gathered at the State House to form a new government- your government. George Washington is here, and Franklin, Hamilton, and Madison too. Hamilton says the President should be elected for life. “But that would be like having a king,” someone shouts. “Big states should have more votes than small states,” argues another. How will they ever settle their differences? Join them and see for yourself how they decide the great issues that will shape America .
Quigley, Charles N. and Duane E. Smith. With Liberty and Justice for All: The Story of the Bill of Rights, Level 2. California : Center for Civic Education. 1993.
This book is part of the We the People series, but goes deeper into the Amendment process for the middle school student. The activities and lessons are mostly seat work with no projects for alternative learners.
Quigley, Charles N., et.al. We the People: Level 3. California : Center for Civic Education. 1994.
This text is a high school book and a good resource in the 8 th grade classroom. It raises the bar of learning for those students who need a challenge.
Russell, Marcia. Constitution and New Government Primary Sources. California : Teacher Created Materials, Inc. 2002.
Using primary sources offers students the opportunity to act and think as historians. Students will participate in the constructive process of history by studying primary documents and photographs. Viewing historic photographs, handling facsimiles of famous documents, and reading the comments and opinions of those in the past will bring history alive for students. Understanding the background of each primary source will help students to put historical events and attitudes into perspective, to think progressively, and to walk in the shoes of their ancestors. The document-based assessment section provides student preparation and practice on the document-based questions that appear on many standardized tests today. Students will be able to analyze for meanings, compare and contrast, compose short answers, and even respond to and reflect on topics with longer essay questions. The entire testing section will provide students with opportunities to prepare for a variety of testing situations.
Schillings, Denny. The Living Constitution. New York : Glencoe McGraw-Hill. 1997.
This updated version of the same one listed below is a filled with crossword puzzles, short readings, vocabulary words, and leaders who framed the Constitution.
Schillings, Denny. The Living Constitution. Ohio : Glencoe McGraw-Hill. 1991.
This resource includes a reference list of texts about the Constitution, excerpts from documents that helped shape the Constitution, the Magna Carta through the Anti Federalist Concerns. There are tables and diagrams to help the student see the ratification process, checks and balances, how a bill becomes a law, and each branch’s duties and responsibilities. There is a copy of the Constitution and Amendments and a glossary of terms to assist the student. This resource is for middle and high school students.
Sweeney, Jacqueline. Incredible Quotations: 230 Thought-Provoking Quotes with Prompts to Spark Students’ Writing, Thinking, and Discussion. Missouri: Scholastic Professional Books. 1997.
Three hundred and fifty original ways to motivate writers, Creative prompts for every day of the school year. Topics include feelings, ethics, imagining, quotations, humor, problem solving, school situations, and more. Included are reproducible skills lessons to teach important rules through funny stories, practice exercises, and puzzles. All lessons are built around American history and the Constitution.
The Constitution: Past, Present, and Future. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. 1991.
This is a soft cover resource filled with copies of primary source documents, short readings of explanation, and short question and answers to get students thinking. It does not contain many activities for the teacher to use with students. Most of the information in cut and dried material that students can use for preparing position papers, etc.
United States History Enrichment Series: American Literary Heritage. New York : Glencoe McGraw-Hill. 1992.
This book is filled with essays, poems, short story excerpts and plays by numerous American authors from William Bradford and Anne Bradstreet to Thomas Jefferson, Emerson, Dix, Whitman, Sinclair, London , Faulkner, Simon, Angelou and others. Each lesson has a reading, an historical explanation and a literature connection to compare literature and historical accuracy.
United States History Enrichment Series: American Portraits. New York : Glencoe McGraw-Hill. 1995.
Included are 72 biographical sketches that provide insight into the contributions to America of people from every era. The sketches are representative of the great diversity of Americans in all walks of life – government, business, and labor leaders; religious, military, and minority leaders; sports, entertainment, and media figures. Each portrait includes two types of questions designed to provide students with a basic review of the portrait and a critical thinking challenge. Answers to these questions are provided in the back of this booklet. This is a middle school age material.
Wheeler, Ron. U.S. Government. Michigan : Instruction Fair. 2001.
Learning about the democratic system and how the political process works helps to promote better citizenship. The engaging activities found in U.S. Government will help students to understand better how the system works in our daily living experiences. The first part of the book focuses on the Constitution, its amendments, the separation of powers, and our system of checks and balances. The remainder of the book includes activities that highlight our civic responsibilities as good citizens of this country. A complete answer key is provided.
Videos and CDs
More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation. Video. Utah : KBYU. 1990.
Film is 112 minutes. America, 1787. Ten years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. England wages a new war of unfair trade and tariffs. Bickering and jealously fracture the once united states. But a handful of brilliant men James Madison, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin, lead apolitical battle to create a new form of government, one that will establish the standard of self-government to the world.
Exploring History Through Primary Sources: Constitution and New Government. CD ROM. California : Teacher Created Materials, Inc. 2002.
This CD-ROM contains photographs and other primary sources as well as student activity sheets, extension activities, and document text.
Newell, George and Radford Stone. School House Rock: America Rock. Video 30 minutes. Connecticut : Capital Cities/ABC Video Publishing, Inc. 1995.
The 30 minute video takes the students down to the Conjunction Junction Diner, where the special of the day is America Rock. Learning about American History and Government is easy when you sing along with Schoolhouse Rock. Rocky serves up your America Rock videos from the jukebox, including No More Kings-The Founding America, Fireworks-The Declaration of Independence, The Shot Heard “Round the World”-The Start of the Revolution, The Preamble-The Constitution, Elbow Room-The Pioneers Opening the West, The Great American Melting Pot-The Ethnic Diversity of America, Mother Necessity-Great American Inventors, Sufferin’ Till Suffrage-Women’s Right to Vote, I’m Just a Bill-How a Bill Becomes a Law, Three-Ring Government-The Judicial, Legislative and Executive Branches.
Prentice-Hall: Interactive Constitution. CD-ROM. New Jersey : Pearson Education, Inc. 2003.
The lawmaking simulation will help students assume the role of a newly elected member of the House of Representatives, understand the legislative process, appreciate the necessity of compromise and consensus building, and appreciate the important decisions that go into the passage of a law. The Constitution section on this CD-ROM provides students with full text of the United States Constitution, complete commentary, explaining key content and defining terms, audio glossary of related social studies terms in English and Spanish, and discussions of more than 40 landmark Supreme Court cases.
Prentice-Hall: Exploring Primary Sources in U.S. History. CD-ROM. New Jersey : Pearson Educational, Inc. 2003.
Sources included are biographies, diaries, editorials, essays, letters, literature, newspaper and magazine articles, official documents, speeches, and Supreme Court cases. The visual primary sources include: fine art, photographs, political cartoons, and posters.
The American Constitution: A Blueprint for Freedom Video and Workbook. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. 1991.
The video and work sheets deal with drawing inferences and citizen involvement in democracy, analyzing information and the influence of the United States Constitution, analyzing information about checks and balances in the Federal Government, applying knowledge and logical reasoning into presidential powers, and decision making and reviewing United States Supreme Court decisions.
Gaines, James R. “The Bill of Rights: A 200 Year History of Turbulence and Triumph.” New York : Time Life Magazines, Inc. Fall 1991.
Articles include The 10 Amendments: Their history, their meaning; The Other Amendment: the 14 th adds value; Roots & Radicals: The struggle over passage; The Dark Century; First & Foremost: They invoked the First; Presumed Innocent: Oregon public defenders; A long Journey: The case began on a bus and wound up in the Supreme Court; Law & Order: Police and prosecutors tell how rulings affect them; The Case for Hate: A burning cross becomes a test for St. Paul, Minn.; The Rights Stuff: Alluring addenda about the amendments; The Advocates: Robert Bork and Laurence Tribe face off; The Activists: Nebraskans fight for their rights; and lastly Just One More.
“Just Say Yes.” Helping Hand. Michigan : Performance Resource Press, Inc. Vol. 8. Issue 6. p. 3.
“There Oughtta Be A Law.” Helping Hand. Michigan : Performance Resource Press, Inc. Vol. 8. Issue 6. p. 3.
“Bill of Rights” www. archives. gov/ June 29, 2004
This website offers an introduction to the Bill of Rights and enumerates the Rights as they appear in the Constitution. Helpful links to other portions of the website are also offered, including links to the rest of the Constitution and its amendments. The site explains t he viewpoints of the Constitution’s detractors, many of whom objected to the Constitution because it did not contain a list of basic rights and could therefore lead to tyranny. Among the principal detractors, according to the website, was George Mason, a Virginian who vehemently declared of the Constitution, “It has no declaration of rights.” Links to his “Virginia Declaration of Rights” are also included. Another link, “A More Perfect Union,” discusses in great detail the Constitutional Convention.
“First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Unites States Constitution.” www.ala.org/alaloif/firstamendment/firstamendment.htm, June 29, 2004.
The American Library Association provides this site as a resource for promoting intellectual freedom. Links include channels to notable First Amendment court cases, intellectual freedom “toolkits,” and First Amendment resources. One link designed specifically for children offers students a primer in intellectual freedom and the first amendment, but this site probably will be of greater use to teachers of the subject, as it is vast in scope and thoroughly offers the aforementioned links to court cases.
“Guided Readings: The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.” www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/subtitles.cfin?titlelD=55, June 29, 2004.
An impressive site, this document links to over fifteen pages on the Constitution, its design, history, and context. Useful links include “What Americans Don’t Know About t he Constitution.” And a “Constitutional Quiz.” It also has a specific section on slavery and the Constitution. Useful both to teachers and students alike because of its intensive reading selections, this site also links to lesson plans and classroom handouts.
“The Constitution for Kids (8 th-12th Grade).” www.usconstitution.net/constkids.html, June 29, 2004.
Although this site was created by an individual and not an organization, it is recommended because of its readability for middle to high school-aged students. Its “mission” is “to serve children in search of information about the Constitution.” It contains very few links, but it does have comprehensive sections on Constitutional basics, its history, slavery, women, and the Bill of Rights. It is recommended only to students, as it contains the most basic of information.
” U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.” Usgovinfo.about.com/od/usconstitution, June 29, 2004.
His site includes links to the Constitution and Federalist Papers, but more importantly it links readers to articles and resources about landmark cases involving the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. There is a “Religious Liberty Archive,” for instance, and a link to the “tests” applied by the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of religious establishment. This site would be most useful to teachers, because the sheer volume of information would be difficult to wade through. Teachers could gather information from the site and then have students apply it to real-world contexts.
“US Constitution & the Bill of Rights.” www.classbrain.com/artteenst/publish/article75.shtml, June 29, 2004.
This is a very good site for students, as it is written specifically for teenagers. It is part of a collection of “Defining Documents” pages and includes links to a number of court cases and websites, including the NARA site mentioned in this resource guide. It also includes extremely thorough lesson plans and handouts for teachers.
www.constitutionfacts.com , June 29, 2004
This website offers “interesting insights into the men who wrote the Constitution, how it was created, and how the Supreme Court has interpreted [it].” Links include a page on the Founders, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, a glossary of terms, and famous quotes about the Constitution, in addition to several others. This site would be most useful to students and teachers because of the information provided. One particularly useful link is to a discussion of the Supreme Court, wherein one can learn “fascinating facts” and link to “landmark cases.” Another interesting link includes amendments that were proposed but never passed.
The National Archives Experience: The Charters of Freedom. “A New World is at Hand.” Bill of Rights. 25 June 2004. http:// www.archives.gov/national_archives experience/bill of rights.html
The website has information on The Making of the Charters, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Impact of the Charters, and high-resolution images. Students can download primary source transcripts and find more resources listed.