Constitution Day 2010: The Judicial Branch

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Runtime: 18:10

Civic Holiday: Constitution Day

Celebrate the writing of the Constitution by going inside the Convention at the National Constitution Center's Signers' Hall! We'll learn about the ideas behind the document as we see the life-size statues and get to know some of the most famous Founding Fathers. And we'll talk about the system of government which the Constitution created and get an up-close look at how the balance of powers protects our freedoms as citizens. Join us as we meet the men of Signers' Hall!

Discussion Questions

Before You Watch
  1. What do we celebrate on Constitution Day? What's it got to do with your life?
  2. What is the Constitution? What does it do?
  3. List some Founding Fathers. Can you tell how many of them signed the Constitution?
  4. What are the different levels of government in the United States? How do they work together?
  5. Who's "in charge" of the United States government? Is there one final source of authority, or is it broken up in a few different places?
After You Watch
  1. Why is it important for citizens to know what's in the Constitution? Who interprets what the Constitution says, and how?
  2. Discuss the Enlightenment. What were some of the ideas from the Enlightenment that went into the Constitution?
  3. What document governed the United States before the Constitution? What were some of its faults?
  4. What were some of the important compromises at the Constitutional Convention?
  5. What is federalism? What are checks and balances?

Lesson Plans

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Civic Holiday Resources