Constitution Day

Constitution Day

September 17 and 18, 2017

Do-Now Discussion

Would you have signed the Constitution in 1787? Why or why not?

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.

Every year, the National Constitution Center hosts the best Constitution Day Celebration in the country.  We are the place to turn to help you commemorate that historic day while meeting your federal education requirements.  Join us at the museum for outstanding and engaging programs or use our fantastic on-line resources in your classroom.

Celebrate at At the Museum

  • The National Constitution Center will observe Constitution Day on September 18, 2017 
  • Museum admission is FREE on September 18! Courtesy of the John Templeton Foundation
  • Spots fill quickly!  Call 215-409-6800 to make your reservation

Special Events for September 18

Flag Raising Ceremony and Preamble Challenge
8:30 A.M., Front Lawn
To kick off the day, National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen will lead students in a rousing reading of the Preamble of the Constitution on the museum’s front lawn. We will also join in as the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution for a patriotic flag raising ceremony, featuring a live performance of the Star-Spangled Banner! The Constitution Center will announce new resources and initiative, as well as the winners of our Final Civic Literacy Contest.

Judge Chats: The Courts in the Community
10 A.M., 10:30 A.M., 11 A.M., 11:30 A.M., 12 P.M., 12:30 P.M., Bank of America Family Theater
*This program is open to student groups, and advanced reservations are required. Speak to a Group Sales Representative at 215-409-6800.
Students and teachers can attend one of these great sessions with real judges, where they will have the opportunity to speak with experts on the interpretation of law and about how the Constitution can affect everyday life.

2017 Constitution Day Naturalization Ceremony
10:30-11:30 A.M., Kirby Auditorium
*Seating for this event is limited. Priority will be given to immigrants and their families.
50 immigrants from across the globe will take the Oath of Allegiance to officially become citizens of the United States. The ceremony will be presided over by the Hon. Cynthia M. Rufe, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  All of the new citizens will be given lifetime memberships to the National Constitution Center. A keynote address will be offered by David Rubenstein.

Student Town Hall with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Moderated by David Rubenstein
12 P.M., Sidney Kimmel Theater
*This program is open to student groups, and advanced reservations are required. Speak to a Group Sales Representative at 215-409-6800.
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, The Vietnam War, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides — Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Join in a riveting conversation about this history of Vietnam, the making of the documentary and that connects this story has on lives today.

The Constitution’s Birthday Celebration
12:30 P.M., Grand Hall Overlook
During the lunch hour, the museum offers cake (shaped and designed to look like the Constitution) and invites visitors to sing along to Happy Birthday and other favorite tunes to celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution’s signing. This celebration is complete with confetti and appearances by Father of the Constitution James Madison.

Constitution Day Supreme Court Panel
1 P.M., Kirby Auditorium
*This program is open to student groups, and advanced reservations are required. Speak to a Group Sales Representative at 215-409-6800.
The cases decided by the Supreme Court affect the whole country, and even change history, but most of them begin with the actions of just one person. At our special Constitution Day Supreme Court Panel, students will be able to learn about active citizens who have brought cases before the highest court in the land, and become a part of our country’s constitutional story. Featured cases include Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, Korematsu v. Uninted States, and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

David Rubenstein on the Founding Documents
2:30 P.M., Kirby Auditorium
Advanced reservations required, click here for tickets.
David Rubenstein discusses what every American should know about the history of the Constitution Convention, the drafting and ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and how it affects Americans today. 

An Evening with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein
6:30 P.M., Sidney Kimmel Theater
Advanced reservations required, click here for tickets.
Rod Rosenstein, 37th Deputy Attorney General of the United States, joins the National Constitution Center for an intimate conversation about his role in the justice system.

Additional Student Programs

Constitution Day Live Blog
7 A.M. to 6 P.M., Google Lab
Visitors can watch as our team of constitutional experts chat live with students and teachers across the country, answering all of their Constitution Day questions!

Constitution Day Games and Outdoor Activities
9:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M., Front Lawn and Grand Hall Lobby and Overlook
Visitors can  try their hand at graces, hoop and stick, nine pin, and other games popular during the Revolutionary era.  At Historic Character Meet and Greets, visitors can interact with famous figures  from history, then, visitors can participate in Historic Demonstrations, where they can learn trades for yesteryear, like Candle making and Calligraphy, and more!  Afterwards, visitors themselves can don colonial outfits at our Dress Up station, and pose for one-of-a-kind photos!

Constitution Day Arts and Crafts
9:30 A.M. – 3:30 P.M., Grand Hall Lobby and Overlook
Guests  can check out our giant version of the U.S. Constitution and sign your names alongside Washington, Franklin, and Madison.  Plus, take part in arts and crafts projects, and join in calligraphy demonstrations!

Bill of Rights Show
10:15 A.M., 11:45 A.M., 1:15 P.M., Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibit Hall
Who wants to be a “Bill”-ionaire? In the museum’s fast-paced game show, visitors face off in a fun competition testing their Bill of Rights knowledge while an engaging host reveals the real deal about our amendments and freedoms.

Flag Etiquette Workshop and Giant Flag Folding Challenge
10:15 A.M., 12:15 P.M., 2:15 P.M., Front Lawn
Our knowledgeable education staff will lead workshops showcasing the fascinating history of our American flag, and give visitors tips on how to follow proper flag etiquette.  The visitors will use their new skills to help fold our 20’X30’ flag!

Separation of Powers show
10 A.M., 11:30 A.M., 1:30 P.M., Grand Hall Overlook Stage
This high-energy show explores how our Constitution limits government by separating powers—a truly revolutionary idea! Take part in an educational tug-of-war game between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches while learning about checks and balances.

Pass the Citizenship Test show
10:30 A.M., 12:30 P.M., 2 P.M., Grand Hall Overlook Stage
Do you know what it takes to become an American citizen? During this engaging program, you’ll learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and gain insight into our country and our freedoms.

CONSTITUTION DAY IN THE CLASSROOM

Visit our Constitution Day website to find fantastic classroom resources: constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday

Interactive Constitution
Explore the best, non-partisan, interactive Constitution on the web, featuring explanatory materials for students in grades 8-12, written by the top constitutional scholars in the country from across the political spectrum—a must-have tool for every classroom!
Made possible by the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation and developed in partnership with the College Board.
constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday

Constitution Hall Pass
Give your students a “hall pass” to travel through American history without leaving the classroom! Our Constitution Hall Pass video lesson series has been watched by millions of students and teachers nationwide.  It’s also a three-time Telly Award winner for excellence in education. 

Constitution Day Live Chat
Our experts are answering all of your Constitution Day Questions!  Ask us about the Interactive Constitution, the Constitution Hall Pass videos, events at the museum, and more! Available weekdays September 10-23, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. EDT.
constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday

Lesson Plans, Games, and Activities

From Our Partners at iCivics

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