Constitutional Conversations

Overview

The National Constitution Center is developing new teaching materials to support the three pillars of the Center’s unique approach to constitutional education:

  1. Historic storytelling
  2. Constitutional questions
  3. Civil dialogue and reflection

This approach provides a strong foundation in the Founding stories and judicial interpretations of the Constitution teaches learners of all ages to separate their political views from their constitutional views, asking not what the government should do but what it constitutionally may do and teaches students to think like constitutional scholars by providing platforms to support civil discourse within classrooms and among communities.

Constitutional Conversations

Constitutional Conversations provide students the opportunity to explore big questions about the United States Constitution. The resources on this page support teachers’ instruction and students’ learning using the National Constitution Center’s constitutional education framework. The lesson plans included in this section of the website utilize the Center’s Interactive Constitution to provide students with nonpartisan analysis from top constitutional scholars.

Additional resources on this page include materials for establishing classroom norms and protocols for civil dialogue as well as two opportunities to extend constitutional conversations beyond the individual classroom.

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATIONS

Classroom Exchanges

Throughout the school year, teachers can register their classes to discuss a big constitutional question with a classroom elsewhere in the United States. The Center will facilitate these dialogues by pairing classrooms, connecting them with an expert moderator, and setting up videoconferencing sessions. 

Fill out this form to get more information

The New York Times Learning Network

Students can connect their constitutional understandings to current events by reading articles and op-ed pieces featured on The New York Times Learning Network. Students can then express their understanding of the constitutional issues involved through opinion polls on that site.

New York Times Learning Network

Classroom Exchanges Launching on Constitution Day 2018

The National Constitution Center is piloting the first Classroom Exchanges on Constitution Day, September 17, 2018. Participating students will have the opportunity to engage in a Constitutional Conversation with their peers from around the country by answering fundamental questions about the United States Constitution. Teachers who are selected to participate will receive supporting materials, including videos and lesson plans, as well as appropriate scholarly content, to prepare for their virtual exchange on September 17. 

The pilot program is open to high school classrooms. If you are a high school teacher who is interested in participating in the pilot program, please complete the survey here. 

The Classroom Exchanges are made possible through the generous support of the Laura and Gary Lauder Philanthropic Fund at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.

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