Learn About the Preamble: Constitution Webquest for Middle School
written by: Elizabeth Wistrom
• edited by: Jonathan Wylie
• updated: 9/19/2014
In this Webquest for the Constitution, students will learn about the document's intent as it is laid out in the Preamble. Using what they have learned, they will prove that the intentions of the Founding Fathers have, in fact, come to fruition. Read on to learn more.
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Start From a Base of Knowledge
Before beginning this WebQuest for the Constitution, it is important that the students all have basic background knowledge of the Constitution, including when it was drafted, who the major players were and the events which led up to its inception . Students will demonstrate their understanding of the Preamble by identifying modern-day programs or services which exemplify the different parts of the introduction.
The Constitution is an amazing document! Drafted over 200 years ago, the United States Constitution has become a model for countries around the world. The basic tenets of the Constitution have remained virtually unchanged since its inception. These tenets are laid out in its Preamble. Just what are they? With this Webquest for the Constitution, you will find out!
The United States Supreme Court is charged with the responsibility of interpreting the intent of the Constitution, and while individuals have quarreled over these interpretations, historically, they have not questioned the wisdom of its underlying principles. That is...until today.
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For this Webquest, you will assume roles of constitutional lawyers. A group of citizens is suing the government with the notion that the Constitution is a failure, because it has not lived up to the intent of its original drafters. They believe the Constitution should be scrapped, and that our government should start over by drafting a new version. Your job will be to demonstrate that the Constitution has been a success, as evidenced by modern-day examples of the goals set forth in the Preamble. Your argument - that the Constitution has done exactly what it set out to do in the Preamble - will be presented in written form to the Judge (aka the classroom teacher!) If he/she agrees that your examples prove the Constitution has been a success, you will win summary judgment on your case! Good luck!
What were the weakness of the Articles of Confederation which the Founding Fathers were attempting to address with the Constitution?
The words "pursuit of happiness" from the Declaration of Independence are often cited as a reason for citizens to engage in misdoings. Why is this logic misguided and in direct conflict with the intent of the Constitution?
If you had to choose one word to represent the motivation behind the Pilgrims journey to the New World, the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution, what would that word be and why?