Last week, September 17, was Constitution Day! I'm sure that many of you took time throughout the day to observe our nation's constitution and our Founding Fathers. This year, I wanted to include a little time travel into Constitution Day. First, I had a replica of the constitution out for the kids to observe. They loved the signatures and the fact that it was barely legible to them.
I bought this replica at the St. Louis Arch Museum. It was the best $10.00 I've spent in awhile!
Next, I told the students that we would be focusing in on the delegates of the Constitutional Convention. Five groups in my classroom were assigned a delegate to research. Their goal was to create a Facebook page for their Founding Father. The essential question was, "what would [insert delegate's name here] post on Facebook?" All of my students, in 5th grade, are familiar with Facebook and how it's used. The difficult part of the project was convincing them that the year was 1787 and we were taking Facebook back in time with us. See? Time travel! I had to remind them that George Washington didn't "Like" the same activities that we do now, such as playing x-box, which means that wouldn't show up on his Facebook wall.
This activity wouldn't have been possible without my extremely talented friend, Ali. You should take the time and check out her incredible online portfolio here. I told her my vision and with the whooosh of her wand, she had emailed me a file perfect for our activity. Thanks to her my kids were able to have an extraordinary paper version of a Facebook page fit with a map of the 13 colonies!!
I gave each group a black and white version for a rough draft. After they double checked the sloppy copy with me, they jumped into their final copies in color.
Through a few google searches, I found incredible sites for my students to use. Of course the internet wasn't exactly working on ALL 6 computers Monday, so we had to improvise. Despite the internet madness, students were able to get the basic facts from the site. To help with common questions, I provided each student with a checklist. There were six different tasks on the checklists. First, groups divided up the responsibilities then they got to work.
Here was the checklist:
______ Cover photo should represent a painting from the convention
______ Profile picture and basic information (name, occupation, lives in, and relationship) should come from biography page.
______ Wall posts can be from family members, delegates, or children. Wall posts must relate to the current time period or an event that has happened in the delegate's life.
______ “Likes” and interests should be picked from the biography page.
______ “Friends” can include pictures of family members, spouses, children, or other delegates.
______ “Places I’ve Been Map” should include HOME state. (The map may also include: college location, convention location, etc.)
*Remember, your page should represent the LIFE of the delegate. It’s the year 1787! Good luck!
At the conclusion of the project, I laminated the pages and hung them in the hallway in a fancy red, white, and blue display. I included a little blurb about our activity and another replica constitution. Now, while kids are waiting to use the restroom they can learn a little bit about our Founding Fathers.
|Displaying our Facebook Pages.|
I really enjoyed talking to my students about writing the wall posts. I encouraged them to teach our readers in the hallway something about the convention through the wall posts. First, I got several blank looks. Then the spark of creativity started to light in several groups. I was very excited by the results.
As a result of this two day activity, several students were reminded that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are two different documents. When we study the American Revolution later, we will be able to reference this activity. Hopefully, they'll remember the names studied because several of them worked on the Declaration of Independence as well.
How do YOU celebrate Constitution Day?