Legislative Branch

September Feature: The Constitution

This lesson engages students in a study of the Constitution to learn the significance of "Six Big Ideas" contained in it. Students analyze the text of the Constitution in a variety of ways, examine primary sources to identify their relationship to its central ideas and debate the core constitutional principles as they relate to today's political issues.

To understand the Six Big Ideas which underpin the Constitution students need to be familiar with the text itself. Mapping the text of the Constitution presents the national charter in a way that illustrates the attention the Founders gave to the structure and power of government. The 4447 words of the U.S. Constitution are the foundation of our nation and establish the federal government's structures and branches. By counting the words in each article and calculating the percentage of the whole it represents, students can determine how much of the overall project was dedicated to each structure or power.

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Researching Congressional Records

While congressional publications can be found nationwide, the Center's combination of publications and unpublished committee records make our holdings unique. Visit our Research Portal to get started with your congressional research.

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Educational Resources

Students Learning

Our lesson plans are designed to assist teachers with using primary source materials to integrate Congress into history, government, and civics classes.

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