United States Constitution Worksheets
The Constitution is the fundamental law of the land in the United States. The is the source of existence of America and the federal government. The worksheets presented here examine the meaning behind the constitution and associated vocabulary.
- Acrostic Poem
- Balances of Powers - This worksheet is used to introduce the concept of the US system of government as established by the Constitution.It provides an overview of how the three branches of government work together.Use on transparency,while students have worksheet(suggest teacher delete words and have students complete while teacher discusses terms.)
- Comparing U.S. Life Before and After The U.S. Constitution VENN Diagram
- Constitution Book Marks
- Group Creative Writing
- Reading Comprehension Worksheet
- Vocabulary List & Definitions
- Vocabulary Quiz
- Word Search Worksheet
- Writing Paper
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United States Constitution Bulletin Board Characters
What is the United States Constitution?
Each country has its own set of laws. These are the rules that the government and the citizens have to follow. The United States Constitution is one of the oldest sets of laws in the world. It was written in the early years after the US became independent from the British. No new law can go against the United States Constitution, but some little changes can be made to it. These are called amendments. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is an example of a change to the constitution.
After the United States gained independence from England, they needed their own laws because they couldn't keep following British laws. This special document was written in 1787. It replaced the previously existing Articles of Confederation, written at the time of independence. This is because the United States changed a lot after gaining independence, so the laws needed to be updated.
Who Wrote the United States Constitution?
The United States Constitution is credited to James Madison because most of his ideas became a part of it. There were many other people that worked on it though. Officially, Governor Morris wrote down the constitution. There were originally two different plans for the United States Constitution.
James Madison was responsible for this plan; it gave more power to states that had a larger population. It stated that state power should depend on state size.
William Patterson wrote this plan; he wanted all the states to have equal representation in the federal government.
In the end, they agreed to go with both plans for different parts of the government- the House and the Senate.
Structure of the Government
The United States Constitution gave the Federal Government much more power than before. It also divided the government into different sections. The first three sections were the executive, judicial and legislative. Later, more sections were added.
This section of the government is responsible for big decisions. They have the most power when it comes to getting an order approved or a law passed.
This section of the government is responsible for making sure that the Federal Government is following the United States Constitution. They're responsible for upholding the laws of the United States.
This section of the government is responsible for changes and amendments to the United States Constitution.
Distribution of Power
The United States Constitution created a type of distribution of power where the state governments could handle their affairs daily. This meant that no one section of the government would have too much power at a time. It also prevented any one person from abusing their power over the Ffederal Government. The legislative section of the government can even reject presidential orders if they think that it goes against the United States Constitution.
Amendments to the United States Constitution
The Constitution was written a very long time ago. The world is always changing, therefore some laws need to be changed as well to reflect the times. These changes to the United States Constitution are called amendments.
Bill of Rights
These were the first 10 changes made to the United States Constitution soon after it was signed and put into place. Most of the states were looking forward to the Bill of Rights, that's why they agreed to sign the Constitution. It listed all of the rights that the citizens of the United States have today like freedom of speech and religion, as well as the right to a fair trial. These amendments are still important today because they ensure that US citizens are protected from unfair laws.
How Is an Amendment Made?
There are different steps that are followed before an amendment to the United States Constitution is passed. The first step is the proposal. This is only approved if the Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate give the majority vote to pass it.
The next step is ratification. This means that the change to the law needs to be approved by the states as well. If 3/4th of all the states are in favor of the amendment, then it's passed.
Fun Facts About the United States Constitution
- The United States Constitution has 4,400 words.
- There are some typos in the original document. The most famous typo is the misspelling of Pennsylvania.
- It's a very old document therefore it's stored in the National Archives in Washington. It needs to be stored with special gases so that it doesn't fall apart.
- Benjamin Franklin needed extra help when signing the Constitution because he was ill.
- The name 'United States of America' was first officially used in the Constitution.
- It only took 100 days before the first changes to the Constitution were made.
- The day that the Constitution was written is celebrated as a separate holiday.
- There is actually no mention of democracy in the Constitution. This was part of the amendments that came later in the Bill of Rights.
- Since 1791, the Constitution has gone through 17 different changes. This is because new amendments are made as time passes. This means that it's actually a pretty flexible document.
- Benjamin Franklin wanted the Convention for the United States Constitution to start with a prayer but there was no chaplain available to do it.
Hopefully, you now understand the importance of the United States Constitution in making sure that everyone follows the rules. Without laws, there would be complete chaos everywhere. Although the United States Constitution is a very old document, the basic structure that it gave is still necessary.