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US Constitution: The Preamble

Grade Level: Middle School

Estimated Duration: 1 class period
Goal: Explain the meaning of the Preamble to the Constitution in their own words. 
Primary Source:  US Constitution  
Materials:  Preamble of the US Constitution, Board, Dry Erase Markers, paper, pen s or pencils
Step 1.  Make sure each student has a copy of the U.S. Constitution.
Step 2.  Read the Preamble aloud with the class.
Step 3.  Talk about and explain any part or words that the students do not understand.
Step 4.  Discuss how the Preamble is an explanation/Introduction to why the Framers were writing this new Constitution.
Step 5.  On their own, have the students re-write the Preamble on a blank sheet of paper, so that their partner can easily understand it.  (Students sit with Partners/Groups)
The students trade papers and read/grade their partners paper on a 5 point scale/rubric of understandability, which the teacher should display on the board(to his/her own expectations for his/her class).
Prepared by James Groetz, Lehman Middle School, Canton City Schools