Constitution Day is September 17, and educational institutions that receive federal funding are required to teach about the Constitution or conduct Constitution-related programs each year on this date. This year, the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society, Learning Law and Democracy, and the Minnesota Historical Society, in partnership with the Minnesota Judicial Branch, have created “Constitution Week” resources and activities teachers and students can use to learn about the United States and Minnesota constitutions during the week of September 14-18. The resources are aimed at helping students understand the importance of the rule of law and their constitutional rights, with an emphasis on the role the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 had in shaping those rights.
Below is a summary of the resources and activities available to teachers and students for Constitution Week.
#MNCONSTWEEK Twitter event
Minnesota students and teachers can be part of a statewide Twitter event, #MNCONSTWEEK, to learn more about the Constitution. Students and teachers who participate in the Twitter event will be entered in a drawing for prizes.
Each day of the event week with have a theme for the #MNCONSTWEEK Twitter conversation. All Tweets that day will provide information, websites, and resources focused on that Constitutional theme:
- Mon., Sept. 14: #wethepeoplecw (citizenship)
- Tues., Sept. 15: #shallhavethepowercw (power)
- Wed., Sept. 16: #lawoftheland (rule of law)
- Thurs., Sept. 17: #establishjusticecw (justice)
- Fri., Sept. 18: #billofrights (rights)
More information about the #MNCONSTWEEK Twitter event will be posted on the Minnesota Historical Society Education Department Twitter feed, @HistoryEdMNHS
Magna Carta Trivia App
To help students learning about Magna Carta and the Constitution to put their knowledge to the test, the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society and the Learning Law and Democracy Foundation have teamed up with Thomson Reuters to create a Magna Carta quiz that will be available September 13th at https://lawschool.westlaw.com/Marketing/Display/CD/1
. A downloadable app titled Magna Carta Quiz for iPhone and Android will be available soon at the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store.
Constitution Week Video
The Minnesota Historical Society has produced a short video featuring Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea available on the Society’s Constitution Week web page at http://education.mnhs.org/constitution-week
During Constitution Week, the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society will announce details of an essay contest related to the Magna Carta for Minnesota high school juniors and seniors. Winners will receive a $500 scholarship. More information about the contest will be posted at http://www.mncourthistory.org/Essay-Contest
Lesson Plans and Magna Carta Resources
To help bring the lessons of Magna Carta into the classroom, Learning Law and Democracy has posted a collection of educator-created lesson plans and resources highlighting the enduring themes of liberty, freedom, and self-determination for use by teachers across the state. The lessons and resources can be found at http://teachingcivics.org/programs/celebrate-magna-carta/
Constitution Day event at the Minnesota History Center
The capstone event of Minnesota’s celebration of the 800th
anniversary of Magna Carta will be a special Constitution Day event at the Minnesota History Center on September 17. The event, which will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., will give visitors the opportunity to view a special exhibit titled, “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy,” and hear remarks from Governor Mark Dayton, Chief Justice Gildea, and David Mao, Deputy Librarian of Congress.
Following the History Center event, the “Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy” traveling exhibit will be on display at the Minnesota State Law Library in St. Paul. The exhibit will be available for free, self-guided tours during regular library hours between September 18 and October 2. For location and display information please visit http://mn.gov/lawlib/