Constitution Day!...We The People: The Thirteen Colonies

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Lesson At A Glance

This lesson begins the unit on National Holidays & Heroes.


  • Students will understand the meaning and significance of Constitution Day and the essential documents and people associated with it.
  • Students will be able to locate the original 13 colonies on a map and describe how the leaders played a significant role in developing The Constitution.

Standards Addressed: 

History Social Science

1.3 Students know and understand the symbols, icons, and traditions of the United States that provide continuity and a sense of community across time.
1.3.2 Understand the significance of our national holidays and the heroism and achievements of the people associated with them.

1.3.3 Identify American symbols, landmarks, and essential documents, such as the flag, bald eagle, Statue of Liberty, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence, and know the people and events associated with them.

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects

Reading Standards for Literature K–5

Grade 1: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

10. With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.

Essential Questions/Issues:

1. Why was The Constitution written and what effect did it have on our country?

2.What role did the leaders of the 13 colonies have on developing The Constitution?  


Students will be evaluated through informal checks for understanding, teacher observation, class participation, and performance on The Constitution Day Poem and the 13 Colonies Map and Flag.

Click here to download assessment tools

Activity Steps:

Click here to download activity steps

 Purpose   Teacher Students
(20 Minutes) 
Teacher will have the Power Point presentation displayed on the screen as students enter the classroom.

Teacher will pass out a “Constitution Day” patriotic lei to each student.

Teacher asks students:

1.  Why did we all dress in red, white, & blue today?

2.  What are we celebrating?

Students will sit on their carpet square and receive a patriotic lei.

Students will actively participate in a class discussion about why we are all wearing red, white, and blue…..and what we are celebrating today.

(60 Minutes) 
Teacher will show the Power Point presentation to the class and engage in a class discussion.

Teacher will have students get out their Social Studies textbook and turn to the chapter that shows pictures of The Constitution, map of the 13 colonies, flag of the 13 colonies, and the Philadelphia/Constitutional Convention.

Teacher will introduce the Constitution Day Poem and recite it and write it with the class.

Teacher will divide the class into 5 equal groups for their Constitution Day Poem presentations.

Teacher will discuss and hand out the 13 colonies map and flag to students.

Students will sit at their desks and actively participate in the Power Point presentation class discussion.

Students will get their Social Studies book out of their desk and look at the pictures.

Students will recite The Constitution Day poem and write it.

Students will work cooperatively in groups to prepare and present a creative presentation of The Constitution Day Poem.

Students will refer to their Social Studies book to accurately depict the 13 colonies map and flag.

(20 Minutes) 
Teacher will wrap up the lesson by reiterating everything that was taught.

What did you learn?

What did you like best?

Students will actively engage in discussing the lesson and reflect on the concepts taught. 

Special Needs of students are considered in this lesson: 

Since this lesson is taught so early in the 1st grade school year, the students have a short attention span so I have to incorporate many different teaching strategies to hold their attention.  The Power Point presentation is a visual tool which is beneficial to all students.  Using their Social Studies textbook is another visual tool that helps bring the content to life.  I have also incorporated hands-on activities and performing arts activities as a way of getting them excited and involved in the lesson, both socially, and, academically. 

Extension Ideas:

Have the students create their own “Constitution” for our classroom or the school.


Materials and Resources Needed:

  • Power Point presentation
  • Constitution Day Poem
  • 13 Colonies Map
  • 13 Colonies Flag
  • Social Studies textbook


Student Materials:

Download student materials here

Outline of Unit Plan:

National Holidays & Heroes