by Kate Otto, Lake Forest College

Designed to increase student understanding of the main themes in the Constitution-justice, honesty, fairness, equality-this WebQuest requires students to collect and analyze information from a variety of sources using the internet. Using the images, videos, and readings as inspiration, students will incorporate Articles of the U.S. Constitution with their own laws to create a "mini-constitution" that is both historically accurate and appropriate for American society today. This mini-constitution will be instituted as the "supreme law of the land" in the classroom.

Introduction

Drafting Your Own Constitution

Many people refer to the Constitution as a "living document" because the articles articulated in the Constitution still apply to almost every aspect of our daily life.  They determine who makes the laws, who carries out the laws, and who leads our country among many other things.  Also, the part of the Constitution called the Bill of Rights ensures that individual rights are protected.  This set of laws is what tells us that we as American citizens have a right to freely express ourselves, to carry weapons, and that we have a right to privacy.  The Constitutional Amendments also preserve individual rights, such as women's right to vote and the assurance of equal rights regardless of gender, ethnicity, etc.  Can you imagine what life would be like if we didn't have a guarantee of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"  What if we didn't have all of the rights that we do?  How would life be different?  Thinking about what life would be like without all of the rights that we are privileged to have as Americans makes us appreciate these powerful documents. However, there may still be some rights that you feel you still don't have yet you think you should.  Now is your chance to challenge the old and bring on the new...you will contribute to the "living document" that is the Constitution.