Constitutional Convention Web Resources
Summer Institute
July 21-25, 2008
AHTC Teacher Created WebQuests
  The Three Branches of Government Created by Brenda Foster  
So You Want to Run a Presidential Campaign... Created by Katie Snyder
Separate Schools for People with Disabilities? Created by Mark Freedman
Constitutional Convention WebQuest Created by Todd Searing
The United States Constitution Created by Mary Reger
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Created by Laurene Stephens
Primary Sources

Digital History

Digital History has a wide variety of annotated documents, including those written by George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and others of this era. Scroll down to "Creating a New Nation" to find these transcriptions and their annotations.

Library of Congress Learning Page - Primary Source Set:  The Constitution

The Learning Page's Primary Source Set on the Constitution also contains downloadable files and a Teacher's Guide for using these documents. Examples include a Philadelphia map from 1752, diaries of George Washington from 1786-1789, and Thomas Jefferson's notes on the Constitution.

Our Documents – 100 Milestone Documents

The Our Documents site contains 100 "Milestone Documents" that have "helped shape the national character, and they reflect our diversity, our unity, and our commitment as a nation to continue to work toward forming 'a more perfect union'." If you click on "Tools for Educators" on the right hand side of the page, you can find creative teaching suggestions, ideas for librarians, and ways to integrate this site into your classroom.
Creation of the Constitution

National Endowment for the Humanities – Edsitement Lesson Plan

This lesson entitled, "The Federalist Debates: Balancing Power Between State and Federal Governments" contains background information, activities, and all of the links that you need to teach about the positions of the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

Teaching American History at the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs

To start with, this terrific website has articles that give background knowledge about the Constitution, summary of each day of the Convention, and major themes. It also contains an interactive map of Philadelphia from around the late 18th century, and the Constitutional Convention as a four-part drama.

James Madison University – Constitutional Convention Overview

This website will provide quite a bit of background on the Articles of Confederation, delegates at the Convention, the Virginia Plan, the New Jersey Plan, the Great Compromise, and more.

National Archives and Records Administration – Constitution of the United States

NARA's online exhibit provides images, articles, and information on amendments to the Constitution.

Library of Congress – The Learning Page
The Constitution:  Counter Revolution or National Salvation?

This site is a list of links to resources on Constitutional issues and documents important to teaching the Constitutional Convention. Near the top of the page there is a link to a Teacher Guide that includes lesson plans and the links to the required resources.

National Endowment for the Humanities – Edsitement Lesson Plan

This lesson entitled, "The Preamble to the Constitution: How Do You Make a More Perfect Union?" was designed for grades 3-5. Students will explain the purposes, values, and principles of the U.S. Constitution as identified in the Preamble.           

We Were There:  A WebQuest on the U.S. Constitutional Convention

This WebQuest asks students to try to place themselves in the late 18th century United States. They are delegates to the Convention who are appearing on a talk show to present their position or who are covering the Convention for a local newspaper. A long list of websites for student research are included.

United States Constitution WebQuest

Another WebQuest asks students to report on the Constitutional Convention to the public. Students work in groups and are given various jobs to complete. Click on their "Resources" section to find another list of resources for you and your students.

The Constitution WebQuest

Acting as a Supreme Court Judge, Constitutional Lawyer, or Constitutional Historian, secondary students research information to decide how the Constitution affects our everyday lives, and how it changes to meet modern needs.

The History Place:  A New Nation Timeline

A timeline of important events from 1784-1790. Links are provided for more background information or portraits of important individuals.
Influential Individuals of the Time

National Endowment for the Humanities – Edsitement Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan entitled, "The Constitutional Convention: What the Founding Fathers Said," students in grades 6-8 will discuss the important ideas debated during the Constitutional Convention.

The Massachusetts Historical Society – Adams Family Papers

This is a wonderful website for anyone studying John and/or Abigail Adams. Their family papers include corespondence between the two, John Adams' diary, and John Adams' autobiography. You'll find the scanned image of each letter and a transcription.

National Archives and Records Administration – America’s Founding Fathers

This section of NARA's online exhibit contains a biographical overview of all of the Convention delegates.

National Endowment for the Humanities – Edsitement Lesson Plan

This lesson plan, entitled, "James Madison: From Father of the Constitution to President" is designed for grades 9-12. Students will study Madison's role in the creation and implementation of the Constitution, constitutional issues that arose during his presidency, and Madison's positions on these issues. As with all Edsitement lesson plans, links are provided for any required documents.

National Endowment for the Humanities – Edsitement Lesson Plan

In "The Constitutional Convention: Four Founding Fathers You May Never Have Met," students in grades 6-8 will study some "lesser known" contributors to the Constitution - Oliver Ellsworth, Alexander Hamilton, William Paterson, and Edmund Randolph.

Founding Fathers

This page includes several founding documents. Your students can also browse the Founding Fathers Image Gallery or read the Federalist Papers Online.

The American Revolution Home Page:  Founding Fathers of the United States of America

(Beware - music will start as soon as you hit this page!)

Find biographical information on Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Hamilton, Hancock, and Franklin.

Archiving Early America:  Notable Women of Early America

This site includes information on many women who you may or may not recognize from your History textbook! Click where it says, "Continue to Early America's Notable Women" for a list that includes Dolley Madison, Lucretia Mott, Mercy Warren, and several others.           

The White House – Abigail Adams

The White House biography of Abigail Adams.

National Archives and Records Administration – Will the Real Molly Pitcher Please Stand Up?

From NARA, an article about Molly Pitcher that raises the question: When speaking about Molly Pitcher, what is fiction and what is reality?           

The White House – James Madison

The White House biography of James Madison.
American Revolution

National Archives and Records Administration Teaching with Documents Lesson Plan

This NARA lesson plan, "Images of the American Revolution," includes background from the beginnings of conflict through the Treaty of Paris. All required documents are linked at the bottom of the page.

Memorial Hall Museum Online

With more than 2000 artifacts and documents, this website allows you to explore American History through their digital collection, fun activities, and detailed classroom activities.

Colonial Ancestors

This particular link allows readers to learn about specific women and many women's roles during the Revolution. The left side of the page contains links to information on specific battles from 1775-1781.           

The American Revolution

A nice site for your own background knowledge or that of your students, this site contains links to information about specific battles, important people, documents, a timeline, and even music of the era.

Tech Learning – FREE Resources:  The Constitution

A long list of websites for further research on the Constitution. The "Interactive Constitution" link would be especially helpful for students trying to interpret different sections of the Constitution.

The Constitution for Kids

Broken up into elementary and secondary sections, this site gives background knowledge on the history of the Constitution, including information about women's roles, slavery, and the Bill of Rights.           

National Endowment for the Humanities – Resources on the Constitution for grades K-12

Edsitement's list of lesson plans on the Constitution for grades K-12. Select US Constitution under "THEMES"

National Constitution Center

Through their "Education" link, teachers and students can find lesson plans and online activities for teaching and learning about the Constitution. Their "Exhibits" link includes the Interactive Constitution site mentioned above as well as an interactive timeline of the Constitution.           

White House for Kids – Quizzes and Games

A fun site for your students, this quiz tests your knowledge about the Constitution.

A Kid's Guide to the U.S. Constitution

Facts, terms, and links for kids to explore and further their knowlege of the Constitution.