September 10, 2010
Montpelier, Vt. - In 2004, the United States Congress adopted a law requiring every school that receives federal funds to teach about the Constitution on September 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz is urging Vermont schools to not only look at the United States Constitution, but to also take time to study Vermont’s own constitution.
“Constitution Day is the perfect time to remind teachers how to incorporate civics education into the curriculum,” says Markowitz. “Teaching students about the democratic process helps them become better citizens in the future.” Markowitz notes, “There is no better way to honor the founders of this country – and the founders of Vermont - than by developing the habits of citizenship in our next generation.”
Markowitz adds, “This year we are using Constitution Day as a reminder that the Secretary of State’s Office offers an array of civics education materials for use in the classroom. Our newest publication, Revolution, Rights and Rules: A Student’s Guide to the Vermont Constitution, brings the Vermont Constitution to life and helps students understand how this document continues to impact their lives every day and introduces them to how the constitution was developed and describes the circumstances that shaped the thinking of its authors.”
Revolution, Rights and Rules helps middle school students understand the 220 year-old document which is the founding document of Vermont. The 40 page booklet includes questions, writing assignments, and activities that encourage students to use analytical and critical thinking skills to express their own ideas. It concludes with an exercise where the class creates its own constitution.
In addition to the constitution guide for students, the Secretary of State’s Office offers Vermont History, Facts and Fun, The Adventures of Bill – The Real Life Account of How a Vermont Bill Becomes a Law, and a series of booklets on the state’s unique town meeting process.
“Several of our booklets were created to be used by students while touring the statehouse, such as Under the Golden Dome. In partnership with the statehouse staff we have also developed a legislative role play program where students actually participate in a mock legislative session at the statehouse. Our On the Road to Congress is a board game that teaches students about the election process,” explains Secretary Markowitz.
These materials are free of charge to schools and can be viewed, downloaded or ordered online on the Secretary of State’s Kids’ Pages at www.sec.state.vt.us.
Source: Secretary of State
Last Updated at: September 10, 2010 10:29:28