Sunday, September 23, 2007

Those Dead White Guys....

Really did know what they were doing .

Last week was “Constitution Week”. Believe it or not,, all public school students must be exposed to the Preamble of the Constitution on or about September 17th. It’s the law. While I love history I don’t like teaching The Constitution in September. It’s to early in the year for 5th grade, who are still discovering America and the little ones are still struggling with The Pledge of Allegiance.

However, Congress decided they solved all of our problems and having nothing better to do mandated Constitution Day a couple of years ago. To ensure it’s done my principal delegates it to me since I see all the classes.

This year I tried something new – I turned my Mr. Magoo puppet into James Madison and had him “read” a new book by Picture Window called “The U.S. Constitution. Actually, he paraphrased it, since parts of it were totally over everyone’s head.

It turned out rather well – the kids loved the puppet – even the 5th graders who think they are to sophisticated for puppets. James of course did quite a bit of improvisation depending on the grade level he was addressing. James’s voice got hoarser and hoarser as the day went on and James’s alter ego went home exhausted.

James read and explained the Preamble some 40+ times. It is one outrageous statement. Those Founding Fathers weren’t staid, conservative, white men. They were wild eyed radicals intent on creating a form of government like no other. They did it too. And did it well.

I do wonder, if in this post 9/11 World if our current Congress would ever manage to pass it, shoudl it ever have to come up for a vote again?

I do know that if they did our current President would veto it in a heartbeat.


MsAbcMom said...

We had a Constitution Day performance last week at school. The 5th graders did most of the show but my class and another 2nd grade class sang 2 songs. My thought while I was practicing with my students and while the performance was going on that no student really understood the whole idea of Constitution Day. (not even the performers.) I kept trying to make the idea accessible to 2nd graders but it was to no avail. It just so happened though that I passed by my mailbox on the way back from our performance and my new Scholastic News magazines were waiting for me. There was a Constitution Day issue that was really good. That sealed the deal for the kids! Whew!

Library Lady said...

Next year, spare your voice, get the DVD of "Schoolhouse Rock" and play em some of the "History Rock" bits. Not only will they get it, they will probably never FORGET it.
Or are you not allowed to use such in school?