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Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago Teaching Materials

Found in: social studies; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago Teaching Materials offers K-12 social studies, government, Constitution, and civics resources that provide background on US legal and political systems and asks students to apply what they have learned with case studies, mock trials, and discussions. Materials can be searched by keyword or browsed by selecting audience, topic, article or amendment to the Constitution, and teaching strategy from pull down menus. Three radio buttons provide all materials, free materials, or materials for purchase. Activities are aligned to Common Core and Chicago Standards. Free registration is required to download PDFs. Here are some examples:

  • Cupcake Thief (PDF , 160 KB, 3 pgs.) is a K-3 lesson in conflict resolution based on The Cupcake Thief by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Blanche Sims. If your library does not have ca copy, you can find a readers theater version at The Cupcake Thief Reinforcement Activity. Students analyze a conflict and the means by which it can be remediated.
  • We the Students: Writing a Class Constitution (PDF , 300 KB, 4 pgs) is a grade 4-5 lesson in which they read and translate into everyday English the Preamble, use their translation as a model to write a class Preamble, and generate rules for their classroom.
  • Making the Grade: What Makes a Good President ((PDF , 262 KB, 8 pgs) is a grade 6-8 lesson in which students are provided resources to evaluate past presidents and to use when considering candidates to vote for in the future.
  • Using Torture on Suspected Terrorists (PDF , 1.2 MB, 6 pgs) is a grade 9-12 lesson that opens with a definition of torture and history of its use. It provides an opportunity to consider some of the facts, misperceptions, arguments, and alternatives.


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