2015 Theme: Citizenship and the Constitution
On September 17, the nation marks Constitution Day by reflecting on the U.S. Constitution and the role that we as citizens of this constitutional democracy play in bringing to life the cherished principles enshrined by this great document. From the opening three words of its Preamble – We, the People – the Constitution makes clear that the true power of our nation emanates from and resides with the individuals who make it up.
Constitutional principles and protection provide the framework for our freedoms as well as an avenue from redress when those rights are wrongfully taken from us. Good citizenship includes ensuring the rights of our fellow Americans are being respected. It also means staying informed and participating in our nation’s civic life. If we are truly to have, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Government of the peoples, by the people, for the people,” each of us must play our part.
This Constitution Day, as the nation welcomes new citizens participating in naturalization ceremonies throughout the country, let’s reflect on the meaning of good citizenship and ask ourselves what more we can do to promote civic education and participation in our communities.
This handout contains a selection of constitution preambles from different countries. Exploring constitutions from around the world is a great way to teach about constitutions and their role in governance and societies.
For additional handouts and instructions, visit this Insights on Law & Society Learning Gateway to access a comprehensive lesson plan on constitutional preambles, as well as other lesson plans related to constitution-making.