The amendments to the Constitution offer a great opportunity to show students how ideas evolve. I would ask students to unpack and rephrase some of the most important amendments, such as Amendment 13 prohibiting slavery, or Amendment 19 which gave women the right to vote, and then discuss why lawmakers made these changes. Then, I would challenge their thinking of the word “failure” by introducing the Henry Ford conversation. Students would explore how each amendment offers a way to “begin again more intelligently.” The lesson and discussion could end with the supporting question: “Why do lawmakers need to make amendments to the Constitution?
Level: Elementary Social Studies
Subject Area: Government/Civics, U.S. History
Author: Tiffany Heitman