Civics – Articles of the Constitution

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10191

How do you "put together" a country? What is the basis for a country's laws and how it's run? What unites the United States? Learn about the parts of the document that established this unique country!


United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Where in the world is the U.S. Constitution? The original draft of the Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Where was the Constitution sent for safe storage during World War II? It was sent to Fort Knox. The United States Constitution is one important document!

Did you know that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson did NOT sign the Constitution?

They did not sign the document that set up the branches of the national government!

In this lesson, you will examine how the articles of the Constitution set up the national government.

The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States, ratified (approved) in 1781. The states remained independent under the Articles of Confederation.

It soon became clear that the United States would need a strong central government to levy taxes and negotiate with large foreign powers. In 1787, twelve of the thirteen states gathered in secrecy in Philadelphia to write a new constitution. This Constitutional Convention lasted 55 days. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest member at the age of 81.

The United States Constitution is the oldest constitution still in use today. The three major components of the Constitution are the Preamble, the Articles, and the Bill of Rights. The Articles of the Constitution set up the government of the United States.

Watch the following video from Crash Course, The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8, to learn about some of the history of the Constitution:


Watch the following video, The Articles of the US Consitution, by Keith Piirto, for an overview of each of the Articles of the Constitution. Take notes on each of the seven articles using the Articles of the Constitution Note Taking Guide found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. Pause the video if necessary:


You can read The Constitution of the United States at and an explanation of the The 7 Articles of the US Constitution at Fill in details about each article on the Articles of the Constitution Note Taking Guide.

Continue on to the Got It? section to study the Constitution in more detail.

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