Can I Make Changes to the Constitution?

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11221

How is a 200+-year-old document relevant today? Due to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers the Constitution rarely needs changing, and is difficult to change. Discover why that is important even today!

categories

Civics, United States

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

The Constitution has been called a living document. What is meant by this phrase? How can a piece of paper be considered living? Let's jump into this lesson and discover how the U.S. Constitution is alive!

Let's say there is something written in the Constitution that you disagree with; is it possible for the U.S. Constitution to be changed?

Or, maybe you believe there is a new law that should be added to the Constitution. Do you, as an ordinary citizen of the United States, have to power to add additional laws to what the founding fathers created so many years ago?

It does make sense to allow some change in laws, especially in a land that is growing and changing. So, in short, the answer to both of those questions is, "Yes", but both are long processes, and few changes or additions actually make it to the Constitution.

The founding fathers wanted the people to be able to revise the Constitution based on the needs of their time, but they put a process in place that prevents the Constitution from constantly being changed. The founding fathers called changes to the Constitution amendments, and they outlined how amendments can be made in Article V of the Constitution.

Read Article V of the Constitution using The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription, (The National Archives). Write out the steps needed to amend the Constitution. Make sure to write the steps in order.

After you read Article V, make sure the list of steps you wrote down is accurate, by watching Why is the US Constitution so hard to amend? - Peter Paccone (TEDEd):

 

Make changes to your list if you need to.

Do you think you understand all the steps involved in changing the Constitution? Move on to the next section to check your list.

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We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.