An Interview with Rachel Gillespie: Sept 17- Constitution Day

Sep 13, 2012 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy –

1)      Rachel, we have just commemorated 9/11 and now, Sept 17 the Bill of Rights Institute will celebrate Constitution Day- tell us about this.

The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787, and 225 years later it is an important opportunity to remember its principles that unite us as a nation. On September 11, 2001 we as a nation felt vulnerable as our safety and security were under attack – as Americans we know that our liberties will forever be protected by the Constitution. We must be vigilant to protect the words of the Founders – and ensure that the next generation understand these liberties that have shaped America – this is our true security.

2)      Tell us about some of the materials and videos that are available for teachers?

We offer teachers a wide variety of resources meant to fit seamlessly into any classroom. We have middle and high school lessons plans that come complete with warm-up activities, resources and homework. We also offer 4 videos to help students understand that constitutional principles of Separation of Powers, Rule of Law, Consent of the Governed, and Representative Government. Viewing guides are available with each video to help make assessment a breeze for teachers! In addition to lesson plans and videos, we also have games and quizzes geared to engage students with the Constitution and Founding principles. All of these resources can be found at

3)      Where in the world are Madison’s Notes and How did they end up missing?

That is the mystery and fun of the activity – we can’t reveal that! J

4)      Tell us about this Constitution Duel.

The Constitution Duel is a fun 15 question online quiz to test your knowledge of the Constitution. Questions will come from 4 categories; the Constitution, Landmark Supreme Court Cases, Founding Documents, and Great Americans. Remember to take the quiz more than once – each time the questions change! The quiz can be found at

5)      Life Without the Bill of Rights—what does this contain?

This is a flash activity meant to help students understand how life would change without some of our most cherished freedoms. Students would click through eliminating various amendments from the Bill of Rights and watch the scene on the screen change as that right is stripped away from the characters.

6)      What is your exact web site and what would we find there?

People can visit our website at – teachers, students, and interested citizens will find a plethora of resources. Two times a month we release online lesson plans focused on connecting current events into our lives – to highlight the connection the Constitution has with our daily lives. We also explore various Founding documents, along with offer PDFs for download. Our games and videos are popular among students as well.

7)      What have I neglected to ask?

What else does the Bill of Rights Institute do?

The Bill of Rights Institute focuses on providing top-quality educational curricula and seminars, focused on the Founding documents, to teachers and students across America. The mission of the Bill of Rights Institute is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.

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