Constitution Scavenger Hunt
The Constitution is the founding document of the United States government. Even though it is over 200 years old, it still plays a central role in the function of this country. Learn more about the Constitution on the World Book Web and then find the answers to the following questions!
- Who actually wrote the Constitution?
- In case of a conflict between the national and state governments, who has the final authority?
- Which state refused to attend the Constitutional Convention and why?
- What past experiences could the Constitutional Convention delegates rely on to help them craft this new document?
- Why did North Carolina and Rhode Island refuse to approve the Constitution and take part in the new government at first?
- How does the Constitution protect the rights of those with the minority opinion?
- What does the Constitution mean, in Section 2, when it speaks of “three-fifths of all other persons”.
- What is a pocket veto?
- Are political parties outlined in the Constitution?
10. Who has the final authority in interpreting the meaning of the Constitution?
Did You Know?
¨ The second amendment, the right to bear arms, is the source of much debate in America. Some argue that this amendment grants ordinary citizens the right to own guns. Others argue that the amendment grants states the right to have state-run militias. The Supreme Court, while deciding very few cases concerning the second amendment, usually allows broad federal and state control of firearms.
¨ Amendment 15, giving slaves the right to vote, was ratified on Feb. 3, 1870. Seven Southern states tried to bypass it by adding grandfather clauses to their constitutions. One such clause gave the right to vote to people who could vote on Jan. 1, 1867, and to their family descendants. In 1915 and 1939, the Supreme Court of the United States declared grandfather clauses unconstitutional.
¨ In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15th Bill of Rights Day to make Americans increasingly aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
¨ In 1987, the United States celebrated the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution with a huge celebration at the nation’s capital. Click here to see a picture of that day!
¨ The 2000 presidential elections were so close that it was weeks after Election Day before the winner was declared. Read more about this election and how the electoral college factored in the end result.
¨ The original United States Constitution is kept on display at the National Archives in Washington DC. Click here to see other important documents in America’s history that are kept at the National Archives.
- In a direct democracy, the people all meet together to make rules for the community. In an indirect democracy, citizens elect people representatives to make decisions for them.
- Freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religious worship
- A bill of rights outlines the basic liberties of the people and forbids the government to violate those liberties.
- A citizenry that is well-educated is able to make good decisions for their democracy.
- Every male citizen was required to be part of the assembly, there was no division between the legislative and executive branches, and slaves and women were not allowed to vote.
- The Magna Carta restricted royal power and insisted that even the king had to obey the law.
- John Locke
- The French ideas of liberty and equality were large contributions to the development of democracy.
- Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain
10. Decisions that are good for international business and trade can sometimes be at odds with what is best for the citizens of the democracy. Additionally, some international organizations are not part of any country, and are thereby free from any authority of the people.
For more information on the Constitution for kids, try the children's encyclopedia set by World Book.
Last updated: May 28, 2012