What is the Constitution? A Second Grade Lesson

By Patricia Gable

What is over 200 years old and still powerful? Our constitution! Second grade is a time when many students begin learning about local, state and national governments. Studying the history and formulation of the constitution is a great way to begin.


  1. Grade 2 Constitution Lesson Recognize the U.S. Constitution represents American democracy and freedom. SS02-S03-C01-02
  2. Identify the three branches of national government as represented by the President, Congress and the Supreme Court. SS02-S03-C02-01


  • A book to present to your class (suggestions below)
  • Glue sticks


Day One

Read and discuss the book you have chosen about the constitution. Touch on the following facts.

  • The leaders at the time or “framers" wrote the constitution to join the states into a federal government.
  • The federal government could collect taxes and pass laws.
  • Three branches of government were formed: Executive, Judicial and Legislative.
  • Certain rights were given to the states.
  • It took a long time for the people to talk and argue about what they wanted but finally the constitution was approved. This was partly because communication was slow (there was no texting, emails, television or phones).

Day Two

Review the information from day one, especially the three branches of government. Give each student a parent letter and have glue sticks available.

Invite each student to choose a slip of paper from the container. Instruct them to write their names on the parent letter and glue the slip of paper in the provided space.

Call out the job titles and place students in three groups, representing the three branches of government.

  • Executive Branch
    • The President, Vice President and all the Secretaries (Cabinet Members)
  • Legislative
    • Senators and Representatives
  • Judicial
    • Supreme Court Judges

In the space provided on the Parent Letter, the students should write the branch of government that their jobs are in.

Day Three

Instruct students to gather in the appropriate branch of government with the objects they brought to present. Call each branch up to present in front of the class. Each student will state his or her job title and display the object brought to represent it.