More Perfect Union
More Perfect Union is CRFC's curriculum for 7th/8th grade students studying the Constitution. The six-unit curriculum helps students develop a deeper understanding of content related to the founding documents of our country, and how constitutional principles are represented in our government. The curriculum includes interactive teaching methodologies such as civil conversations, simulations, case studies, human continuum, and use of outside resource persons, particularly attorneys.
Content Focus of More Perfect Union
The supplemental lessons focus on six topic areas that are critical in understanding the U.S. Constitution and the federal government, for which it provides the framework. These six topic areas are:
Unit One: Founding Principles and Documents. Lessons in this category engage students in exploring such founding documents as the Declaration of Independence and Preamble, as well as such principles underlying our government as federalism and majority rules/minority rights.
Unit Two: The Legislative Branch. Article I of the Constitution deals with Congress, the legislative branch of the federal government. The legislative branch makes the laws. Lessons on this topic help students understand how the legislature works to create policy.
Unit Three: The Executive Branch. In Article II, the framers took up the executive branch. The lessons on the executive branch develop student understanding of the electoral college and the duties of the President, as well as the importance of the federal bureaucracy.
Unit Four: The Judicial Branch. The judicial branch was dealt with in Article III of the Constitution. Lessons on this topic help students understand the structure and functions of the federal courts.
Unit Five: Individual Rights. Lessons in this section deal with the individual rights protected by the Constitution. Students not only learn about their rights, but about limits on those rights and what happens when rights conflict.
Unit Six: Participation. Lessons here deal with voting, as well as other ways of participating in civil society, from taking part in discussions of controversial issues, to advocating for a position and providing service that helps the community. Note that while this topic is placed last in the unit because the constitutional provisions regarding participation (particularly voting) come in the amendments, teachers might want to focus on participation first. Lesson 6.2, “Effective Citizenship,” could be especially useful as a way to launch a study of the Constitution.