Lesson Plan: Picture the Preamble

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Unit Objective

● The Picture the Preamble lesson is part of a unit covering governance establishing structures of power and authority in order to provide order and stability.

Background and Rationale

Students will demonstrate a clear understanding of each phrase of the Preamble of the US Constitution by providing visual representations and written reflections on the meaning of each phrase of the Preamble. This lesson is a continuation of TN social studies standard 4.0. We will refer to the summary created here as we continue to explore the Preamble. We will also use our outlines for a unit on creative writing.

Lesson Objectives


Bloom’s Verb

Given the text of the Constitution, TLW select graphic images that represent each phrase of the Preamble to the US Constitution with a score of three out of four on the rubric. Comprehension
Given the selected images, TLW support the decision for selecting each graphic with a written rationale with a score of three out of four on the rubric. Knowledge, Comprehension, Analysis
Given a computer and word processing software, TLW write one or two paragraphs that demonstrates a clear understanding of the Preamble and what it means to her/him with a score of three out of four on the rubric. Synthesis

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Creating (highest level)

Common Core / State and District Standards

  • TN Social Studies – 4.4.02 Describe the Constitution of the United States and the Tennessee State Constitution in principle and practice.

Technology Integration (ISTE) Standards

  • 3.b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media

Lesson – Introduction

Begin by displaying the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States on a large screen display, overhead, or whiteboard. Provide some brief background information about its purpose, authors, and when it was written. Give students a few minutes to silently read the Preamble; then have the class orally read the Preamble together. Follow this with a brief discussion pointing out that the Preamble may be a little difficult to understand because it is a fairly long and complex sentence.


Lesson Activities and Procedures

Students will make the additions to their prezi, as directed by the teacher.  The teacher will instruct students to compose a paragraph on their prezi explaining how their new responses connected to or shifted from their initial responses.

Student Procedure

Teacher Procedure


Students complete their Preamble Planning Sheet by briefly describing a picture or image for each Preamble phrase, using the dictionary when needed. After the Introduction, distribute the Preamble Planning Sheets and dictionaries to students and ask them to briefly describe a possible picture or image that would illustrate each Preamble phrase and list key search words. Dictionary
Open MS Word and an Internet browser. Go to Preamble website and copy the Preamble. Go to MS Word and Paste the Preamble into a new document. Add the following title: Picture the Preamble. Below the title, Insert a three-column 9-row table. The teacher will have students open both MS Word and an Internet browser. Direct students to the Preamble website. Microsoft WordScreen Shot 2015-03-26 at 9.07.06 AM
Add the following column names: Preamble Phrase; Picture; Why Picture was Chosen. Cut and paste each Preamble phrase into the table. Use key words to locate an image for the first phrase. Use pull-down menu to copy the image. Go to Picture cell in the Word document. Paste the Picture. Write a brief rationale for why the picture represents the phrase. Direct students to the MS Clipart Gallery website. Monitor and assist as needed.

 Microsoft Clipart

While in a group, students review each other’s work and note differences and similarities between final documents. Place students in groups of 3 to 4. Ask students to pass their Picture the Preamble work to the person on the right.
Students write one or two paragraphs describing what the Preamble means to them. Give students 5 to 10 minutes to discuss the differences. Prezi

Lesson – Closure

Students volunteer to share their Preamble reflections. At the end of class, the teacher collects reflections, checks for assignment submissions, and polls the class for questions.






[gview file=”https://www.mtvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/reflection_rubric.doc”]

Student Work Example

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.01.11 PM

Click image to enlarge



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John Smith


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