Seventh-graders – who have been studying the Constitution of the United States in Eva Gambino’s and David Katz’s social studies classes – worked together over several weeks to curate a museum as their culminating project.
“As part of our study of U.S. history, from the beginning through the Civil War, we focused on the Constitution,” Gambino said. “It’s important for the students to understand how it’s structured to understand the history of our country.”
Throughout the learning experience, the students collaborated in groups and conducted extensive research, supported by middle school library media specialist Eileen Mann, on their chosen topics around certain constitutional issues, such as the abolition movement, expanding right to vote for women, the impeachment process, checks and balances, path to statehood and more. Having gained deeper understanding of their topics, the students created museum displays, complete with primary source documents, maps, graphs and excerpts from speeches, to provide an in-depth perspective about the history and significance of a particular issue within the founding document. Student committees were also responsible for the organization, design and set up of the museum.
“The purpose of the project was for them to demonstrate their understanding of the Constitution and its importance,” Gambino said. “I want them to take away a basic understanding about our country’s functions and government while working cooperatively to achieve this goal.”
The students will display their final projects on May 11 and 12 in the auditorium lobby for teachers and peers. Their museum was inspired in part by the National Constitution Center’s museum in Philadelphia.