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The Preamble

The Preamble

By Rebecca Schmidt


Fifth Grade Social Studies


Objective: Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Preamble by creating still images that reflect the goals of the preamble.


Social Studies Standards:

Standard 3, Objective 1: Assess the underlying principles of the US Constitution as the framework for the United States’ form of government, a compound constitutional republic.

  1. Analyze goals outlined in the Preamble.


Drama Standards:

Standard 5.T.P.4: Communicate meaning using the body through space, shape, energy, and gesture.

Standard 5.T.CR.2: Arrange the physical playing space to communicate mood, time, and locale.

Materials Needed:


Chrome Books (plugged in before class)

Preamble Powerpoint

Preamble Worksheet

Preamble: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Hook: (Machine Game)

Ask students to gather together on one side of the room.

Explain that we will be playing a game called machine. One person will start with a simple repetitive movement and a noise. The next person will add into the game by connecting to the person who is already creating the movement with their own repetitive movement. Continue until there is around 10 people in the machine.

Ask questions: Visually what worked? How can you make it more visually interesting?

Repeat the game. Encourage students to try to create a machine incorporating their answers.

Step 2:

Each of you will have a chance to explore and create together as a group. Each group gets a copy of the Preamble, with a specific highlighted section. In their group they will accomplish a few select tasks.

  1. Research their section of the preamble
  2. Write (in their own words) what their section means
  3. Create one still image that represents their section of the Preamble.
  4. Each group member comes up with one word that represents their section of the preamble.

Each of you will have a specific job in your group, and you are accountable to helping your job with this. The roles are writer, supply gatherer, leader (makes sure everyone gets a turn), stage manager (ask questions), and the time keeper.

Step 3:

Ask students to gather together to one side of the classroom. Tell students that we are going to be showing our still images to our classmates. As they freeze in this frozen image I am going to ask you: what section of the preamble was this group? How can you tell? Before students unfreeze, tap a student and have them share one word that connects to the feelings of your character or the theme of your image. Repeat this activity with every group.

If the images are struggling, bring back the discussion from step 1 of this lesson plan. How can they improve? What is one thing that they did well?

Step 4: (Wrap-up)

What were some effective ways that you worked together as a group?

Why is the preamble important?

Collect their papers.

The Preamble Lesson.CHodgson