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Peer Review

Explore the Constitution



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 31, 2014 by History Editorial Board
Overview: This is the companion website for the National Constitution Center, located on Independence Mall in historic Philadelphia. The site seeks to “illuminate constitutional ideals and inspire acts of citizenship” by creating a forum for constitutional dialogue. Features include reference material, lesson plans, a collection of on-line documents, games, activities, and schedules of upcoming web-casts.
Type of Material: learning object repository, presentation, reference material
Recommended Uses: In class, homework. individual, team
Technical Requirements: plug-in – Shockwave, PDF reader
Identify Major Learning Goals: • Students will analyze primary source material surrounding the Constitution of the United States. • Students will understand the context of civic responsibility. • Students will identify key people and issues in the historic and modern constitutional discussion. • Students will evaluate the role and authority of the Constitution. • Students will understand the interplay between governance and civic dialogue.
Target Student Population: • K-12 US History • K-12 Government/Social Studies/Civic • K-12 Service and Experiential Learning
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Based on primary source material • Includes curricular material for teachers with extensive classroom support material and complete procedures • Ample and diverse range of topics in history, civics, and government
Concerns: • Some material has not been updated in 3 years • Limited material on some exhibits and items within the center

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: • Includes over numerous pre-prepared lesson plans designed for various teaching environments and age levels – exceptional • Provides an overview of current and past exhibits • Offers multiple interactive games and activities to engage the material
Concerns: • Current and past exhibit discussions do not link to lesson plans and are occasionally limited • Occasionally limited in building upon prior concepts, demonstrating a relationship between concepts, and integration of topics.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Visually appealing • Easy to use with rapid load times • Excellent lesson plan search features
Concerns: • Usually includes clear instructions and markings to affiliated information. However, some links are not intuitive and require some trial and error.

Other Issues and Comments: • Site has a wealth of material for teachers with classroom applications. • Be sure to look for upcoming exhibitions and under the “civic holidays” tabs which may include web-broadcasts.