Virtual Family CC4K

Must-Have Fun Learning

Early America

Why rebel?

First, the reasons for rebellion and the Revolutionary War. Second, the Declaration of Independence. Third, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Last, our Framers and Founders.

This is an overview of suggestions to help you all learn about our nation and have fun as a family. Please leave comments and pictures. Next year we are planning on being together again.

America–the land of opportunity! What better time to share the history of our country and our Constitution than in the middle of a pandemic. The family is the foundation of this amazing country. Our Founders and Framers sacrificed their lives and fortunes to secure our liberty and then they created a document to keep that liberty.

Shhhhh! Meet me at the Liberty Tree. Don’t tell any Torries!

Colonists who disagreed with the King were arrested, taken to England, and often hung. They didn’t know who to trust and had to meet in secret. Many communities had a liberty tree where they met and planned how to fight for freedom. Talk about the problems of living under the demands of a King and living in a country where you have no say in the government.

The Liberty Tree (1646–1775) was a famous elm tree that stood in Boston near Boston Common, in the years before the American Revolution. In 1765, colonists in Boston staged the first act of defiance against the British government at the tree.

Choose a Liberty Tree near your house and decide to meet there in secret to talk about freedom. The tree can be one you create in your house using a lamp or a chair. This is also a great time to talk about being bullied. The colonist were bullied by British army occupying their homes and streets. Talk about telling your safe people about being afraid or hurt. Your Liberty Tree might be an activity you continue to use often in your family time. Song: Liberty Tree

Popcorn and First Americans – Discuss the reasons people might come to a new country. What are somethings the Pilgrims learned from the First Americans, like corn?

The Boston Tea Party – Readers Theater Play – Click here for PDF. Paint your face and put a feather in your hair with your younger kids to set the mood for a tax protest.

Paint your faces with acrylic paints mixed with a few drops of Dish Soap. Make an Indian headband and feathers. Throw tea in a pond, a stream, or a wading pool filled with water. Talk about the right to protest.

Sugar Act

The Sugar Act – Explain how expensive sugar was when the King of England required the colonist to pay more tax on it. Serve Lemonade without sugar and talk about how the children like it. Then serve it with sugar. Discuss how taxation without representation is different from voting for a representative who is supposed to protect your rights.

Snack Time Popcorn and Lemonade without sugar. Don’t tell your family. Serve lemon juice in water. Salute King George and then add sugar and salute George Washington. Then introduce the taxes King George placed on the colonies.

The Revolutionary War

Time Line of the Revolution

Why did the Colonist Rebel? Watch Liberty Kids 103 or have each person explain something they would not tolerate.

Battles of Lexington and Concord

The Battles of Lexington and Concord fought on April 19, 1775, kicked off the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). Tensions had been building for many years between residents of the 13 American colonies and the British authorities, particularly in Massachusetts. On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby Concord in order to seize an arms cache. Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began mobilizing to intercept the Redcoat column. A confrontation on the Lexington town green started off the fighting, and soon the British were hastily retreating under intense fire.

King George III of Britain ramped up the military presence, and in June 1774 he shut down the city’s harbor until colonists paid for tea dumped overboard the previous year. Soon after, the British Parliament declared that Massachusetts was in open rebellion.

Paul Revere did really shout the legendary “The British are coming!” as he passed from town to town during his midnight ride on April 18, 1775. The ride was meant to be conducted as quietly as possible since scores of British troops were hiding out in the Massachusetts countryside. And many colonial Americans at that time still considered themselves British.

Ride of Revere, Dawes, Prescott & Sybil

On April 18, 1775, Joseph Warren, a physician and member of the Sons of Liberty, learned from a source inside the British high command that Redcoat troops would march that night on Concord. Warren dispatched two couriers, silversmith Paul Revere and tanner William Dawes, to alert residents of the news. They went by separate routes in case one of them was captured. Revere crossed the Charles River by boat to get to Charlestown, where fellow patriots were waiting for a signal about the movement of British troops. The patriots had been instructed to look at the steeple of Boston’s Old North Church, which was visible to them because it was the highest point in the city. If there was one lantern hanging in the steeple, the British were arriving by land. If there were two, the British were coming by sea. Two lanterns were set out, and the covert signal was memorialized in American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” in which he wrote:

“One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Younger students love to make stick horses and act out the ride of Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, Samuel Prescot and Sybil Ludington.

As Revere carried out his mission in Charlestown, Dawes left Boston and traveled along the Boston Neck peninsula. The two met up in Lexington, a few miles east of Concord, where revolutionary leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock had temporarily holed up. Having persuaded those two to flee, a weary Revere and Dawes then set out again. On the road, they met a third rider, Samuel Prescott, who alone made it all the way to Concord. Revere was captured by a British patrol, while Dawes was thrown from his horse and forced to proceed back to Lexington on foot.

The Ride of Sybil Ludington

The Midnight Ride of Sybil Ludington (April 5, 1761 – February 26, 1839) was a heroine of the American Revolutionary War. On April 26, 1777, at age 16, she made an all-night horseback ride to alert militia forces in the towns of Putnam County, New York, and Danbury, Connecticut, of the approach of British forces. Oh, yes, and Paul Revere too. Children enjoy acting out the Rider of Paul Revere on stick horses. Older kids might map out how far the teenage Sybil rode.

16-year-old Sybil Ludington by CC4K teen volunteer KatyMc

Militiamen and Minutemen

Fighting Breaks Out in Lexington and Concord
At dawn on April 19, some 700 British troops arrived in Lexington and came upon 77 militiamen gathered on the town green. A British major yelled, “Throw down your arms! Ye villains, ye rebels.” The outnumbered militiamen had just been ordered by their commander to disperse when a shot rang out. To this day, no one knows which side fired first. When the smoke cleared, eight militiamen lay dead and nine were wounded, while only one Redcoat was injured.

The British then continued into Concord to search for arms, not realizing that most had been hidden. They decided to burn the few they found, but the fire got out of control. Hundreds of militiamen outside of Concord thought the whole town had been torched. The militiamen hustled to Concord’s North Bridge. The British fired first but fell back when the colonists returned the volley. This became the “shot heard ‘round the world” immortalized by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.

After searching Concord, the British prepared to return to Boston, located 18 miles away. By that time, almost 2,000 militiamen—known as minutemen for their ability to be ready on a moment’s notice—had descended to the area, and more were constantly arriving. At first, the militiamen simply followed the British column. However, when the fighting started again, the militiamen fired on the British from behind trees, stone walls, houses, and sheds. Before long, British troops abandoned weapons, clothing, and equipment in a fast retreat.

Minutemen

When the British column reached Lexington, it ran into an entire brigade of fresh Redcoats. The British tried to keep the colonists at bay with flanking parties and canon fire. In the evening a group of newly arrived minutemen from Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts, purportedly had a chance to cut off the Redcoats. Instead, their commander ordered them not to attack, and the British were able to reach the safety of Charlestown Neck, where they had naval support.

Effects of Lexington and Concord
News of the battle quickly spread, reaching London on May 28. A few months later, the British narrowly defeated the Americans in Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, the low number of casualties once again showing the strength of patriot forces. By the following summer, a full-scale war of independence had broken out, paving the way for the creation of the United States of America.

Game Time

Patriot Dodge Ball

Today’s game is to understand a little more about our Founding Fathers and how they won the Revolutionary War.

Play with any water toy: ball, sponge, squirt guns, etc. Need water toys and 2 buckets full of water. If a team runs out of water, they must fill their bucket.

  • Divide up in 2 groups. One is the British and the other the American Colonist or Colonial Army.
  • Discuss how the British fought by attacking in lines and wouldn’t let the men move side to side. In Dodge Sponge if the students move side to side they have to sit out. More than half of the army was shot in this kind of warfare. Colonial’s learned to fight the way the First Americans did. This provided surprise attacks, cover, and intimidation.
  • Sides take turns being British and Colonial. When a player gets hit they sit out.

Red coat: The rules are: the King’s men cannot go sideways or turn and run. They can only advance or retreat.  If a wet-missile comes toward them, they must stand and take it.

The freedom fighters in George Washington’s army learned to fight as Native Americans did. They can dodge side to side. They can turn around and run and then turn around and come back. They can do just about anything they want to except cross over the line. In this battle we will switch colors halfway through so each can learn the value of dodging wet objects and smart battle plans.

Families might talk about the benefit of Washington’s experience in the Indian wars as his men learned to dodge the volleys, the mini-balls, and the cannonballs of the British brigade. When you play the game ask those who had to fight in columns, ask teams how it felt to stand in line and get shot? How do you think the British shoulders felt being ordered by the generals to stand in line and move forward into the line of fire?

Sponge War – Constitution Camp is blessed to have teenage helpers. You must be 14 or older. Micah and Morgan have volunteered and helped us at CC4K for the last few years.

Miracles in War

Miracle of George Washington

Washington at Valley Forge

A MAN WHO WOULD NOT BE KING-GEORGE WASHINGTON

Washington at Valley Forge – Take a walk in icy water. You can use a pan or a child-size swimming pool. Add water and ice.

Talk about what it felt like to be part of George Washington’s Continental Army. Image how cold it was to spend the winter at Valley Forge. Wrap your bare feet in rags and take turns standing in the icy water. This is how our forefathers felt all winter: cold, hungry, and hopeless.

Crossing the Delaware

n December 25, 1776, General George Washington and a small army of 2400 men crossed the Delaware River at McConkey’s Ferry, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Their goal was to attack a Hessian garrison of 1500 at Trenton, New Jersey. After their failed effort to keep the British from occupying New York City Washington’s Army was at its lowest point of the American Revolution.

The close of 1776 found the cause of American independence with a list of defeats. In October, the Continental Congress planned for a long-term military force, but at the end of the year, this was only on paper, not in the field where it was desperately needed. Washington realized that he must hit the Hessian garrison at Trenton. On the night of December 25, Washington’s Army was ferried across the Delaware River by fishermen. Surprise worked for the Patriots, and within an hour and a half, the Hessians surrendered. The boats like those used during the 1776 crossing were shallow. Washington used everything possible to get his men across the river on Christmas Eve 1776.

Craft: Make a Boat for George

Watch Crossing the Delaware River videoes to make a boat. It’s in 3 parts.

Yorktown and Man’s Rights

Ask campers: Why do we need a Constitution?

Talk to older campers about the photo of “History of Man’s Rights” and the 700-year timeline. Also recommend to them the resources: The Patriot (a movie), Democracy in America by de Tocqueville, and the 5000 Year Leap by Skousen.

Yorktown, Virginia 1781

The historical Boston Tea Party protest happened in 1773. It is the event that led to the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

This was the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. This battle was between the Americans (led by Gen. Washington) and the French (led by Gen. Rochambeau).

A play for the Battle of Yorktown. Younger campers might act out these events:

With this victory, the American colonies were one step closer to freedom!

“The Miracle of the Battle of Cornwallis”

Benjamin Franklin

Join, or Die” political cartoon

Known for his sense of humor, Benjamin Franklin wrote an article in his newspaper suggesting that as a way to thank the Brits for sending convicted felons to America, the colonists should send rattlesnakes (often found in the colonies) to England!

This reference to rattlesnakes was also noted in the first political cartoon ever published. Benjamin Franklin released “Join, or Die” in his newspaper, Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. It actually ran in various newspapers for one year. The phrase eventually changed from “join, or die” to “unite, or die.”

A political cartoon is a commentary or observation – usually exaggerated and often comical – that challenges people’s thinking on a certain topic. (Show modern examples. Elephants represent Republicans and Donkeys represent Democrats, etc.) Franklin’s point was that the colonies had better start working together or they would not be successful in their fight for freedom.

Franklin’s cartoon shows a snake cut into eight parts with each segment labeled with the initials of a British-American colony or region. Note that the snake has 13 rattles.

Along with the political cartoon, Franklin wrote an editorial about how the colonies were anything but united. The cartoon was meant to make his point about the need for colonial unity.

During this era, there was a superstition that a snake which had been cut into pieces would come back to life if the pieces were put together before sunset. So this image resonated with colonists.

First, in 1754, Franklin designed “Join, or Die” to unite the colonies for the management of Indian relations and defense against France in the French and Indian Wars. (Later at the Battle of Yorktown, the French fought on the side of the colonies with Geo. Washington.) Then, more than ten years later, in 1765, American colonists used the image again to urge colonial unity against the British. Also, during this time, the phrase “Join, or Die,” changed to “Unite, or Die,” in some colonies including New York and Pennsylvania. In many newspapers, Franklin’s cartoon continued to be published week after week for over a year!

The Gadsden Flag

Although Benjamin Franklin helped create the American rattlesnake symbol, his name isn’t usually associated with the rattlesnake flag. The yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is most often called the Gadsden flag.

In October 1775, the U.S. Navy was created to intercept incoming British ships carrying war supplies to the British troops in the colonies. To aid in this mission, the Second Continental Congress authorized the organization of five companies of Marines to accompany the Navy on their first mission. (Each “company” of Marines is about 80 to 250 soldiers. So this could have been around 400 to 1200 men.) The Marines were founded in November 1775.

The first Marines that enlisted were from Philadelphia. They carried drums — painted yellow — with a painting of a coiled rattlesnake (with 13 rattles) and the motto, “Don’t Tread on Me.” This is the first record of the Gadsden flag’s symbol being used.

Christopher Gadsden was a patriot. He led the Sons of Liberty in South Carolina starting in 1765. Later, he became a colonel in the Continental Army. He was part of this first mission of the new Navy. So his name is associated with the flag. He designed the flag.

At that time, there was no standard American flag. People were free to choose their own banners or flags. So the Gadsden flag was fashioned after those yellow drums that were carried by the Marines.

After the Revolution, rattlesnake flags became less common. General Washington and many members of Congress preferred stars, stripes, and eagles on flags.

Today, rattlesnake flags — in particular the yellow Gadsden flag — have made a comeback as a symbol of the modern-day Tea Party and other groups who stand in opposition to the current wave of Progressivism and Socialism in modern American politics.

Activities: So now – you get to sketch the Gadsden flag and the “Join, or Die” political cartoon. If time allows, you might color the background of the Gadsden flag yellow. I always told my students that the more color you can add to your sketches, the better imprint it makes on your brain. It helps to reinforce information.

Younger campers draw and label a “Join, or Die” poster or the Gadsden flag. Note that there are eight sections to the snake. New England represented Georgia and other colonies. As a tip, I sketched the tail and head first and then filled in the other sections of the snake.

(Older campers may wish to draw the political cartoon…Join or Die. Younger campers may choose to draw the Gadsden flag.)

France Helps

Spain and Galvez

Do you know a Spaniard who helped guard the Mississippi River and kept British forces from getting behind Washington? Hint: The city of Galveston was named after him. Create a video about or as Bernardo De Galvez.

Navy Jack, Gadsen, Betsy Ross

Say the Pledge of Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

King George Response to Protest and Request

King George

This activity can be fun. You can watch this video of our King George answering his mail and then have your family ask the King George from your family for anything they might want.

The Declaration of Independence

Soon after the Revolutionary War started, the leaders of the colonies got together to write King George a letter. They had tried to talk to him but now it was time to explain why they had to be an independent country and declare the new land free of the King’s control.

The Declaration of Independence”

The Declaration of Independence was a list of injustices that King George had imposed on the American colonists.

“He has plundered….”

“He has refused….”

“He has forbidden….”

“He has called….”

“He has dissolved….”

“He has endeavoured to prevent….”

“He has obstructed…”

And so on…and so on….

So when the Constitution was written, not only did it enumerate the powers of our new government – the first ten amendments (known as the Bill of Rights) actually addressed most of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence.

Declaration of IndependenceUS Constitution
Thomas Jefferson (main author of the Declaration of Independence)James Madison (father of the US Constitution)


Addressed to King GeorgeFor the colonies
Listed all the grievances (reasons) that the colonies were severing from EnglandIt was the framework for our new government. Has seven Articles and 27 Amendments. The original ten Amendments are known as the Bill of Rights

How did the Amendments address injustices?

The Colonies were sick and tired of abuses of the British. The taxes were high and unfair.

In addition, how would you like it if your family was watching TV or playing a board game and soldiers came in to your home without being invited. They ate your food, slept in your beds, and told you that they would be staying with you for as long as they wanted!

British soldiers came into the Colonist’s homes, took their food, slept in their beds, took their animals, and anything else that they wanted. They said that there was nothing the Colonists could do about it because the King said they could do it! (Amendment III of the US Constitution.)

The Colonists said, “Enough is enough!” On June 11, 1776, five men were appointed by the Congress to write a Declaration of Independence from Britain. The five men were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. The committee chose Thomas Jefferson to write the document.

This document was written to King George to inform him that the colonies were severing (cutting off) ties with Great Britain and creating their own country. (The Battles of Lexington and Concord had already taken place.)

The introduction to the Declaration of Independence is called the Preamble. Basically, the preamble tells you what is going to be said in the declaration – and that is that we are breaking away from Great Britain and the King! The Preamble tells the King that we are declaring our independence! The Declaration of Independence tells why.

Older campers can discuss Tyranny, Anarchy, and People’s Law. One person be the tyrant. They get to give out Life Savers to whomever they please. Another person (anarchist), can steal them. Think of an inner-city housing project where police won’t go because of the dangers. Would you want to live there? Really, neither tyranny nor anarchy is safe for citizens. We need laws to protect the PEOPLE.

Briefly review the first ten Amendments. What event (abuse) might have caused each Amendment to be created?

Our founders believed that our rights came from God – therefore, they cannot be taken away by government. When the committee saw what Thomas Jefferson had written, they declared it to be almost perfect!

With just a few changes, they presented it to Congress and two days later – on July 4, 1776 – our nation was born! This was the day that the Continental Congress announced to the world that the 13 coloines no longer beloned to Great Britain.

John Adams said that the day should forever be celebrated with games, sports, bells, guns, bonfires, and parades. How do we currently celebrate July 4th? (Usually with fireworks, picnics, and parades.)

How does your family celebrate the Fourth of July?

Activity:

Wave flags and sing “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” The younger groups have a parade with bells, flags, and drums. Also, streamers!

What do you think would happen to those who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence if George Washington would have lost the Revolutionary War?

Which Founding Father said, “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.” ?????

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.

Constitution of the United States of America

Printable Constitution for kids to use in games like Constitutional Bingo.

Government Game

The Framers of our constitution studied all the forms of government known and chose to be a Constitutional Republic.

You Need: squirt guns, sponges and water balloons pool or buckets full of water on opposite ends of a grassy area.

Freedom-Line Anarchy to Tyranny in the middle set up a freedom-line

Sovereignty and Power –Overview Who rules? And Why? In each government, the person that gets hit by water is defined with the word, “H2O Holder.” That person decides who gets hit with a water balloon or sponge.

  1. Monarchy, power is given to a family and their heirs. Someone is King and gets to squirt everyone.
  2. Democracy, Power is given to the people. Each group elects someone (H2O Holder) to squirt.
  3. Oligarchy, power resides with a few people or in a dominant class or group within the society-royalty, wealth, education, or military control. Devived by blue eye and brown eyes or some other way to judge by class. The superior (H2O Holder)gets to squirt the other class.
  4. Authoritarianism- societies where a specific set of people like mom or grandmother (H2O Holder) possess the authority.
  5. Mob-archy- the founders knew the popular vote is really just Mob rule and the little guy gets left out and hurt. Everyone (H2O Holder)
  6. A Constitutional Republic – Power comes from the People are the King and the power is divided among the branches. Choose a President, judge, lawmaker to decide who to squirt. (H2O Holder)

Republic vs Democracy -All Men Are Equal

We are a Republic- We elect people to represent us to vote. But they must obey the Constitution

How is the Constitution structured to produce the right relationship between the reason and the passion of the people?

A democracy is just as capable as a monarchy of becoming tyrannical. Therefore the Founders designed the Constitution to enable the people as much as possible to make well-reasoned laws that are beneficial to the common good. How does one reconcile short-term wants with what is best for the long term?

Our first attempt at People’s Law for the new nation was the Articles of Confederation. Before we discuss the Articles, let me remind you that the Declaration of Independence had already been ratified on July 4, 1776…the birthday of our nation. The Continental Congress declared that the 13 colonies no longer belonged to Great Britain. Do you know the name of the primary author of the Declaration of Independence? It was Thomas Jefferson.

The Declaration (addressed to King George) listed all the grievances that the colonies had endured and the declaration severed our ties with England. It begins…”When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.…”).

The Preamble to the Declaration tells King George that we are breaking away. The Declaration tells why.

So after we had declared our independence from King George and Britain, a committee was formed to write laws for the new nation. This committee ratified the Articles of Confederation on March 1, 1781.

There were problems with the Articles of Confederation. They gave power to the central government without the power to enforce. There was no executive, no judiciary, no taxing power, and no enforcement power. The Articles made recommendations to the states and prayed they would respond favorably. This usually did not happen.

So that takes us to the U. S. Constitution which was ratified on June 21, 1788. It begins “We the People” and it is truly the People’s Law. Do you know the name of the man credited for being its primary author? James Madison. It was the framework for our new government.

Do you know what we call the first ten amendments to the U. S. Constitution? The Bill of Rights. Amendment 1 begins…”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion….”

Please remember that the signers of the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and of the U. S. Constitution took their role seriously. They could be charged with high treason by simply signing any of these documents. They risked losing everything in taking these actions. We should not forget their sacrifices.

James Madison

Do you know how many times the word democracy is mentioned in our Constitution? Zero! Our Founders described pure democracy as “mobocracy.” For example, in a pure democracy, if the majority of people decide that stealing is no longer a crime…then stealing wouldn’t be a crime. This can be very dangerous.

That is why our Founders advocated a Constitutional Republic. In this form of government, it takes lots of time and debate to change or make laws. In addition, in a true democracy, the minority are rarely represented. The Founders intended for changes to our Constitution to be difficult so the Constitution could not be changed on a whim.

As he was leaving the hall after four, long months of hard work on the Constitution, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government had the convention created. Franklin replied, “A Republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.”

(Say a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance.)

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands.”

“Democracy” has become the word used for any form of government where the people participate in electing their officials. However, there is a difference in a republic and a democracy.

A Democracy is a direct majority of the people. In an election, everyone votes and the majority wins and rules.

A Republic is a government where citizens elect people to represent them. The representatives must work with other representatives to pass laws. This is not an easy process. Representatives must debate each bill. They must defend or challenge bills. They have a staff of people who help them because there are so many issues to research. Our representatives also rely on us (the people who elected them) for information about issues. So we can contact them to let them know why we agree or are opposed to a certain issue and help them understand all sides of the issue.

If the representative no longer does a good job – or if they no longer reflect our views, then we can vote for someone else at the next election.

We cannot simply elect representatives and then go about our personal business. We must pay attention to how they vote and let them know when they get it wrong.

Many framers of the Constitution warned about the evils of a democracy. Benjamin Rush, John Quincy Adams, James Madison, Noah Webster, Zephaniah Swift, John Adams, and Samuel Adams all warned that a pure democracy is generally very bad and will not last.

What we must preserve is a Constitutional Republic. It works best for large countries. However, for it to work the best – we have to pay attention.

Branches are equal but separate. This is like your Mom and Dad. Different but equal.

The one with the squirt gun can only squirt those not protected by the constitution, which is no one.

Division of Power – Three-Headed Eagle

Three-Head Eagle
Three Headed Eagle a symbol of checks and balanced/ division of powers.

Set up an obstacle course. Two teams, two groups of three, race against each other or race against the clock. Explain and tell how they get extra points for knowing answers.

  • Make them tell you which one is which and what they do.
  • Two groups (Three in each group. Tape a yellow beak on each nose. Rapped in sheet or cloth and Fastened at neck and feet.
  • If it comes undone, they must stop and redo.
  • Go through a maze.
  • The first one that completes the course wins.

You can expand this activity to include Question on the Articles of the Constitution or Bill of Rights

Miracle at Philadelphia

Turkey, Turkey, Eagle

Ben Franklin didn’t actually want the National Bird to be the Turkey. He did, however, dislike the image of an eagle and thought the USA symbol with the eagle “looked like a turkey.” In a letter to his daughter, Franklin shared the virtues of the gobbler, “For my own part I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen as the representative of our country,” he wrote. He said the eagle was “a bird of bad moral character” that “does not get his living honestly” because it steals food from the fishing hawk and is “too lazy to fish for himself.” However, we know the eagle is an excellent fisherman. Franklin called the turkey “a much more respectable bird” and “a true original native of America.” While the private letter praised the turkey over the eagle, Franklin never made his views public.

Games to play with little one play: “Turkey, Turkey, Eagle”
“Lawmakers, Judge, President”
or “Torrie, Torrie, Patriot” (play like Duck, Duck Goose) Duck, Duck, Goose – Duck, Duck, Goose requires at least 5 players. All the players, except the first person who is It, sit in a circle. If someone tags your head and yells goose, the chase is on! Run after that person and try to tag him before he gets around the circle and sits in your spot.

Division of Power – Three-Headed Eagle

Three-Head Eagle
Three Headed Eagle a symbol of checks and balanced/ division of powers.

Set up an obstacle course. Two teams, two groups of three, race against each other or race against the clock. Explain and tell how they get extra points for knowing answers.

  • Make them tell you which one is which and what they do.
  • Two groups (Three in each group. Tape a yellow beak on each nose. Rapped in sheet or cloth and Fastened at neck and feet.
  • If it comes undone, they must stop and redo.
  • Go through a maze.
  • The first one that completes the course wins.

You can expand this activity to include Question on the Articles of the Constitution or Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

The Constitution/Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights is the name given to the first ten amendments to the U. S. Constitution. They were introduced by James Madison. Three-fourths of the states had to agree on these amendments. Thomas Jefferson also supported them. These were intended to protect citizens from abuses by the new government.

HOW DID THE FIRST AMENDMENT ADDRESS INJUSTICES?

The first Amendment includes:

  1. Freedom of speech.
  2. Freedom of the press.
  3. Freedom of assembly.
  4. The right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (Redress = remedy, reparation.)
  5. The congress cannot make a law to establish a religion or prevent people from observing their religion.

Activity:

Older Campers: Briefly review each of the first Ten Amendments.

State Senator Birdwell Explains the 2nd Amendment

Biography
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Brian Birdwell is a native Texan, decorated military veteran, and lifelong conservative Republican currently representing Texas Senate District 22. Born in Fort Worth.

On September 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed just yards away from his second-floor Pentagon office, Brian was critically wounded and severely burned. Of the burns that covered more than 60 percent of his body, nearly half were third degree in severity. Today, following 39 operations, months of hospitalization, and numerous skin grafts, Brian has made a miraculous recovery. Despite physical limitations, he testifies not only to his physical healing but the ultimate miracle of grace through Christ. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received that day. Upon retirement in July 2004, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Republic vs. Democracy

In the Constitution, every State is guaranteed a Republican form of government. (Not a democracy!)

Say a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands.”

“Democracy” has become the word used for any form of government where the people participate in electing their officials. However, there is a difference in a republic and a democracy.

Benjamin Franklin was leaving the building after four, long months of hard work on the Constitution. A lady asked him what kind of government the convention had created. A very old, very tired, and very wise Benjamin Franklin replied, “A Republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.” He knew how difficult it would be to maintain a republic.

Of course, the majority is most of the people. However, the rights of the minority are important — as well.

A Democracy is a direct majority of the people. In an election, everyone votes and the majority wins and rules.

Our Founding Fathers described pure Democracy as “mobocracy.” For example, in a democracy, if the majority of people decide that stealing is no longer a crime, then stealing wouldn’t be a crime. This could be very dangerous! The word “democracy” does not appear even once in our Constitution!

A Republic is a government where citizens elect people to represent them. The representatives must work with other representatives to pass laws. This is not an easy process. Representatives must debate each bill. They must defend or challenge bills. They have a staff of people who help them because there are so many issues to research. Our representatives also rely on us (the people who elected them) for information about issues. So we can contact them to let them know why we agree or are opposed to a certain issue and help them understand all sides of the issue.

If the representative no longer does a good job – or if they no longer reflect our views, then we can vote for someone else at the next election.

We cannot simply elect representatives and then go about our personal business. We must pay attention to how they vote and let them know when they get it wrong.

Many framers of the Constitution warned about the evils of a democracy. Benjamin Rush, John Quincy Adams, James Madison, Noah Webster, Zephaniah Swift, John Adams, and Samuel Adams all warned that a pure democracy is generally very bad and will not last.

What we must preserve is a Constitutional Republic. It works best for large countries. However, for it to work the best – we have to pay attention. In a Constitutional Republic, the majority rules, but the minority is protected.

Think of it this way – suppose you owned a business. You hired some people to run the business and you went on a trip for six months or a year. While you were gone, they could do whatever they wanted because you were not checking on them. They might run it just like you would and all would be fine when you returned.

Or…they might sell all your inventory and take the money and disappear. They might have poor customer service and ruin your good reputation and your business. Unless you checked up on them, anything could happen. We have to pay attention to what our elected representatives are doing, just like the business owner.

Republic vs. Democracy Put it to a Vote

Activity: “Put It To A Vote”

Take two votes.

First – Vote for a National Sandwich –

Grilled Cheese

or

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Each person gets one vote per age. 7-year-old gets 7 votes, 10-year-old gets 10 votes, 12-year-old gets 10 votes, and a person 35 get 35 votes. Tally the votes. Majority wins!

Next – Vote for a National Dog

Minature Poodle

or

German Shepherd

Tally votes by age on a dry erase board. Majority wins!

Review Majority and Minority. Without a Republican form of government, the wishes of the minority are never represented.

What did the minority at your house think of never winning?

More Games to play to learn more about the Bill of Rights.

Activity Make a Foldable Summary

Activity:

Make A Foldable

Materials:

1. One sheet per student, 8 ½” x 11” plain paper. Fold in half three times. “Portrait” format (as in photo) to make Study Panels.

2. Pencil

3. Colored Markers

Directions:

To summarize what we have learned, this fun foldable allows students to be creative and review some of the important topics covered in Consitution Camp. You may fold paper in either portrait or landscape format. The photo is portrait format with the first panel —the title — in the upper left corner. Students are encouraged to use different colored markers for each panel and to be creative as they enter the information in each. Borders can be added to each panel as well. Be sure to number the panels. Prompts for directing the entries are listed below.

Panel #1

Student can come back to this panel at the end after they have determined what their title will be. Examples of a title would be: U.S. Constitution; My Country Tis of Thee; Constitution Camp; The Revolutionary Period; etc.

Panel #2

“Join or Die” political cartoon. Benjamin Franklin suggested that because England was sending us all their prisoners, we send them all our rattlesnakes. This political cartoon ran in Franklin’s newspaper in 1754. It was used in the French and Indian War and also in the Revolutionary War. He said if the Colonies did not work together, they would never be successful.

Panel #3

Gadsden Flag. In the fall of 1775, the Marines — and the newly formed Navy led by Christopher Gadsden — were charged with stopping the British supply ships. They needed a flag and this is the one they chose. “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Panel #4

Find a painting of Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence was adoipted on July 4, 1776.. The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence declared to King George that the Colonies were breaking away from England. The Declaration of Independence told why. It listed all the unjust actions that were being taken against the Colonists by British soldiers and the King.

This Preamble begins “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have commencted them with another….” The Father of the Declaration is Thomas Jefferson.

Panel #5

The Articles of Confederation. Ratified in 1781. This first attempt at a Constitution was not successful because it had no provision for an executive or judicial branch. It lacked any taxing authority and lacked the power to enforce any of its tenants.

Panel #6

Find an image of James Madison. U. S. Constitution. Ratified in 1787. The father of the U.S. Constitution was James Madison. Its Preamble begins…”We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense….”

Panel #7

There are 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The first ten are known as The Bill of Rights (ratified in 1791). In America, we have a Constitutional Republic form of government. The word “democracy” does not appear in our Constitution. Article I addresses the Legislative Branch; Article II addresses the Executive branch; and Article III the Judicial Branch of our government.

Panel #8

Tyranny (Ruler’s Law), People’s Law, and Anarchy (No Law). Discuss the definitions of each type of rule. Our Constitution falls in the middle…the sweet spot. People’s Law. Students will draw and label this continuum.

Foldables can be used for studying for tests, organizing for a report, making a presentation, creating a storyboard for a video, or important points for a speech.

Mount Vernon

Constitution Keepers

Do you know who is protecting your rights? Here are a few:

The Sheriff

The Judge

Thank you for learn more about our wonderful nation. The Elizabeth Crockett Chapter of the DAR and Constitution Camp teachers hope to see you all in person next June, 2021.

A Retired Sailor-Maurice Simpson

Who is King of America?

We the People! We vote on the laws and we elect the leaders. We can vote to remove a leader from office. But we have to listen for truth, watch what leaders do, and hold our leaders accountable.

“The first requirement to live in a self-governance society is to be self-disciplined.”~ Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell

Elizabeth Crockett Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution

Find YOur Roots

Are you just starting out on your journey to discover your family roots…or are you one document away from solving a mystery of one of your ancestors? Wherever you are in your genealogical process, DAR is here to help. The DAR Genealogical Research System (GRS) includes free online databases containing information on Revolutionary patriot ancestors, descendants of those patriots, as well as the vast array of genealogical resources from the DAR Library.