Social Studies 5: How to Amend (Change) the Constitution
How are changes made to the Constitution? Do you just need a Sharpie and some Wite-Out? Or is there more to it than that? (Hint: There's more to it than that.)
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
…and the other includes the song "Let it Go."
So…they're both prettttty important. [Both are stamped important]
But let's focus on the Constitution.
The original Constitution contained seven articles, and each article was basically just [Coop pointing at a blackboard]
And the Constitution isn’t written in stone.
In fact, it's actually written on paper!
Article five specifically outlines the process of changing or amending the constitution.
Which we’ve done, by the way.
That's why we have 27 amendments.
So what does Article Five of the Constitution say about how to make a change to that oh-so-important [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
Well, there are a few steps…
First, Congress – aka, all those elected politicians in the Senate and the House of [Capitol Hill]
Representatives – has to propose a joint resolution to amend the Constitution.
Then, they would vote on it.
If two-thirds of Congress likes it, it passes. [Pie chart showing a 2/3 majority]
After congress passes the amendment, 3/4 of states need to agree for the amendment to become law.
Easy peasey right, except the agreeing part, that's more difficult...
There is another way to amend the Constitution, but it’s never actually happened. [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
But if two-thirds of the state legislature decided that Congress should hold a big national
meeting dedicated to proposing amendments, they would. [2/3 of the states highlighted]
What's especially interesting about changing the constitution is that no presidential action
That's right, changing the rules of the Constitution, the most important document in the country [Dino looks shocked and drops his pointer]
(except for maybe the Frozen script), doesn't involve the President at all. ['No presidents' allowed sign]
That means the President had nothing to do with a bunch of the rights we all know and love,
like freedom of religion and the right to bear
It was all Congress, baby.
The last time the constitution was changed by Congress was in 1992. [Coop pointing at a blackboard]
The weird part? It was already passed in 1789 as part of the Bill of Rights
Somehow is was forgotten about and took until 1992 to finally be approved.
The 27th amendment made it so congress couldn't give themselves pay raises too easily
And that any raises wouldn't take effect until the next session of congress.
No wonder they tried to sweep it under the rug. [The amendment is pushed under a rug by a broom]
And just so you know, the first ten amendments (aka the Bill of Rights) aren’t the only
The 15th and 18th amendments gave African Americans and women the right to vote, while [The amendments appear]
the 26th amendment lowered the voting age to 18.
We’re hoping the 28th amendment will have something to do with free donuts. [Donuts falling]