Monday, January 10, 2011

Reading the Constitution

On January 6, 2011 Congress read the Constitution of the United States aloud on the House floor. This is actually the first time this has ever been done in history! While that amazes me, I certainly wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to teach Gess about both Congress and the Constitution.
CSPAN of course is the television network that carries the House proceedings live. CSPAN2 carries the Senate. For those who are like us and do not have cable or Satellite Television, you can find CSPAN streaming live on the internet on their Live Video Feed page. This is where we tuned in to watch the House read the Constitution on the House floor.
Before it came on we discussed the three branches of government and I tried to explain to her what the House of Representatives was. We then talked about the Constitution and how it is the document that governs our country and ensures our freedoms. I had Gess read the preamble on her own before they began, and then we followed along as each person read the text.
Gess did tire after a few pages. When I kept turning pages she declared "I'm done, close the book!" Still, she got a good introduction into the Constitution and learned things like the fact taht we have a post office because of this document.
In time Gess will learn more, but I am glad that our Congress has decided to start their year reviewing the document that gives them the power to do the job they are there to do. I hope this becomes an annual tradition. If so, we will tune in each and every year and plan our lessons around it. It will be something we read each year anyway, but there is just something neat about doing it together as a nation!

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