SOURCE: The Constitutional Sources Project

The Constitutional Sources Project

June 11, 2009 13:04 ET

The Texas Bar Foundation and The Constitutional Sources Project Partner to Bring the U.S. Constitution to Life for Texas Students

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 11, 2009) - In its ongoing effort to educate Texans about their rights and responsibilities under the law, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) to develop curriculum for fifth and eighth grade social studies and high school government classes. Each lesson will be aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards for learning. Further, in partnership with the law-related education department of the State Bar of Texas, the lessons will then be piloted in Texas classrooms.

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably-funded bar foundation.

Constitution-related documents from the online library at www.ConSource.org will serve as the core for the Texas lesson plans. Studying the Constitution through its source material brings Founding documents to life. Students can view manuscript images of correspondence and see the author's actual handwriting, creating a very real connection to individuals who would otherwise remain little more than distant historical figures. Instead of learning about history through passive interaction, students actively immerse themselves in the documents that show how historical events unfolded.

"Teaching with primary sources encourages the development of skills crucial for a complete education. It requires students to evaluate evidence, recognize bias, establish context for historical events, and consider source reliability and author perspective," says Eleesha Tucker, the ConSource Director of Education & Volunteers.

In February 2009, Jan Miller, Executive Director of Law-Focused Education, invited the ConSource team to present preliminary Texas lessons at the annual educators' conference, where some teachers agreed to pilot the lessons with their students and to author their own lesson based on documents they found in the ConSource library.

The Honorable Don Willett, Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and ConSource National Advisory Board member said, "ConSource is a revolutionary tool, and students across Texas, and for that matter nationwide, deserve the opportunity to study and appreciate the vision of our nation's Founders by studying the U.S. Constitution. ConSource offers a comprehensive, easy-to-use, online resource -- just a few mouse-clicks away -- to reach students in a way that's familiar to them, holding their attention and providing a web-centered learning experience that piques their interest, not just today but for a lifetime." (You can also read Justice Willet's 2008 Constitution Day op-ed at www.ConSource.org.)

About The Constitutional Sources Project

The Constitutional Sources Project has created www.ConSource.org®, the free online library of constitution-related source documents from the Founding era. Current collections include James Madison's handwritten notes, the papers of George Washington, records of state ratification debates, and many more. ConSource will eventually contain texts and images for all constitutional sources from antiquity to 1992 when the 27th Amendment was passed.