CENTER VALLEY, Pa.-- In honor of Constitution Day, which commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, Penn State Lehigh Valley elementary education majors will visit students at two local schools to present lessons about the historic document. Twenty-three students will teach 45-minute lessons in multiple classrooms at Cetronia Elementary School and Parkway Manor, both in Allentown, Pa., on Sept. 16.
Barbara Campbell, instructor of elementary social studies at Penn State Lehigh Valley, came up with the idea for this outreach activity as a way to benefit both the college and elementary students.
"Constitution Day gives our students an opportunity to get their feet wet in a real classroom before they begin their student teaching. But beyond that, I hope the subject matter helps to reinforce the importance of teaching and learning social studies for both sets of students," said Campbell. "It is in social studies class where we begin to teach participatory citizenship, but the standards and regulations of today often leave the subject behind in the curriculum."
Some of the students will prepare and execute their own grade level-appropriate lesson on their own, while others will be paired with a partner. At Cetronia Elementary school, eight students will teach in grades one to five between 9 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. At Parkway Manor, 15 students will teach in grades two to five from 2:30-3:15 p.m.
This marks the second year that Campbell's class will participate in the Constitution Day outreach activity.
"I received lots of positive feedback from the classroom teachers and our student educators. This year our local representatives are also getting involved by providing Constitution booklets for intermediate students, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association provided gavel-shaped pencils for primary students," said Campbell. "We are looking forward to partnering with these schools and interacting with their students again."