Creating a Government
Sample Classroom Constitution
There must be 17 of the 25 students present to hold a town meeting
All students present must be between the ages of 14-18.
The teacher may participate in the town meetings.
Only 4th hour students may participate.
All citizens will raise their hands to speak. The moderator will call on people in the order in which the hands were raised (to the best of the moderator's ability).
One person will speak at a time.
Majority rule/minority rights.
One subject/matter will be dealt with at a time.
Citizens have rights and responsibilities.
Moderators will be nominated for each town meeting by the class. Nominees will then be asked if they accept the nomination. Accepting nominees will then be voted on by the class with heads down.
Moderators will hold the citizens responsible for using correct terminology and proper procedure. They will also see that quorum and eligibility requirements are met prior to the start of the meeting.
Start each meeting by setting the agenda for the meeting.
Moderators will call for a "second" for any motions made by stating, "Does anyone second that motion?" The moderator will then call for a vote before taking action on any motion. A majority (one more than half the class) must agree with the motion before it may pass.
Moderators may suspend the motion/voting ritual if the class is brainstorming and putting ideas on the board/transparency. Otherwise, each statement will need to be seconded and voted upon before it may be placed on the board.
The moderator will announce everything taking place for other citizens to hear.
- Right to be heard
- Right to oppose
- Right to request information
- Responsibility to follow the procedures
- Responsibility to respect others
Place rules one through five here. Have the students create them.
Sample created by Grand Ledge High School students, 1999
Teacher Note: Items may be added or deleted based on need. The Sample Classroom Constitution is only an outline. I allow my classes to create their own eligibility, quorum and procedures for town meetings. After a two-day break, they then use their "Classroom Constitution" to create their classroom rules. I then type up the entire document, title it "Classroom Constitution" and have each student glue a copy in their notebooks as a reference. The students usually have town meetings four or five times during a semester, as I and as they see fit. After this mini-unit, I then launch into my unit on the Constitution.