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Preamble to the Constitution

A Choral Reading for a large group / Readers’ Theater for 7 voices!

By Lorraine Griffith; Adapted by Timothy Rasinski

Preamble to the United States Constitution

Image by drewgeraets via Flickr

(This script is one of many used in those high-achieving, high poverty fifth grade classrooms as part of their social studies, reading, fluency, comprehension,vocabulary, community-building, WORD-FILLED days. Rich words by the mouthful!)

R1:   The Constitution

R2:    of the United States of America

All:    We the people

R1:    The people:

R2:     First Native Americans,

R3:     then a flood of European immigrants,

R4:     Africans,

R5:     Middle Easterners,

R6:     Asian peoples,

R7:     South Americans

R1-7:   and they keep on coming.

All:   We the people of the United States,

R1:   The United States:

R2:   All 50!

R3:  From Portland, Maine west to San Diego, California,

R4:    from Fargo, North Dakota south to El Paso, Texas

R5:    Alaska and Hawaii

All:    We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union,

R6:  That Union seemed perfect; all of the colonies became states as well as the territories to the west,

R7:  until the southern states seceded because they wanted States Rights.

R1: But the Civil War ended with a more perfect union of states based upon the belief that all Americans deserved the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

All:   We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice,

R2:  Even before the established United States, justice was valued.

R3:  John Adams had actually defended the British in court after they had killed colonists during the Boston Massacre.  Although he didn’t believe in the British cause, he still believed justice was more important than retribution.

R4:   Justice was ensured for Americans by following the fairness of John Adams in establishing a court system beginning with local courthouses and moving up to the Supreme Court in Washington D.C.

All:  We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility,

R5:   there have been times when our nation’s tranquility has been disturbed.

R6:   but in spite of Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941

R7:   and as recent as the horror in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, September 11th, 2001,

R1-7:   we still live in a stable and peaceful country.

All:  We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense,

R2:    The Air Force.  No one comes close!  Soar to new heights in the wild blue yonder!

R3:     The Army.  Be all you can be!  Be an army of one!  Hoo Hah!

R4:      The Navy.  Welcome aboard; anchors aweigh!

R1:      The Coast Guard.  Protecting America, it’s our job everyday!

R5       And the Marines.  The few, the proud.  Semper Fi (figh)!

 All:      We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare,

R7:   People’s basic needs must be met in a country.

R5:    Needs for housing, education, transportation, and health care are overseen by our government system.

R6:   Labor laws ensure that people work in safe environments and work to make pay fair for the jobs people do.

All:  We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves

R1:    Jefferson’s promise of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness came later for many of the peoples of our nation.

R2:     African Americans did not share the rights of whites by law until the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments passed after the Civil War.

R3:  Women did not share in the rights of men to vote or own property until 1920 when the Suffrage Act was ratified.

All:   We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,

R1: That’s you and me!

R2-3:  And our children!

R4-7: And our children’s children!

R1-7:  And their children too!

All:   We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

R5:  The Constitution of the United States of America has stood the test of time.

R6:  Although it was signed on September 17th, 1787, it still stands as a ruling document of laws, ensuring our rights and liberties that we still enjoy today.

R7:   And so, let us proclaim once again for all the world to hear…

R1:   The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.

R2-3:  We the people of the United StatEs in order to form a more perfect Union,

R2-5   establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare,

All:   and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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