Review by Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013
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Constitution by KIDS DISCOVER

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Colorful textbook guides students through supreme law of the land

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Grades
4-8 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Multiple primary source documents and visual elements add to the experience.

Cons: It's still text-heavy and offers only a few simple activities.

Bottom Line: Kids can gain an understanding of the Constitution and the history surrounding it, but the activities fall short.

Teachers can use Constitution by KIDS DISCOVER as an alternative to their standard textbook when they teach students about the Constitution. The text is organized into eight different categories, which makes it ideal for small-group learning or a jigsaw activity. Teachers can split students into eight groups, and have each group read and discuss a category and share what they learned with the class. It also works well in a flipped classroom where teachers can have students read through and interact with the app at home, and then use what they have learned to complete activities in class.

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Constitution by KIDS DISCOVER helps students understand the Constitution and the events that led to its creation. This digital textbook takes kids through the process of drafting the Constitution and profiles some of the people leading the movement. Through photos, animations, and other interactive elements, it gives kids a feel for what life was like in the 1800s and how it compares to life today. Passages covering the Bill of Rights help students begin to see the Constitution as a living document and gain an understanding of how it applies to their daily lives. Simple activities give them a chance to test their knowledge of the Constitution and allow them to have a little fun.

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It can be a challenge to help students see how history relates to their lives today, and Constitution by KIDS DISCOVER does this well, encouraging kids to think about recent issues such as government surveillance and email. The collection of photos, colorful illustrations, and animations makes this app pleasing to browse through. Still, at its core, it's a digital textbook that only partially takes advantage of the platform. Missing are a few things that would help make the app shine, such as the ability to interact with text (for pronunciations or definitions), a glossary, and better support for kids who are audio learners. And while the text contains great information, the activities are not well-aligned with the learning goals. Students will quickly complete a jigsaw puzzle, a silly scrambled-words game, a sorting activity, and five very basic multiple-choice questions. With all of the higher-level analysis and discussions included in the texts, it's very surprising that the activities cover so little.

Also surprising is that although the app gives links to other resources, it doesn't include a link to the developer's website, where you can find free downloads of lesson plans relevant to the app.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Text-heavy descriptions are broken up animations, images, and other interactive elements.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

As kids read descriptive passages, explore the pictures and historical documents, and consider the questions posed, they gain a better understanding of the Constitution and its relevance to their lives.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Tap on the KIDS DISCOVER logo for help at any time. Find other websites and books to explore in the resources section.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stacy Zeiger Homeschooling parent

Teacher Reviews

2
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Featured review by
Jessica L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
2
An app designed to teach students about the US Constituion that doesn't utilze the platform

This app is modeled after the popular Kids Discover Magazines. Unfortunately, it doesn't take advantage of the medium of an app. It is mostly text-based, organized like pages from the magazine. There isn't an option to hear the text (which would be helpful for struggling readers and English language learners) and few opportunities for meaningful interaction. I did like how you could explore the Supreme Court Chamber, but this didnn't extend to interaction that enhanced a students's understanding of the Constitution (or the Bill of Rights). I can't imagine that most students would be engaged long, and since it's likely students would be completing the reading and activities on their own, it would be hard for a teacher to hold the students accountable.

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