Common Sense Review
Updated November 2015


Extensive, highly searchable collection of the world's constitutions
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Countries can be searched by region.
  • Filter searches by topic.
  • Learn the history of the Constitute Project and how to use the site.
Easy-to-use site lets users search, review, and compare constitutions from countries around the world.
Lessons for classroom use aren't provided; the complex language and content may be too challenging for some students.
Bottom Line
Quickly and easily access almost any country's constitution, locate an excerpt, or compare governments.
Patricia Monticello Kievlan
Common Sense Reviewer
Foundation/Non-Profit Member
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Student interest will depend heavily on how teachers present the documents in the classroom. The content offers students an opportunity to explore complex issues of law and government around the world, which some students will love.

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

While the site wasn't created as a teaching tool, its structure lends itself to classroom use. The ability to sort and find relevant excerpts will be useful to teachers as they create lessons.

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

The site is easy to navigate, but it provides no specific guidance on how to use the documents in the classroom. The developers encourage feedback and provide a basic overview of the site.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Although created by academics for government officials who are writing new constitutions, this site offers many classroom applications. For direct student use, a lesson could be developed in which students pick a specific topic or issue and research how it is addressed by the constitutions of different countries. With preparation, you could pull excerpts for a primary-document analysis of constitutional issues.

Another possible use is to have students create visual representations about a specific topic to break down the complex issues addressed in the constitution. This type of activity would be especially valuable for English language learners who are learning both vocabulary and content. Finally, reviewing and comparing a number of constitutions could serve as valuable background for creating an original constitution, perhaps as a culminating activity. 

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What's It Like?

Constitute is a website that enables you to read, search, and compare constitutions from around the world. Searches can be filtered by country, region, date, or topic. Currently, 191 constitutions are available for review and analysis in English, while Arabic Constitute includes 54 independent states' constitutions. The topic filter sorts constitutions based on selected issues and important provisions. For example, you can find specific information about religion, citizenship, or guaranteed rights without reading the entire document. In addition, you can compare and contrast multiple constitutions on a particular topic, such as the election process or the structure of government, by selecting that tag and viewing the sections of a constitution that relates to that theme. You can also choose to view multiple constitutions side by side, and you can pin those comparisons and your observations to another space to keep track of your reactions Documents or excerpts can be viewed online or downloaded as PDF files.

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Is It Good For Learning?

The educational value of Constitute is as a resource for reviewing and analyzing primary documents. Teachers will need to create relevant curriculum for their individual classes. As is, the documents are written at a high level with much “legalese” (difficult vocabulary) and are probably best suited for advanced learners. If used with general education students, providing definitions of key terms and using short excerpts would be beneficial. The site has a clean and simple layout and is easy to navigate, even if the highly specialized legal language can seem impenetrable for a lay audience.

Students from different countries may find it interesting to compare the U.S. Constitution with the one from their country of origin in a variety of different areas. Constitute is definitely a time saver for finding, sorting, and excerpting constitutions, and for helping students explore the topics of rights, laws, and government.

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