Past Institutes

Teaching the U.S. Constitution

In the fall of 2017, Humanities Texas held three one-day teacher workshops throughout the state focusing on teaching the U.S. Constitution.


Topics addressed included the Articles of Confederation, compromises made in adopting the Constitution, the Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates on the Constitution's ratification, and the Bill of Rights.

The workshops emphasized close interaction with scholars, the examination of primary sources, and the development of effective pedagogical strategies and engaging assignments and activities. Content was aligned with the secondary social studies TEKS. Teachers received books and other instructional materials and were trained in the examination and interpretation of primary sources.


Workshop faculty included Carol Berkin (Baruch College), Denver Brunsman (George Washington University), Charles Flanagan (National Archives), and Joseph Kobylka (Southern Methodist University).

Program Resources

The workshops introduced teachers to Congress Creates the Bill of Rights, an educational resource developed by the National Archives in collaboration with Humanities Texas. The resource consists of three elements: an eBook, a mobile app for tablets, and online resources for teachers and students. Each provides a distinct way of exploring how the First Congress proposed amendments to the Constitution in 1789.

The workshop also introduced teachers to Representing Congress: Clifford K. Berryman’s Political Cartoons, an educational resource developed by the National Archives in collaboration with Humanities Texas. The resource consists of an online eBook of Clifford K. Berryman’s political cartoons with interactive lesson plans.

Locations and Schedules

Download the overview for each workshop.

HarlingenOctober 18Harlingen CISD Administration BuildingOverview
Corpus ChristiOctober 19Education Service Center Region 2Overview
San AntonioOctober 20Education Service Center Region 20Overview


The workshops were made possible with major funding from the State of Texas and the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Questions about Teacher Institutes

Call 512.440.1991 or email


Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History Emerita at Baruch College and the Graduate Center at City University of New York, provides insight on primary documents in Corpus Christi.
Denver Brunsman, associate professor of history at The George Washington University, presents on the Articles of the Confederation in Harlingen.
Charles Flanagan, outreach supervisor at the Center for Legislative Archives, leads a seminar discussing primary sources in San Antonio.
Joseph F. Kobylka, associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, examines historical documents with educators in Harlingen.