Capitol Kids: “Constitution Translated for Kids”

On Wednesday, January 25, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society continued our “Capitol Kids” series with Cathy Travis, the author of the award-winning educational book, “Constitution Translated for Kids”: a sentence-by-sentence, article-by-article explanation of the Constitution. The first half of the book features the original wording of our government’s founding document in one column, with a simple language translation on the right. For example, part of Article I Section 9 includes the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which is explained, “People who are arrested and put in jail have the right to make the government tell them why they were put in jail.”

Meanwhile, the second half of the book describes how the Constitution has evolved, defines the branches of government, gives details about each amendment, and even includes a glossary. Travis’ latest edition also gives updates on proposed amendments and provides historical context & student exercises that approximate the decisions made by the Constitution’s authors.

“Constitution Translated for Kids” was the winner of the 2011 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for Education (Government and Politics), the “Mom’s Choice Award,” and a “Best Books Award.” It is a simple, widely acclaimed, non-ideological translation of the entire U.S. Constitution, side-by-side with the original 1787 text. Teachers continue to hail the accompanying free Teacher’s Guide as an extraordinary resource to teach the Constitution to all ages.