The American Constitution: Bundle of Compromises

Produced, Written & Directed by Howard Egger-Bovet

There is much to be said about this feature length, award-winning production endorsed by Kids First. Instead, I invite you to read the following unabridged review from School Library Journal:

“With the addition of Constitution Day to the calendar (September 17), teachers are looking for material suitable for teaching about our nation’s Constitution. This program, produced by Howard Egger-Bovet, would be an excellent choice. Rather than teaching about the Constitution in isolation, this four-part production places this document firmly in context—historical, political, and social.

Part 1 discusses the importance of rules in a civilized society and the problems with tyranny and feudalism that led to the Magna Carta. The Articles of Confederation and what led up to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is introduced in the second part. The third segment discusses the convention itself, the various plans that were put forth, and the concern about appropriate representation and proportionalism. Part 4 deals with the Great Compromise, ratification of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

The production includes fun graphics, excellent timelines, game shows, vignettes, re-enactments, music, puppets, comedy, and much more. New vocabulary is introduced in a humorous manner. The program offers an amazingly clear definition of a quorum, and the section on feudalism has a terrific Monty Pythonesque quality that will linger in the minds of students.

Concepts are related to real-life situations. Scattered throughout are thought-provoking questions that can lead to interesting class discussions. While the Constitutional Convention segment drags on, that’s exactly what actually happened, so the producer’s were clever in getting the point across. The online study guide is perfectly aimed at teachers.

Clearly this company knows its audience. Used over a series of several days, with class discussion and extension activities, this program will give students a very clear concept of what the Constitution signifies.”

–Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA