Comparing Constitutions: Florida's State Constitution vs the U.S. Constitution


PowerPoint available at:
This lesson provides a comparison between the U.S. Constitution and the Florida State Constitution. This lesson teaches students about the similarities include: both contain a preamble, articles, create three branches of government, and reflect separation of powers. Students will learn how Florida is on its sixth constitution with its current version established in 1968, and how slavery affected the number of versions. They will also be introduced to the Florida Declaration of Rights and its more extensive list of rights. The lesson looks in-depth look at the Preambles and how both start with those three famous words – “we the people” and their implications of popular sovereignty and consent of the governed. Students will look at the how the Florida Constitution establishes a bicameral legislature with a state Senate and House of Representatives. They will learn how unlike the Federal Executive Branch, the Florida Executive Branch has an elected Cabinet which shares more executive powers. A review of the State of the Union is provided to compare with the state executive’s State of the State speech. Students will look at the Florida Supreme Court with candidates chosen by a commission and who are voted on by the electorate as to whether they will “retain” their positions. Students will learn how the U.S. Constitution is much more vague and short compared to the Florida Constitution which is ten times as long. Finally students will look at the different ways in which amendments are added to the Florida Constitution which include legislative proposals, the Florida Constitutional Commissions meeting every twenty years to suggest amendments and revisions and finally how all constitutional amendments must be ratified by the electorate. A reminder is provided that while these two constitutions complement each other, the Supremacy Clause clarifies what will happen if a conflict arises between the two documents.

Like most of the videos on Mr. Raymond’s Civics EOC Academy this video ends with a review “quiz.” Remember that the PowerPoint in this video as well as a variety of lesson plans and activities are available at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Mr. Raymond’s Civics E.O.C. Academy was designed for students taking the Florida Civics End-of-Course (EOC) Exam. However, as many states are implementing Civics Exams, these videos will work for all students of Civics, US Government, and US History. Currently students have to pass a civics state exam in order to graduate in Idaho, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. These videos look at all of the civics benchmarks that will be tested on most state civics exams.

As a civics teacher I have often looked for civics YouTube video clips to show my students. I hope these videos will serve as a supplement to lessons for civics teachers, US history teachers, US government teachers and their students. While they might be a little basic for AP Government students, they could serve as a refresher of basic concepts and content. I have also thought that these videos could help those who are going to take the naturalization test to become US Citizens. I have also been reached by parents whose children are taking Florida Virtual School’s (FLVS) Civics class.

All content in this video is for educational purposes only… ***For noncommercial, educational, and archival purposes under Law of Fair Use as provided in section 107 of the US copyright law. No copyrights infringements intended***


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