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Bronxville Elementary School 'We The People' Unit Teaches 5th-Graders to Be Engaged Citizens PDF Print Email


Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Dec. 19, 2018:  As part of a project-based learning experience, Bronxville Elementary School fifth-grade students, who have been studying in-depth the United States Constitution, collaborated with their peers to create proposals for a 28th amendment in an attempt to address a variety of current issues they deeply care about.

“It is important for our students to recognize that our Constitution is a living document with the ability to change over time as the needs of our society change,” teacher Sarah Zonenshine said. “We want the students to recognize that they have the ability to shape our country and that their ideas matter.”

In preparation for their We the People unit that spanned several weeks, the students traveled to Philadelphia in October, where they visited historic sites and museums and saw firsthand where the Founding Fathers worked to create our nation. When they returned from their trip, the students examined the preamble to the Constitution to determine what our forefathers had in mind when they wrote the document. Afterward, they worked in groups to research one of the existing amendments to the Constitution and discussed what was going on in our country at the time that necessitated that particular amendment.


“We brainstormed a list of issues that are currently facing our country today in 2018,” Zonenshine said. “The topics included health care, equal pay, death penalty, gun control, banning the electoral college, and changing the requirements to run for president.”

Having conducted extensive research on the topics, the students worked in groups to write proposals for a 28th amendment to the Constitution and shared their ideas with each other. 

“Even though people think that the world may be perfect, there are some things that need to be changed,” said Charlotte O., who worked with her classmates on drafting a proposed 28th amendment to ensure equal pay. “No matter what gender you are, you should get paid equally if you have the same experience and education.” 

Zonenshine said the learning experience provided students with different strategies to become productive members of a group and further enhanced their ability to collaborate with their peers.

As a conclusion to their studies, the fifth-graders, who hope to make a difference in the world as engaged citizens, will send their ideas to Congressman Eliot Engel and Senator Kirstin Gillibrand.

Pictured here: Bronxville Elementary School fifth-grade students writing proposals for a 28th amendment to the Constitution in an attempt to address a variety of current issues they deeply care about. 

Photos courtesy The Bronxville School

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 



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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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