The annual burn


Every year we burn our Constitution tests. Because our school receives federal funding we are mandated to give a Constitution test in the 8th grade and then mandated to destroy it just in case an upcoming 8th grader lays their hands on the test (Really?! How many different ways can you ask how long a senator’s term is?).

It just so happens that right after the Constitution test, we read Fahrenheit 451 so instead of just shredding the tests (how undramatic is that?) we got the brilliant idea about a dozen years ago to burn them a la the firemen in Fahrenheit. It has since become the tradition. Today a student told me that burning the Constitution was the main thing she was looking forward to as soon as she found out I was her Humanities teacher. (My classes are the only ones to do this ritual.)

The students announced some constitutional gem on each of the pages they tossed in. There was “full faith and credit” and “privileges and immunities” tossed in with a bit of “state of nature” and “gerrymandering.” DG brought marshmallows and students grabbed sticks to toast them above the heat of the Constitution. I read the opening lines of Fahrenheit. “It was a pleasure to burn, to see things blackened and eaten…” The students totally agreed.


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1 Response to The annual burn

  1. leamuse says:

    As I read this I keep hearing What’s happening here by Buffalo Springfield… perhaps you could play that for the class after this event and generate some thoughts?

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