Title
Bill of Rights
Lesson Objective
Students will investigate one of the amendments to the Constitution to find out how it was important for the time, how it protects
citizens and how it applies to our current needs.
Background Information for Teacher
The United States Constitution was ratified in 1787. It came under heavy criticism by Anti-Federalists who were upset that certain
guarantees of individual rights were not included. Others in the Constitutional Convention only approved of the Constitution on the
understanding that a guarantee of such rights would be added. The Bill of Rights, written by James Madison were the first additions,
or amendments made to the Constitution. They guarantee certain individual rights like freedom of speech, religion, the right to
petition the government for redress of grievances, the right to a jury, the right to bear arms, and other rights. The Bill of Rights was
ratified in 1791.
3 class periods that run 45 minutes each.(Possibly more days because of how the assignments are)
Student Prior Knowledge
Students should know why the Constitution was created, what it said, and what freedom the Bill of Rights gave to the people. The
students need to know that the Founding Fathers worried about the basic rights of the citizens. These rights were not included in the
Constitution. The Signers ( James Madison) created the Bill of Rights. These ten rights were added amendments to the Constitution.
Materials:
Decoding The Bill of Rights (Step 3)
Poster Paper & Markers
Step-by-Step Guided Lesson
Step 1: Start Video
(Tips: Interact with the video by pausing, to ask questions or discuss information viewed with student.)
Step 2: Teach Lesson
Introduce students to the Bill of Rights by watching the video in Step 1 then ask the following questions to guide the discussion.
What is the Bill of Rights? What does it consist of? Which document is it part of?
What is an amendment?
What are examples of important rights and freedoms that Americans have because of the Bill of Rights?
What are examples of other rights and freedoms that Americans have?
What are examples of rights and freedoms that Americans do not have?
2. Distribute the handout Decoding The Bill of Rights so that students understand exactly which rights are protected by which
amendments. This handout includes both the original language in the Bill of Rights (preamble and ten amendments) and
parenthetical translations in language that younger students will more easily understand. Ask the following questions to guide a
discussion about this handout:
Which of the ten amendments are familiar to you? How did you first learn about them? Why do you think they were familiar to you?
Which of the ten amendments are new to you? Why do you think you are less familiar with these amendments?
Are any of the ten amendments confusing to you? If so, what questions do you have about them? \
Why do you think it is important that Americans have these rights and freedoms?
3. Assign the student one of the ten amendments to the Constitution and research their amendment. They need to know why the
amendment was important for the time, how it protects citizens and how it applies to our current needs.
4.The student is given the the task of creating a poster for their amendment. Their poster needs to advertise (explain) the
amendment in their own vocabulary and relate the amendment to their life.
Step 3: Complete the worksheet attached below.
Worksheets needed to complete the lesson plus Bingo for Step 4
Step 4: Review. Start the next lesson with the game or activity attached below for review so the student can demonstrate
understanding of this lesson before moving forward.
Bill of Rights Bingo ( offline) activity