Students learn about the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and other important constitutional amendments. First they consider what rights they believe are important, then they read and analyze the real text of each amendment. This lesson also helps students analyze the impact that the Bill of Rights has on their daily lives. Completing this lesson prepares students to play the game Do I Have a Right?
The student will…
DISTRIBUTE one packet to each student.
ANTICIPATE the lesson by reading the "Fast Forward..." paragraph on the first page with students, then having them complete the checklist. Poll students to find out which rights got the most votes on the "Pamphlet of Protections."
READ the "Rewind..." paragraph with students.
EXPLAIN that you will be reading the actual text of the Bill of Rights together. You will be looking to see whether any of the rights students chose for the "Pamphlet of Protections" appear in the Bill of Rights.
PREVIEW the Bill of Rights pages together. Point out that these are "amendments" (additions/changes) to the Constitution of the United States. Point out the side of the page where students will write which "pamphlet protection" correspond with each amendment (some amendments will have no corresponding "protection," while some will have more than one).
READ the Bill of Rights page as a class, pausing to explain as necessary. As you read, provide students with a synonym for each bold word (see attached Teacher's Guide for suggestions). Have students record the synonym on their readings. After reading each amendment, ask students to identify which (if any) "pamphlet protection" correspond with the amendment. Instruct students to write the number of the protection on the line provided.
INSTRUCT students to take two minutes to discuss in partners which "pamphlet protections" were not represented in the Bill of Rights. Conduct a quick check for understanding.
DISTRIBUTE worksheet pages 1-2 to students, reviewing the instructions for each activity.
CLOSE the class by reviewing student answers to question 6 on worksheet p.2. This question may require deeper analysis. If students answered "yes," ask them to read the text of the amendment they cited. Then ask them to reevaluate their answers.