In the Bill of Rights Teacher Guide, students will be able to use the concepts and principles of the Bill of Rights in storyboards that reflect comprehension, creative thought, and critical analysis. The activities in this guide will allow a range of students to display their knowledge of what the Bill of Rights is and how it impacts their daily lives.
By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!
When the framers of the Constitution met in 1787, they were responsible for the creation of one of the most influential documents in history. The Constitution of the United States has not only been the foundation of American democracy, it has also served as the blueprint for many nations to follow. With the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, Americans were guaranteed specific rights and liberties that would protect their individualism and freedom, and limit the power of government. The Bill of Rights outlined a collection of safeguards to ensure justice and liberty for every American citizen.
Essential Questions for The Bill of Rights
How does the Bill of Rights limit the power of government?
How does the first Amendment foster individualism?
What are the Rights of the Accused?
How would society be different without the Bill of Rights?
Bill of Rights Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers
[ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/1] Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
[ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/2] Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
In this activity, students will create a spider map that represents the essential background information for the Bill of Rights. Students are required to create five questions surrounding the document using the “5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where, and Why”. This introductory activity will allow students to see the Bill of Rights from a holistic perspective before they study details of the rights guaranteed through each amendment.
Example Bill of Rights 5 Ws
WHO wrote the Bill of Rights?
The proposed constitutional amendments that would become the Bill of Rights were written by James Madison. Madison became known as the "Father of the Constitution" well before he was elected as the fourth president of the United States.
WHAT is the Bill of Rights?
The Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These ten amendments focus on the preservation of individual liberties by limiting the power of the federal government.
WHERE was the Bill of Rights written?
The Bill of Rights was created in Federal Hall, in New York City, where the Federal Government was located before it moved to Washington, D.C.
WHEN was the Bill of Rights created?
The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15th, 1791. The Bill of Rights was debated between the Federalists and Anti-Federalist but was eventually ratified and has remained ever since.
WHY does the Bill of Rights exist?
The Bill of Rights exists to explicitly define certain essential liberties and freedoms of American citizens. In order to achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for each citizen, James Madison argued, our rights needed to be clearly defined and stated.
Bill of Rights Projects
Extended Activity One
Students can create an alternative 5 Ws of another country that offers their citizens a Bill of Rights or something similar. Students can use the same questions from the previous activity or create original questions for this extended activity.
Extended Activity Two
After students have researched these two different Bill of Rights, they can create a T-Chart storyboard that compares and contrasts them. Students may look for similarities of individual liberties, or display how some of the protections or limitations of government vary from country to country.
[ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/4] Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Students can create a Frayer Model storyboard that will define and represent Bill of Rights vocabulary to assist them in the comprehension of the document. Students will define the term in the description box and create a corresponding visualization of each vocabulary term.