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The Bill of Rights

Teacher Guide by Matt Campbell

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our US History Category!

Student Activities for Bill of Rights Include:

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!




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Preface

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

  1. How does the Bill of Rights limit the power of government?
  2. How does the first Amendment foster individualism?
  3. What are the Rights of the Accused?
  4. How would society be different without the Bill of Rights?

Bill of Rights Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

The 5 Ws of the Bill of Rights Graphic Organizer

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.

The Bill of Rights - 5 W's
Create your own at Storyboard That Image Attributions: Taft Inauguration (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcplcommons/3423377955/) - DC Public Library Commons - License: No known copyright restrictions (http://flickr.com/commons/usage/) Federal Hall (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabor-roeder/14792729041/) - Phil Roeder - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) What is the Bill of Rights? When was the Bill of Rights created? Why does the Bill of Rights exist? Where was the Bill of Rights written? Who wrote 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. The 5Ws of the Bill of Rights Amendments Amendments 1. Freedom of Speech 2. Right to Bear arms 3.Housing of soldiers ....... SAVE THE TREES

Example

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Vocabulary of the Bill of Rights

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.


Example Bill of Rights Vocabulary Terms


  • Amendment
  • Due Process
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Petition
  • Probable Cause
  • Bail
  • Bear Arms
  • Quartering
  • Self-Incrimination
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Jury
  • Cruel and Unusual Punishment
  • Elastic Clause
  • Freedom of Assembly
  • Search and Seizure
  • Rights

The Bill Of Rights - Vocabulary
Create your own at Storyboard That Image Attributions: Printed, Not Booked (https://www.flickr.com/photos/cogdog/8431502575/) - cogdogblog - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Amendment Due Process Probable Cause Bail An alteration of or addition to a motion, bill, or constitution. The regular administration of the law, according to which, no citizen may be denied his or her legal rights and all laws must conform to fundamental, accepted, legal principles. Reasonable grounds to believe, in a criminal case, that the accused committed the crime in question, or, in a civil case, that a claim exists. It is a lower standard than required to find a criminal defendant guilty, or to find in favor of a civil litigant. Property or money given as surety that a person released from custody will return at an appointed time. Bill of Rights Vocabulary