Goodbye, Bill Of Rights!
Students will enact a scene demonstrating life without one of the first ten amendments. Students will be put into groups of three or four and assigned a specific amendment to research.
A lesson plan for grades 8–10 Social Studies
By the end of this lesson the students should be able to:
- demonstrate an ability to recognize the Amendments included in the Bill of Rights.
- understand the importance of each of the Amendments in their lives.
- discuss the reasons why the States insisted upon a Bill of Rights before they agreed to the Constitution.
Time required for lesson
- Reference materials, such as encyclopedias
- Copies of the Bill of Rights
- Any materials available that may be useful for student presentations
- time in the media center for research
- TV/VCR (Optional for the presentations)
- access to the internet
This unit should follow a discussion on the writing of the Constitution, and the subsequent insisting on a Bill of Rights by the states.
- Students should have a working knowledge of the history of the Constitution and the writing of the Amendments/Bill of Rights.
- Using your own methods, have students break into equal groups that will cover each of the Bill of Rights.
- Distribute a copy of the Bill of Rights to each student.
- Assign each group an Amendment, or set up some sort of way to give them a choice, but make sure that all are represented.
- Tell the students that each group will create a skit in which they will act out a situation showing life without their assigned Amendment.
- Explain to the class that they will have a week to complete their assignment.
- For at least 2 days, have the library available for research.
- Students should be encouraged to use a variety of materials.
- Work with your media specialist to help students location materials with information about the Bill of Rights and assigned amendments. Supreme Court cases are a good source.
- Have students prepare a one to two page report as a group to accompany the project.
- Allow one day (90-minute class) for presentations.
Give a grade for each student based on participation in the group. Give an overall grade to the group based on creativity, effort, substance, and the report.
- Make sure you let students know that you will be grading on creativity and effort, as well as substance.
- Have students record what each student contributed to the project to make sure that each student works on it.
- If you assign the project on a Monday you can give them a week to work on it, and have the weekend at the end if they want to get together to finish their project.
- If you can, set up a couple of class periods in the library ask the media specialist to talk to your group about resources that they can use.
- North Carolina Essential Standards
- Social Studies (2010)
Civics and Economics
- CE.C&G.3 Analyze the legal system within the United States in terms of the development, execution and protection of citizenship rights at all levels of government. CE.C&G.3.1 Analyze how the rule of law establishes limits on both the governed and those...
- 8.C&G.2 Understand the role that citizen participation plays in societal change. 8.C&G.2.1 Evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches used to effect change in North Carolina and the United States (e.g. picketing, boycotts, sit-ins, voting, marches,...
- Social Studies (2010)
North Carolina curriculum alignment
Social Studies (2003)
- Goal 2: The learner will analyze how the government established by the United States Constitution embodies the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy.
- Objective 2.01: Identify principles in the United States Constitution.
- Goal 10: The learner will develop, defend, and evaluate positions on issues regarding the personal responsibilities of citizens in the American constitutional democracy.
- Objective 10.01: Explain the distinction between personal and civic responsibilities and the tensions that may arise between them.