K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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  • The five parts of the Fifth: This lesson will focus on the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution and its intent to provide due process to citizens. Students will engage in writing, discussion, cooperative learning, art, and theatrical activities in gaining an understanding of the Amendment and its concepts.
  • "I Declare, I believe this document May Flower!": The learner will apply ideas of self-government as expressed in America's founding documents. To be used with/for SLD and other exceptional students.
  • "We the People": Students will gain a better understanding of the U.S. Constitution by exploring the language of the Constitution.

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Learning outcomes

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.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

6 days


  • 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

Technology resources

  • 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.


  1. Students should have a working knowledge of the history of the Constitution and the writing of the Amendments/Bill of Rights.
  2. Using your own methods, have students break into equal groups that will cover each of the Bill of Rights.
  3. Distribute a copy of the Bill of Rights to each student.
  4. Assign each group an Amendment, or set up some sort of way to give them a choice, but make sure that all are represented.
  5. Tell the students that each group will create a skit in which they will act out a situation showing life without their assigned Amendment.
  6. Explain to the class that they will have a week to complete their assignment.
  7. For at least 2 days, have the library available for research.
  8. Students should be encouraged to use a variety of materials.
  9. 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.
  10. Have students prepare a one to two page report as a group to accompany the project.
  11. 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.

Supplemental information


  1. Make sure you let students know that you will be grading on creativity and effort, as well as substance.
  2. Have students record what each student contributed to the project to make sure that each student works on it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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...
      • Grade 8

        • 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,...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Social Studies (2003)

Grade 10

  • 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.