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

Important Announcement about Online Courses and LEARN NC.

Important Message about LEARN NC

LEARN NC is evaluating its role in the current online education environment as it relates directly to the mission of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education (UNC-CH SOE). We plan to look at our ability to facilitate the transmission of the best research coming out of UNC-CH SOE and other campus partners to support classroom teachers across North Carolina. We will begin by evaluating our existing faculty and student involvement with various NC public schools to determine what might be useful to share with you.

Don’t worry! The lesson plans, articles, and textbooks you use and love aren’t going away. They are simply being moved into the new LEARN NC Digital Archive. While we are moving away from a focus on publishing, we know it’s important that educators have access to these kinds of resources. These resources will be preserved on our website for the foreseeable future. That said, we’re directing our resources into our newest efforts, so we won’t be adding to the archive or updating its contents. This means that as the North Carolina Standard Course of Study changes in the future, we won’t be re-aligning resources. Our full-text and tag searches should make it possible for you to find exactly what you need, regardless of standards alignment.

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  • The Bill of Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court: In this lesson, students work in groups and individually to understand how the Constitution/Bill of Rights is a living document and how Supreme Court decisions protect the rights of all Americans.

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • identify the components of due process found in the Fifth Amendment.
  • analyze information in order to recognize the components in real-life situations.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

1 hour


  • text of the Fifth Amendment
  • construction/drawing paper
  • crayons/colored pencils/markers
  • chalkboard or overhead projector


Assess the students’ initial understanding of the due process provided in the Fifth Amendment by writing on the board: “What is due process?” Allow the class approximately five minutes to respond on paper. Upon completion, discuss the students’ responses, giving special emphasis to answers that deal directly with the Fifth Amendment.


  1. Inform the class that the Fifth Amendment is a very complex amendment that provides the protection of due process to citizens in a variety of ways. Citizens accused of crimes as well as personal property are protected by the Fifth.
  2. Distribute copies of the Fifth Amendment. Have students read the text and give correct answers on their paper as to the five components of the Fifth Amendment. (approximately 10 minutes)
    1. Right to remain silent
    2. Confessions given of free will
    3. No double jeopardy
    4. Accused must be indicted by a grand jury
    5. Eminent domain
  3. Once students have been given the opportunity to garner the correct responses, reinforce the information by briefly elaborating a description of each component.
  4. Distribute construction/drawing paper and drawing instruments to each student.
  5. Instruct students to create a simple visual organizer to represent the meaning of each component of the Fifth Amendment. Without restricting students, tell them not to spend too much time detailing their artwork.
  6. Upon completion, briefly discuss the class goal: shedding more light on the details surrounding due process in the Fifth Amendment. Allow students to jot down any important information at this time and correct any misconceptions that are mentioned.
  7. Divide the class into five equally-sized groups. Assign each group a component of the Fifth Amendment.
  8. Tell groups to take the next 15-20 minutes to create an impromptu skit portraying the meaning of their assigned component of the Fifth. Skits should be brief yet informative. Encourage students to be as creative as the class setting allows. Some suggestions include playing skit charades or silent movie skits while still portraying information.
  9. When all groups are ready, begin performing.


When the skits have been completed, ask the students again, “What does due process mean?” Reinforce understanding by encouraging students to describe the rights of the accused and property rights in the Fifth Amendment. Finish class by answering any questions.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Civics and Economics

        • CE.C&G.1 Analyze the foundations and development of American government in terms of principles and values. CE.C&G.1.1 Explain how the tensions over power and authority led America's founding fathers to develop a constitutional democracy (e.g., mercantilism,...
      • Grade 8

        • 8.C&G.1 Analyze how democratic ideals shaped government in North Carolina and the United States. 8.C&G.1.1 Summarize democratic ideals expressed in local, state, and national government (e.g. limited government, popular sovereignty, separation of powers,...

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.
    • Objective 2.04: Describe how the United States Constitution may be changed and analyze the impact of specific changes.
    • Objective 2.06: Analyze court cases that demonstrate how the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect the rights of individuals.