The University of Virginia Center for Politics. The Bill of Rights. Key Words: rights Bill of Rights jury

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1 The University of Virginia Center for Politics The Bill of Rights Purpose: In this lesson, students will be introduced to the Bill of Rights. Students will be asked to illustrate those rights in order to demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which our Constitution protects the citizens of the United States. Students will also be able to determine how the Constitution affects the daily life of Americans. Objectives: 1. The students will identify the basic rights protected by the Bill of Rights. 2. The students will create flipbooks to illustrate their understanding of the rights protected by the First, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution. Key Words: rights Bill of Rights jury amendment Constitution Materials: 1. Teacher transparency: Actions of Citizens 2. An umbrella (not provided) 3. Teacher transparency: The Bill of Rights 4. Student handout: Umbrella Worksheet 5. Blank white paper (not provided) 6. Teacher transparency: The First Amendment 7. Teacher transparency: The Fourth Amendment 8. Teacher transparency: The Fifth Amendment 9. Teacher transparency: The Eighth Amendment 10. Extension handout: In the News 11. Teacher resource: In the News Procedures: 1. Warm-Up: Display the teacher transparencies, Actions of Citizens and ask the students to comment on the following questions:? What is going on in the photograph?? Why are people acting this way?? What is the consequence for participating in this type of activity?? What is important about the actions of these citizens?

2 Explain that all the citizens have the right to participate in this activity. Have the students create a concept web on the term, rights. Ask them to link any words that they already associate with the term and any examples of rights that they can think of. 2. Pose the question:? If it rains outside, what do you use to stay dry? When the students answer umbrella, the teacher should open the prop umbrella. Explain to the students that the document that will be discussed today protects our rights just as an umbrella protects us from the rain.? Project a copy of the teacher transparency, The Bill of Rights. Distribute the student handout, Umbrella Worksheet to each student. In each of the panels, there is a space where the students can record the rights protected by that amendment. Lead a discussion with the students, briefly explaining each of the amendments. Using The Bill of Rights to explain each amendment, students should follow along and fill in the blanks according to the main message of each amendment. 3. Explain to the students that now that they have briefly reviewed the purpose of the ten amendments, they are going to focus their attention on four amendments that we hear about on the news. Inform the students that they are going to create a flipbook that illustrates and defines these four amendments.? Hand out a plain piece of paper and a pair of scissors to each student.? Ask the students to fold the paper hot dog style (length wise). The students should then cut the upper fold of the paper one time in the center towards the crease, creating two flaps on the outer fold. (See illustration A) The students should then make two more cuts, one on either side of the center cut. (See illustration B) When completed correctly, it creates four flaps that can be flipped to reveal blank writing space underneath. Explain to the students that by the end of the lesson, they will have a flipbook that both illustrates and explains four major amendments. Illustration A Fold cut Illustration B Fold cut 4. Display the teacher transparency, The First Amendment. Read the amendment aloud and analyze the pictures included. In the space provided, write a simple definition of this amendment. Discuss the following questions regarding the First Amendment with your class.

3 ? The First Amendment deals with freedom of speech. Why would we need freedom of speech?? Can we disagree with our leaders?? Can newspapers report on anything they want or do they always have to say nice things about the people that help run our city, state, or country?? We have the right to agree and disagree without getting in trouble or facing consequences from our government. However, with this amendment comes great responsibility. While we may agree or disagree, we have to be responsible citizens. What does this mean?? We have this right because our representatives hundreds of years ago entrusted us to use this amendment with care and not abuse it at the cost of someone else s job or life. Students need to find or create an illustration that captures the meaning of the First Amendment. These illustrations can be drawn or cut from newspapers and magazines and placed on the far left outside flap of the flipbook. Students should also write a brief class definition of the first amendment on the inside of the first flap (under the illustration). 5. Repeat the process for the Fourth Amendment beginning with the teacher transparency, The Fourth Amendment. Guide a discussion of the Fourth Amendment s meaning. Here are some ideas:? This amendment says that a government worker or official, like the police, cannot come into your home to search it whenever they want.? They cannot do this unless they have a very good reason that they present to a judge, who then tells them that they are allowed to go into your house.? Do you think this right is worth protecting? Why? Students need to generate an illustration that captures the meaning of the fourth amendment. These illustrations need to be drawn or cut from newspapers and magazines and placed on the page next to the first amendment. Students should also write a brief class definition of the fourth amendment on the inside of the second flap (under the illustration). 6. Guide students in a discussion of the Fifth Amendment s meaning using the same techniques used for the First and Fourth Amendments Here are some ideas:? When you break a law, a group of people will decide if you are guilty or not guilty.? This amendment ensures that a jury tries you, meaning that you have several people determining your guilt or innocence, not just one person.? Do you think it is better to have a single judge to decide your fate?? Why would this right need to be protected? Students need to generate an illustration that captures the meaning of the seventh amendment. These illustrations need to be drawn next to the fourth amendment (on the third flap). Students should also write a brief class definition of the seventh amendment on the inside of the third flap (under the illustration).

4 7. Use the same strategies to discuss the meaning of the Eighth Amendment. Here are some ideas:? This amendment states that the punishment for a crime has to fit the offense. In other words, you cannot get a huge million dollar parking ticket for parking in the wrong place.? The punishment has to be appropriate to the crime.? Do you think that this is fair?? Can you think of reasons why this right may need protection?? Would it help change people if they knew that they would receive a big fine for small crimes? Hint: Teacher may display flipbooks for Constitution Day! Extension Activities: 1. As a culminating activity have the students return to the umbrella worksheet. Propose the following scenario to them:? A group of visitors from another planet has landed in order to study the United States. One of the things that they are interested in is the Bill of Rights. The visitors are not quite sure that this document would work on their planet. It is your job to convince the visitors that the Bill of Rights is important in preserving the rights of citizens in a democracy. You can convince them by: o Creating a poem/song that describes how the Bill of Rights protects citizens. o Creating a poster that describes how the Bill of Rights protects citizens. o Write an essay that describes how the Bill of Rights protects citizens. 2. Bill of Rights in the News: Students review imaginary news headlines to determine which of the amendments reviewed in this lesson is at issue.

5 Actions of Citizens 1) Describe this picture. What is happening? 2) Can anybody in these pictures get in trouble for what they are doing? 3) Why would people participate in this activity?

6 Student Handout Umbrella Worksheet Directions: Fill in each piece of the umbrella with words that describe how each of the following amendments protects the rights of American citizens. 5 th Amendment 1 st Amendment 8 th Amendment d. e. a. b. c. 4 th Amendment List some ways in which the Bill of Rights is like an umbrella:

7 First Amendment Religion First Amendment: An amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Questions: 1. What is freedom of religion? 2. Why is freedom of religion important? Source:

8 First Amendment Freedom of Speech and of the Press First Amendment: An amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom to petition, or question, the government. Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Questions: 1. What does freedom of speech mean to you? 2. Can people in this country say whatever they want? Are there any limits on freedom of speech? 3. How are freedom of speech and freedom of the press similar? Source:

9 First Amendment Assembly and Petition First Amendment: An amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing the right of free expression; includes freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom to petition, or question, the government. Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government... The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Questions: 1. From looking at this picture, what do you think the right to assemble means? Why is this important? 2. From looking at this picture, what do you think the right to petition means? Is it important? 3. Why are the freedoms to assemble and petition important? Source:

10 Fourth Amendment Unreasonable Searches and Seizure The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated -Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Questions: 1. What is happening in this picture? 2. When should the police be able to search a person s house? When should the police NOT be able to search a person s house? Source:

11 The Fifth Amendment Rights of the Accused The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of people who have been accused of committing a crime. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law -Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Questions: 1. What is going on in the picture? 2. Why should we care about the rights of people who are accused of committing a crime? 3. If you were accused of a crime, would you want a one judge to decide your case or nine people on a jury? Why? Source:

12 Eighth Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishment The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, protects against excessive bail or fines, as well as against cruel and unusual punishment. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. -Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Questions: 1, Describe what you see in this picture. 2. How does this amendment protect people? Source:

13 The Bill of Rights Amendments 1-10 of the United States Constitution Amendment 1. Guarantees freedom of religion, practice of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to peaceably assemble and the freedom to petition the government. Amendment 2. Guarantees the rights of citizens to bear arms. Amendment 3. No soldiers may be stationed in any house without the consent of the owner. Amendment 4. Citizens are protected from unwarranted search and seizure. Amendment 5. No person can be held for a crime without evidence produced by a grand jury. A citizen cannot be tried for the same crime twice. A citizen does not have to testify against himself in a court of law. Citizens are guaranteed due process of the law. Private property cannot be taken without just compensation. Amendment 6. Citizens are guaranteed a speedy, public trial by an impartial jury. Citizens also have the right to be told of the charges against them, to be confronted by witnesses and to have legal counsel in his/her defense. Amendment 7. Citizens are guaranteed a trial by jury. Amendment 8. Excessive bails shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted. Amendment 9. The enumeration of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Amendment 10. Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people..

14 Student Resource Extension Handout In the News Read each of the imaginary news headlines below. Which of the amendments we discussed (First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth) relates to each headline? Write the number of the amendment in the box and name the right involved. The first one has been completed for you. Amendment Number and Right Eighth Amendment excessive fine Newspaper Headline Police issue $5,000 parking ticket. New law requires church attendance every Sunday. Woman released after being charged twice for theft. Citizens upset by midnight raids. Newspaper shut down for printing story about mayor. Man sues city after being held without trial. Death penalty not warranted for food thief. Protestors removed by force from City Park.

15 Teacher Resource Extension Handout In the News Read each of the imaginary news headlines below. Which of the amendments we discussed (First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth) relates to each headline? Write the number of the amendment in the box and name the right involved. The first one has been completed for you. Amendment Number and Right Eighth Amendment - excessive fine First Amendment freedom of religion Fifth Amendment due process Fourth Amendment search and seizure First Amendment freedom of the press Fifth Amendment due process Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment First Amendment freedom of assembly Newspaper Headline Police issue $5,000 parking ticket. New law requires church attendance every Sunday. Woman released after being charged twice for theft. Citizens upset by midnight raids. Newspaper shut down for printing story about mayor. Man sues city after being held without trial. Death penalty not warranted for food thief. Protestors removed by force from City Park.

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