Expressing Ourselves Helps Us Govern Ourselves Our First Amendment

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1 release dates: January (07) 2007 The Mini Page Publishing Company Inc. By BETTY DEBNAM Expressing Ourselves Helps Us Govern Ourselves Our First Amendment How do you express yourself? photo courtesy National Archives Do you write letters? Do you send messages? The Five Freedoms Some people say the First Amendment to the Constitution is the most important one. The five freedoms listed in the First Amendment religion, speech, press, assembly and petition allow us to express ourselves. Through each one, we are able to participate in selfgovernment. Our government depends upon these individual freedoms. Do you make up song lyrics? Might you write a book someday? First Amendment words to know: Congress: the U.S. law-making group made up of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. respecting an establishment of religion: about the setting up of a certain religion. (Many countries have an official religion supported by the government.) Do you give speeches? Have you thought about what it would be like if you were not allowed to do these things? This is the second in a monthly series about the Bill of Rights. The Mini Page thanks the staff of the National Archives and Lee Ann Potter, director of education and volunteer programs, for their help with this issue. The First Amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Notice that the First Amendment does not tell us what we can do, but rather what Congress cannot do. Do you put up signs? abridging: cutting off or reducing. to petition: to make a written request. redress of grievances: a correction of something that someone or some people think is unfair. Site to see:

2 3-2 (07); release dates: January Bill of Rights Timeline, Part I Our Bill of Rights came about because people fought for hundreds of years for these freedoms. Many of these rights had their beginnings in England. Here s a timeline of events that inspired our Bill of Rights. Keep in mind that there are many people in some countries who don t have these rights today. Magna Carta, 1215 King John of England agreed that citizens should abide by rules set down in laws, not those demanded by kings. He promised to protect the rights of the English people. These rights included trial by jury. Petition of Right, 1628 England s Parliament, or governing group, forced King Charles I to sign a list of rights. The king promised to stop arresting people without a legal reason. He also agreed to stop demanding that citizens be required to keep soldiers in their private homes. Habeas Corpus Act, 1679 The English Parliament made the writ of habeas corpus a major right by this law. This court order demands that an official of the court bring a prisoner before the court and explain why he or she is being held. Mini Spy... Mini Spy and Peter Penguin enjoy reading the newspaper every day. See if you can find: word MINI milk carton football safety pin heart letter B knife letter A seal mug horn pig letter J pencil letter D letter T English Bill of Rights, 1689 PROTECT FREE SPEECH! Toleration Act, 1689 The English Parliament passed a law that was the first step toward religious liberty. It allowed some Protestants to build places of worship. TRY N First Amendment FIND Words that remind us of the First Amendment are hidden in the block below. Some words are hidden backward, and some letters are used twice. See if you can find: GOVERNMENT, FREEDOM, RESPONSIBILITY, ASSEMBLY, RELIGION, PRESS, PARTICIPATE, COMMENTS, CONGRESS, GRIEVANCES, PETITION, BILL OF RIGHTS, CONSTITUTION, PEACEABLY, SPEECH. HOORAY FOR FREE SPEECH! Basset Brown The News Hound s King William III and Queen Mary II agreed to protect free speech and the right to keep weapons. They also promised to treat prisoners better. John Peter Zenger trial, 1735 John Peter Zenger was arrested beause he printed a true story about government dishonesty. A New York jury found him innocent. This was the first step toward free press in America. (To be continued in the February Bill of Rights issue.) H C E E P S A S S E M B L Y N S T H G I R F O L L I B C L O T N E M N R E V O G U Q O B I N O I T U T I T S N O C N A G E T W S E C N A V E I R G E I M P A R T I C I P A T E R C L M V H M O D E E R F K Z E A E O Y T I L I B I S N O P S E R C N O I T I T E P R E S S P J

3 Go dot to dot and color. What does the First Amendment encourage us to do? 2006 Wendy Lynch 3-3 (07); release dates: January Rookie Cookie s Recipe Vegetable-Chickpea Soup You ll need: 1 /2 onion, chopped 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 can tomatoes with juice 1 zucchini, chopped 1 summer squash, chopped 1 can fat-free chicken broth 1 cup water 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 1 can of chickpeas, drained What to do: 1. Cook chopped onion in olive oil on low heat. 2. Add tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, chicken broth, water and seasoning. 3. Simmer for 45 minutes. 4. Add can of chickpeas (drained) and simmer 15 more minutes. Makes 6 servings. You will need an adult s help with this recipe. Meet Christopher O Riley Christopher O Riley hosts the National Public Radio program From the Top. This show features young classical musicians aged 9 to 18. The show is a mixture of kids talking, joking and playing music. O Riley, 50, is well-known as a classical pianist. He is also famous for his piano arrangements of rock music, especially of the group Radiohead. Sometimes he plays both classical and rock music in the same concert. For several years he has hosted the International Young Artists Festival at Hilton Head Island, S.C. Christopher grew up in Evanston, Ill., and Pittsburgh, Pa. He began playing the piano when he was in kindergarten. He started a rock band when he was in middle school and started a professional jazz band when he was in high school. He later studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music. He has homes in Los Angeles and in Northfield, Ohio. A KID S GUIDE TO THE WHITE HOUSE Betty Debnam Kids! You're Invited to the White House A Kid s Guide to the White House is a terrific behind-the-scenes look at a very special house. Written with the cooperation of the White House Historical Association, the book is full of fun information, photos (some in full color) and puzzles that kids of all ages will enjoy. To order, send $9.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling for each copy. Send check or money order (U.S. funds only) payable to: Andrews McMeel Universal, P.O. Box 6814, Leawood, KS Please send copies of A Kid s Guide to The White House (Item #2153-2) at $13.45 each, including postage and handling. Toll free number Name: Address: City: State: Zip: All the following jokes have something in common. Can you guess the common theme or category? Sarah: What s a good way to catch a squirrel? Sol: Climb a tree and act like a nut! Sam: What is a squirrel s favorite breakfast? Simon: Doughnuts! Socrates: Can you describe what happens when you cross a kangaroo with a squirrel? Sylvia: You get a creature that can carry acorns in its pockets!

4 3-4 (07); release dates: January The First Amendment The First Amendment says that Congress cannot take away certain freedoms or liberties. That meant for many years that only the national government was prevented from taking away these rights. States had their own constitutions and bills of rights that usually protected all of their citizens. Later, the 14th Amendment was passed. It limited the power of state governments to take away our basic rights. The Supreme Court, the top U.S. court, later said that states must honor the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment. A Kid s First Amendment The Mini Page asked experts on the First Amendment what they thought our readers should know about this important part of the Constitution. Our experts are from the Bill of Rights Institute, a special group that educates us about our rights. The Freedoms The First Amendment guarantees five basic freedoms: freedom of religion freedom of speech freedom of the press freedom to assemble, or get together with other people freedom to petition, or ask, the government to change things. Freedom of religion You and your family are free to practice the religion of your choice, or even to practice no religion at all. You cannot be told by the government how to pray or where to pray. The Mini Page thanks Claire McCaffery Griffin, vice president of education programs, the Bill of Rights Institute, for help with this section of The Mini Page. A site to see: BillofRightsInstitute.org Freedom of speech You can make comments both for and against what the government does. The government cannot stop you. You can express your ideas through songs, poems or paintings. However, freedom of speech is limited: for example, when public safety is threatened. You can t yell Fire in a crowded theater. This false alarm could cause harm when people rush out. Freedom of the press A pressman at the Wilson Daily Times in Wilson, N.C., looks over a section of the paper. Like all U.S. papers, it is free from government controls. The reporters and editors decide what goes in the paper. You can learn about what the government does, both good and bad, in newspapers, on TV and on the Internet. You can write a letter or post an online comment about what the government does. photo by Gray Whitley, courtesy Wilson Daily Times Freedom of assembly You can be with your friends in a public place, provided that you are not acting in a way that could harm yourself or others. You can march in a parade to celebrate or demonstrate. Freedom to petition You can write a letter to the president, your senators or representative. You can talk to government officials and tell them what you think. Your responsibility The First Amendment guarantees these freedoms, but we are expected to respect them and exercise them in a responsible way. You should learn to speak up if you see the government limiting these freedoms. However, some of these freedoms don t apply to private businesses. You are free to speak out at anytime, but you must also consider the consequences. Your parents and your teachers can guide you when you practice or study your basic freedoms. Being able to express our thoughts and practice these freedoms enables us to avoid conflict and settle our differences in a peaceful way.

5 Read all about our First Amendment in photo courtesy National Archives by Betty Debnam Appearing in your newspaper on. from The Mini Page by Betty Debnam 2007 The Mini Page Publishing Company Inc. (Note to Editor: Above is cameraready, one column-by-4 1 /4-inch ad promoting Issue 3.) release dates: January (07) from The Mini Page by Betty Debnam 2007 The MIni Page Publishing Company Inc. Standards Spotlight: Our First Amendment Mini Page activities meet many state and national educational standards. Each week we identify standards that relate to The Mini Page s content and offer activities that will help your students reach them. This week s standards: Students understand the purpose of government. (Social Studies: Power, Authority and Governance) Students identify key ideals of the United States democratic republican form of government. (Social Studies: Civic Ideals and Practice) Activities: 1. Draw a picture showing you exercising one of the freedoms in the First Amendment. Write a sentence or two telling about your picture. 2. Cut out newspaper words and pictures to make a collage about the First Amendment. Include these examples on your collage: religious services, news about the state or national government, and news about a community meeting. 3. Find a news story about a decision made by a local government group, such as a city council or school board. Write a paragraph explaining what will happen to people in your community because of that decision. 4. Which of the First Amendment freedoms would protect your right to (a) put a Christmas nativity display on your lawn, (b) hold a peaceful demonstration outside a government office, (c) write a letter to the editor of this newspaper, and (d) ask a state legislature to propose a new law? 5. Find a news story about a decision made by the national government. Identify different groups who will support the decision and write a brief paragraph explaining why each group supports the decision. Identify different groups who will oppose the decision and write a brief paragraph explaining why each group opposes the decision. Now write several sentences stating your position on the decision. (standards by Dr. Sherrye D. Garrett, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi) Supersport: Heather O Reilly Height: 5-4 Birthdate: Hometown: East Brunswick, N.J. It was the perfect combination of timing and talent as All- American Heather O Reilly led North Carolina to the women s NCAA soccer title in her final college game. In a moment that matched her dreams, O Reilly, a National Player of the Year, scored a goal and had an assist to lead the Tar Heels past Notre Dame 2-1 and give UNC its 18th NCAA championship. It was the second national collegiate title for O Reilly, who helped UNC win the 2003 crown her freshman year. O Reilly s career is filled with highlights. She is a three-time All- American who also played on the U.S. Olympic team that won the 2004 gold medal. O Reilly, whose other interests include basketball, computers and music, wants to continue playing soccer or launch a teaching career. She majored in education at UNC and also helped with community outreach projects. (Note to Editor: Above is the Standards for Issue 3.) (Note to Editor: Above is copy block for Page 3, Issue 3, to be used in place of ad if desired.)

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