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The Bill of Rights

Social Studies, level: Senior

Posted Wed Jan 14 11:13:47 PST 2004 by Adam Burkett (

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown/undergraduate, Johnstown, PA

Materials Required: Worksheet, Group Chart, chalk/chalkboard, Posiibly PowerPoint summary

Activity Time: 50 minutes

Concepts Taught: Freedom and Government

Lesson Plan

Teacher A. Burkett Date November 21, 2003

Class American Civics Grade Level 9

Unit A Tradition of Democracy Lesson The Bill of Rights

PA Academic Standards

(5.1.9.E) Analyze the basic documents shaping the government of the United States.

(5.3.9.G) Explain how the government protects individual rights.

(5.3.9.J) Analyze the importance of freedom of the press.

Goal of this lesson:

1. To assess the student's background knowledge of The Bill of Rights.

2. To identify the freedoms provided under the Bill of Rights.

3. To familiarize the students with how to use their freedom of petition.


1. Worksheet Handout

2. Paper/Pencils/Pens

3. Organized group chart

4. Textbook

5. Chalk/Chalkboard

6. Powerpoint summary for student with learning disability

Clerical/Administrative Tasks

1. Take roll at the beginning and while in groups.

2. Copies of worksheet Handout

3. Administrative announcements if necessary.

Instructional Objectives (Student-centered, observable, and precise statements of what students will be
able to do)

1. From the discussion in class, the students will be able to list the freedoms we have under the Bill
of Rights.

2. From the discussion and class reading, the student will be able to describe at least three of our
freedoms that affect their everyday lives.

3. In group discussion the students will be able to value opinions of other students by comparing
their different opinions to achieve an agreed upon answer.

4. From group discussion the student will be able to demonstrate his or her understanding by
completing the worksheet provided.

5. From class discussion and group work, the student will be able to demonstrate their freedom of
petition by writing a letter to their Congressman about an issue of their choice.

Introduction (attention getter, anticipatory set, discrepant event, open-ended problem scenario,

Take a minute and write down three of the freedoms that are most important to you as a citizen of the
United States.

1. Check volunteers for answers.

Developmental Activities (Instructional components that provide opportunities for students to make
progress toward intended instructional objectives)

The Hunter Model

Introduction/Attention Getter: Anticipatory Set. (1-2 minutes)

1. Explain what the Bill of Rights is: Teaching to an objective.

Now we are going to look at the specific freedoms provided in the Bill of Rights

1. Interactive Questioning (List provided): Presentation of new material. (15-20 minutes)

2. Write important material on the chalkboard: Modeling and Checking for understanding.

Next I would like all of you to quietly move into your assigned groups of 3.

During this time give summary handout and directions to student with learning disability.

Roles: Recorder, Reader, And Facilitator: Guided Practice.

Students may use their textbook and class notes.

1. Read the Directions to the class. Does everyone understand? (18-20 minutes)

2. Group worksheet (work together)

3. Compare/Contrast answers among groups (Discussion/Debate)

Now would you please move quietly back to your seats: Independent Practice.

1. Explain directions for homework. What I would like all of you to do for homework is to exercise
your freedom of petition and write your Congressman a letter about something that you would like to
see done or about something that you want changed. The letter should be 1-2 pages double spaced and
typed. Does everyone understand?

2. You all may work the rest of the time left in class and finish it for homework. (10 minutes)
3. Does anyone have any other questions?

Assessment/Evaluation (How you and the students will know that they learned. May be formative or

1. Observable Participation

2. Group Worksheet (worth 10 points towards participation grade)

3. Petition for Homework (worth 20 points for homework grade)

Conclusion (Closure; a planned wrap-up for the lesson)

If time permits: Does anyone have any questions about today's lesson? Tomorrow we will discuss some
of the rest of the amendments granted to us in the Constitution beyond the Bill of Rights. Finish

Accommodations/Adaptations for Students with Special Needs

1. Hand out outline of content after questioning.

2. Supply visual reinforcement by writing important points (outline) on the chalkboard during

3. Supply visual directions on a handout for the homework assignment.

4. In groups, provide student with a strong social group to help keep him on task.

5. Make sure to write IEP.

Reflective Notes
Did the students enjoy the lecture? Were they involved?

Was the timing prepared well? Did I accomplish everything?

Any Questions asked by the students?

Were they interactive in groups? Respectful to each other? Well behaved?

Anything I could add/delete?

Was student with special need accommodated?

Did I cover the Academic Standards?

Technology integration

1. The most obvious thing would be a PowerPoint presentation on the Bill of Rights. I would
include all the rights that are encompassed within each amendment. I had used it for a special need
student with a learning disability to help them stay on task. I would also use a Jeopardy like trivia game
as a review of the amendments (I would develop it myself). Further I could research current events from
the many different newspapers and journals on hot topics such as Gun Control, Private Property,
Religion, and Speech to help apply the information to a current social context.

2. The PowerPoint Presentation in a Jigsaw manner seems like the best idea. I would divide the
class into groups with each member having roles to fulfill such as researcher, recorder, facilitator, and
speaker and I would have them thoroughly research a teacher appointed amendment and then present
their information to the class. Within the presentation they must include three questions that will
summarize their presentation at the end to ask their classmates. These questions will be considered for
the upcoming exam.
3. Finally in this ideal situation I would have each student research which Congressman governs
their constituency on the internet and I would like each individual student to express their freedom of
petition by writing a 1-2 page letter in Microsoft Word regarding something about your constituency
that you would like to see done or something that you would like to change.