5th Amendment Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

The 5th Amendment is an important part of the US Constitution. In this lesson plan, students will investigate the 5th Amendment and develop skits to demonstrate the rights this amendment gives US citizens.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the 5 clauses of the 5th Amendment
  • Create a skit demonstrating these clauses in action


1-2 class periods

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.



  • Begin by asking students what an amendment is. Talk about what amendments to the US Constitution do for us.
  • Ask if anyone knows about any of the amendments to the Constitution. What rights do they promise?
  • Next, with a copy of the video lesson transcript in hand for your own reference, show the video lesson, What is the 5th Amendment? - Definition, Summary & Court Cases, stopping occasionally for discussion.
    • Stop after ''Definition of the 5th Amendment'' and discuss:
      • What do you think about the wording of the amendment? Is it confusing?
      • Based on what you've seen so far, what do you think this amendment centers around?
    • Stop and discuss each of the clauses of the amendment after they are presented in the video.
    • Be sure to discuss the section on ''Military Tribunals.''
    • Show the remainder of the video and then discuss:
      • What are the 5 main clauses of the 5th Amendment?
      • What are your thoughts? Are these guaranteed rights necessary? Is this amendment as important as many believe it to be?
  • At this point, ask if there are any questions about the 5th Amendment.
  • Explain that students are now going to complete an activity that will make the clauses of this amendment more clear.

Group Activity

To reinforce learning, guide students through the following activity.

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