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ESL Bill of Rights Lesson Plan

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

In this lesson, students will learn about the Bill of Rights. Its overall purpose and individual amendments will be analyzed and described. The lesson will close out with a quick summarizing activity.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain what the Bill of Rights is
  • Describe the amendments in the Bill of Rights
  • Summarize what they have learned about the Bill of Rights


This lesson will take approximately 45-60 minutes.

Curriculum Standards

This lesson is aligned to the following Common Core standard:


Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


Students will need to understand the meaning of following words to be able to do this activity:

  • Amendment
  • Right
  • Constitution


  • Printed copies of the Bill of Rights, one per student
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Clipboards
  • Graphic organizer with 10 squares and labeled with the different amendments
  • Writing paper

Lesson Instructions

  • Write the word freedom on the board.
  • Ask students what they think of when they think of the word freedom.
  • Write student responses around the word freedom to make a word splash.
    • If technology is available, you could also have students submit their responses via apps like Wordle or Metametrics.
  • Explain that today they are going to learn about a document that was created to protect their freedoms. This is called the Bill of Rights, and it is part of the Constitution. There are ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, each of which protects a certain freedom or right.
  • Explain to the students that they are each going to become an Amendment expert.
  • It is going to be their job to teach the rest of the class about one specific amendment.
  • Put a piece of chart paper on the board.
  • Explain that you are going to do the first amendment as a class.
  • Write 'Amendment One' at the top of the chart paper.
  • Distribute paper copies of the Bill of Rights.
  • Read the Bill of Rights text together and pull out vital pieces of information.
  • As you read, draw illustrations and write keywords that illustrate what the First Amendment is.

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