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The Bill of Rights Lesson Plan for Middle School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is designed to provide you with ideas on how to teach your middle school students about the Bill of Rights. Students will learn why the Bill of Rights was created and which rights were included in these amendments to the Constitution.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Explain the creation of the Bill of Rights
  • Identify the rights under the Bill of Rights
  • Debate current events that challenge the meaning of these rights

Length

This lesson will take approximately 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4

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

Vocabulary

  • Amendments
  • Bill of Rights
  • Constitution

Lesson Instructions

Materials needed: chart paper, markers

Divide students into small groups. Provide each group with a set of materials. Activate prior knowledge by asking students to create a T-chart. Have students label the first column 'First Amendment' and the second column 'Second Amendment.' Have students brainstorm what they know about these amendments, including what they are and any current events associated with that amendment. Provide groups an opportunity to share their discussions with the rest of the class.

Read the lesson The Bill of Rights Lesson for Kids: Definition & Summary as a class.

Pause after the 'Introducing the Constitution' section. Ask the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the Constitution?
  • Why do you think the forefathers thought checks and balances were important?
  • Do you believe the system of checks and balances is working the way it was intended? Why?

Continue reading 'What Is the Bill of Rights?' Ask the following:

  • What is the Bill of Rights?
  • Why were the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution?

Read the remainder of the lesson with students.

Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

Analyzing the Bill of Rights

Materials needed: 2 sheets of poster board per group, markers, access to Internet

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