Third Amendment: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Expert Contributor
Lesley Chapel

Lesley has taught American and World History at the university level for the past seven years. She has a Master's degree in History.

The Third Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution and grants homeowners the right to refuse to allow soldiers to reside in their homes. Investigate the reasons why the Third Amendment was written and why the amendment continues to be needed in the 21st century. Updated: 12/28/2021

A House Is Not A Hotel

Have you ever had guests that stayed too long? Maybe you had to sleep on the couch so your guests could use your room, or they ate all your favorite cereal. Whatever happened, you probably just wanted them to leave!

Early Americans didn't want any unwelcome house guests either, so they passed the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution. The United States Constitution is a document that was written to organize the government and establish its basic jobs. It's kind of like a rule book for the government.

The first ten amendments, or additions and changes, to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights and list additional rules that protect the rights of citizens. The Third Amendment is included in the Bill of Rights.

The Third Amendment to the Constitution was introduced by James Madison and approved by 3/4 of the states on December 15, 1791. The exact wording of the Third Amendment reads:

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in manner to be prescribed by law.

This amendment means that no solider can be quartered, or be placed to live in, people's homes without their permission. For example, if soldiers came to your home, they could only live there if you gave them permission.

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  • 0:04 A House is Not a Hotel
  • 1:26 History Establishing a Need
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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History Established a Need

Although having a soldier living with you may seem strange today, there was a time in history where this amendment was important to American families.

Before the United States became its own nation, the American Colonies were ruled by Great Britain. In 1765, the British government passed the Quartering Act, which required the colonies to pay for buildings to house British soldiers or allow them to live in the colonists' homes. The colonists were also required to provide the British soldiers with food and other items. Imagine if your home became a hotel for soldiers!

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Additional Activities

Prompts About the Third Amendment for Kids:

Study Prompt:

Create a set of flashcards that provides the definitions of all of the terms that are in bold from the lesson (United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, Third Amendment to the Constitution, quartered, Quartering Act).

Example: The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

Poster Prompt:

Make an informational poster about the Third Amendment. Your poster should include information about who introduced the Third Amendment and how it was approved. Your poster should also contain the exact wording of the Third Amendment, followed by a description of its meaning in your own words.

Example: Three-fourths of the states approved of the Third Amendment in 1791.

Letter Prompt:

Pretend that you are an American colonist during the Revolutionary War. Due to the Quartering Act, you have one or more British soldiers living in your home without your permission. Write a letter to a friend that describes how inconvenient it is to have the soldier(s) staying at your home and why you are angry about it. Your letter should be at least half a page in length.

Example: You woke up this morning hoping to start your day off with a cup of tea, but the soldier in your house had already helped himself to your tea supply and drank all of it!

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