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Online Lessons
Bill of Rights Day

madisonargues.jpgCelebrate Bill of Rights Day

Free Lessons:High School | Middle School | Elementary School

Additional Lessons: From our Catalog

 

High School Lessons

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, this Virginia law served as the model for the religious clauses in the First Amendment. It established a clear separation of church and state and was one of Jefferson’s proudest accomplishments.

John Peter Zenger and the Freedom of the Press. Should someone be prosecuted for criticizing or insulting a government official even if the offending words are the truth? Should a judge or a jury decide the case? These were the key questions argued in the colonial New York trial of John Peter Zenger. The outcome deeply influenced freedom of the press in America.

Wartime and the Bill of Rights: The Korematsu Case. During World War II, the U.S. government ordered 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry into prison camps. Fred Korematsu, an American citizen of Japanese descent, refused to go, and his case went before the Supreme Court.

Free Press vs. Fair Trial: The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Case. Charles Lindbergh was a genuine American hero. He was the first pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic. When his infant son was kidnapped, the trial of the alleged kidnapper developed into a sensational news story. The reaction of the public to this highly publicized crime, and the effects that modern publicity had on the jury, seriously challenged the limits of freedom of the press. The controversies raised by the media coverage of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial still resonate today.

See our full archive of Bill of Rights in Action lessons.

Middle School Lessons

Arrest and Search. Students learn about the Fourth Amendment’s requirements for arrests and searches. Then in a paired writing activity, they take the role of television writers and create scenarios illustrating legal arrests and searches.

The Trial of John Peter Zenger. This trial in colonial times helped define freedom of press in America.

Elementary School Lessons

Mr. Madison Needs Some Help. Students prepare to help James Madison decide what rights and freedoms should be included in the Bill of Rights. Through reading and discussion, students meet Madison as he is struggling to write the Bill of Rights. Then students work in small groups to create their own lists of rights to be included in the Bill of Rights. Students conclude by comparing their lists with the Bill of Rights.

What Is Your Best Freedom? Students make a poster illustrating their “best freedom.” In preparation, students discuss the freedoms they have as Americans and at school.


From CRF's Catalog

DOWNLOAD NOW!!! For only $9.95 each, purchase and download now these PowerPoint presentations (Windows). Using animated graphics, each present content on the U.S. Constitution and guide students through an exciting interactive classroom activity. The accompanying teacher's guide includes taking points to accompany the content presentation, step-by-step teaching prodcedures for the activity, and student handout masters.


The Constitution & the Bill of Rights: An Introduction
Grades 4-12
The Constitution & the Bill of Rights: An Introduction provides upper elementary and middle school teachers with a PowerPoint content presentation and talking points to tell the story of the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Using animated graphics, the presentation provides a focus discussion, walks students through the creation of the Constitution, and introduces each of the 10 original amendments of the Bill of Rights as well as the later Civil War and 19th amendments.

The Constitution & Bill of Rights, Intro. (Download) MS Windows
Price: $9.95 Qty:

 

The Constitution & Bill of Rights: Equal Protection
Grades 4-12
The Constitution and Bill of Rights: Equal Protection introduces upper-elementary and middle-school students to the concept of equal protection. Using colorful, animated graphics, this PowerPoint presentation provides teachers with a graphic presentation and talking points on key concepts of equal protection.

The Constitution & Bill of Rights, Equal Protection (Download) MS Windows
Price: $9.95 Qty:

The Constitution & Bill of Rights: Due Process
Grades 7-12
The Constitution & the Bill of Rights: Due Process provides students with background on the concept of due process and introduces the related amendments from the Bill of Rights. Using colorful graphics, the PowerPoint presentation also explains the trial and appellate court systems.

The Constitution & Bill of Rights, Due Process, Vol. I (Download) MS Windows
Price: $9.95 Qty:
 

The Constitution & Bill of Rights: Free Expression
Grades 7-12
The Constitution & Bill of Rights: Free Expression introduces upper-elementary and middle-school students to the concept of free expression as outlined by the First Amendment. Using colorful, animated graphics, this PowerPoint presentation provides teachers with a graphic presentation and talking points on key concepts of free expression.

The Constitution & Bill of Rights, Free Expression (Download) MS Windows
Price: $9.95 Qty:

The Constitution & Bill of Rights Due Process, Vol. 2
Grades 8-12
The Constitution & Bill of Rights Due Process, Vol. 2, further introduces students to the concept of due process from the Bill of Rights. The PowerPoint presentation concludes with a moot-court activity, Chicago v. Morales: A Supreme Court Case, involving a gang ordinance. 

The Constitution & Bill of Rights, Due Process, Vol. II (Download) MS Windows
Price: $9.95
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!!!VALUE PACK. Download all 5 Lessons for only $39.95.
The Constitution & Bill of Rights, Value Pack, All 5 Presentations (Download) MS Windows

Price: $39.95 Qty:

 

If you prefer to purchase the CD-ROMs for $16.95 ea. and have them mailed to you, click here.


It's Yours: The Bill of Rights 
Grades 7-12
For ESL students and students reading below grade level
Perfect for sheltered English classes, It's Yours: The Bill of Rights offers eight units of interactive lessons on U.S. government and the Bill of Rights. This illustrated supplement focuses on the structure of U.S. government, the rights of free speech, equal protection, religion, and the rights of the accused.

Carefully designed activities, reasoning exercises, and questions help students acquire language facility as they apply the Bill of Rights to situations relevant to their lives. A teacher's guide provides instructions for structuring lessons and utilizing outside resource persons.

  • Addresses needs of ESL or below grade-level reading students
  • Activities to involve outside resource persons
  • Content-based language development
     
It's Yours: The Bill of Rights, Student Ed., 112 pp. Price: $7.95
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It's Yours: The Bill of Rights, Teachers' Guide, 68 pp., Price: $5.95
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Letters of Liberty: A Documentary History of the U.S. Constitution 
Grades 8-12
This beautifully illustrated text records the history and development of the U.S. Constitution through reproductions of original documents, portraits, maps, and personal letters of the founders. A concise narrative gives students background information for understanding the historical context of the documents.
 
Letters of Liberty, Student Edition, 64 pp., Price: $8.95
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Letters of Liberty, Teacher's Guide, 24 pp., Price: $5.95
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Letters of Liberty, Student Edition (Set of 10), Price: $49.95
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Foundations of Freedom: A Living History of our Bill of Rights 
Grades 9-12
Foundations of Freedom traces the evolving history of the Bill of Rights. It begins at the Magna Carta and goes through the colonial period leading to the drafting of the Bill of Rights. It then follows the significant 19th and 20th century Supreme Court cases, constitutional amendments, and laws that helped the Bill of Rights develop. This lively narrative chronicles the events, issues, and people shaping the Bill of Rights and sets them against an impressive collection of photographs, illustrations, political cartoons, and primary source reproductions. Special features in each chapter highlight important people, events, and Supreme Court decisions.

Foundations of Freedom, Student Edition, 112 pp. (Cover slightly damaged), Price: $2.95
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Foundations of Freedom, Teacher's Guide, 32 pp. (Cover slightly damaged), Price: $1.95
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Foundations of Freedom, Student Edition, Set of 10 (Cover slightly damaged), Price: $19.95
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Bill of Rights Mini-Lessons: Secondary Edition 
Grades 8-12
"Bill of Rights" mini-lessons pay tribute to the legacy of the Bill of Rights and to the liberties guaranteed Americans today. these interactive lesson plans promote rights and responsibilities and introduce young people to our system of justice. Topics include: The Constitution's Framework, A Debate Over Gun Control and Stiffer Penalties for Criminals, and A Small Claims Court Role-play.


Bill of Rights Mini Lessons, Secondary Edition,Price: $8.95
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