The purpose of this lesson is to investigate the Bill of Rights through the perspective of someone living during the ratification period. After exploring the historical perspective of the Bill of Rights through study of the Dissent of the Minority in Pennsylvania, students will be asked to apply the rights they learned about to their lives today and assess, critique, and solve problems based on the modern meaning of these rights.
The Story of the Bill of Rights
This documentary tells the story of these individual freedoms that often are taken for granted today. But in 1787, when they were first discussed at the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers rejected them. Why were these rights controversial then? The full story about these rights, including what they say and what they mean, is explained. Ten short videos examine each of the amendments in the Bill of Rights.
The Our Constitution book, written by Donald A. Ritchie and JusticeLearning.org, takes an in-depth look at the Constitution, annotated with detailed explanations of its terms and contents. Included are texts of primary source materials, sidebar material on each article and amendment, profiles of Supreme Court cases, and timelines. The complete book or individual chapters can be downloaded.
Bring the Constitution to Life!
Locate primary sources from the holdings of the National Archives related to such topics as “checks and balances,” “representative government,” all 27 amendments, and other concepts found in the Constitution. This special home page devoted to the U.S. Constitution also features activities to share with students, such as “The Constitution at Work,” which uses primary sources to demonstrate the Constitution in action in our everyday lives.
Voices of History
Voices of History is a collection of eight Bill of Rights Institute curriculum resources including Being An American, Preserving the Bill of Rights, Founders and the Constitution, Supreme Court DBQs, Liberty and Security in Modern Times, Religious Liberty: An American Experiment, and Heroes and Villains. Teachers will have free access to each resources’ lessons plans and handouts.
Making Civics Real
A multimedia workshop for high school civics teachers. It includes 8, 1-hour video programs, a print guide to the workshop activities, and a website. The goal of this workshop is to give teachers new resources and ideas to reinvigorate civic education. The series presents authentic teachers in diverse school settings modeling a variety of teaching techniques and best practices in a variety of social studies courses from a 9th-grade government/civics/econ course, to a 12th-grade law course
Constitutional Index – Amendment 9 Enumeration of Rights Clause
The Constitutional Index breaks down the U.S. Constitution by Section, Amendment, and Clause and contains broader topics and themes. These are used to cross-reference Library resources in an effort to annotate constitutional history.