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					Title: The Bill of Rights

Authors:
Becky Lee, De Pere Unified School District
John Thompson, Mishicot Public Schools
Brenda Valley, De Pere Unified School District

Abstract:

State Standard(s):
B.8.4—Explain how and why events may be interpreted differently depending upon the
perspectives of participants, witnesses, reporters, and historians.
B.8.6—Analyze important political values such as freedom, democracy, equality, and
justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United
States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Essential Historical Question:
How did the events of the American Revolution lead to the creation of the First
Amendment and why is the First Amendment important today?

Perspectives on the Question:
     Pre-Constitution        Why is it considered such a
                               serious threat to publicly
                                        criticize?
   During Constitutional       How can we formulate a
       Convention           constitution that will ensure
                                the general welfare and
                                  provide for evolving
                             freedoms for all throughout
                                        the ages?
   After Ratification of       What components of our
       Constitution            Constitution allow us the
                              right to publicly, although,
                               appropriately, criticize or
                                 voice our opinions in
                                         society?

Learning Targets:
Knowledge
      First Amendment rights
      Major parts of our Constitution
      Components of a political cartoon
      Ideas within the Bill of Rights
      John Zenger Trial and why it occurred
      Basic rights we have as U.S. citizens
      Key vocabulary associated with the Constitution
       World differences in freedoms and governmental decision

Skills and Processes
        Comparing/Contrasting
        Time-order Sequence
        Creative thinking
        Creative writing
        Public speaking
        Satire development

Reasoning and Critical and Creative Thinking
      History Thinking Standard 3D: Draw comparisons across eras and regions in
      order to define enduring issues.

Dispositions and Attitudes
       Respect for the freedoms we have been given through our Constitution
       Acknowledgement of the changing state of our country in both pre- and post-
       Framing eras.

Instruction:
Preliminary Activities:
       Student acting of freedoms NOT held by the early citizens.
       Recalling treatment of citizens at the time of the Revolutionary War.
       Focused discussion or small group sharing of elements seen in student mini plays.


New Learning Activities:
      Vocabulary list on Constitution and Constitutional times events
      John Zenger Trial reader’s theater and following discussion to relate to time
      before the Constitution.
      Bill of Rights and First Amendment contents
      Satire use and reviewing of political cartoons to view the overall use of satire.
      Sharing of “The Printer’s Apprentice”

Post-Learning Activities:
       Recognition of pre-Constitution and post-ratification periods in U.S. history.
       Individual development of political cartoons to reflect new knowledge.
       Individual expression of views and generalizations pertaining to 2 separate times
       in our history.


Assignment:
Students will answer the following question: how have individual freedoms in America
changed with the Constitution?

Assessment:
Goal of Performance or Product:
Answer essay question.

Role of Student:
To write an essay

Audience of Performance or Product:
Teacher

Situation:
Essay-type response in complete paragraphs and 2 sentences relating to self-created
political cartoon.

Criteria Used to Evaluate Performance or Product:
Content of paragraphs in relationship to prompt(s) given.

Scoring rubric available online.

Resources:
Primary Sources:

John Zenger Trial transcripts
http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/zenger.html

Teacher-Made Resources:
        Assessment rubric and points total
        Political cartoon “how-to” list
        Assessment
        Vocabulary List
        John Zenger Trial reader’s theater
        Political cartoon PowerPoint
(All teacher-made resources for this unit plan are available online.)

				
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posted:3/9/2009
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