The Bill of Rights

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                                               Summary                                      Background Information

                                               Many citizens of the newly                   A fter the colonists won
      The Bill of                              fo rmed United States of
                                               America were uncomfo rt able
                                               with big, powerful
                                                                                            their freedom from England
                                                                                            in the Revolutionary War, many
                                                                                            remembered having their rights

         Rights                                government.They feared
                                               that the gove rnment created
                                               under the new Constitution
                                                                                            trampled by King George III
                                                                                            and Parliament.Those who
                                                                                            framed and adopted the new
           By Judith Lloyd Yero                might give their legislators                 Constitution of the United
                                               too mu ch power. The people                  States in 1789 believed that
                                               remembered all too well what                 they had adequately protected
                                               it was like to be unable to                  the rights of the people. But
                                               practice their chosen religion,              many still believed that,
                                               to hold meetings, to speak or                because those who governed
                                               w rite against their government,             were mainly the ri ch and
                                               and to be arrested and held in               well educated, they might take
                                               jail for no good reason. To                  advantage of the common
                                               satisfy the people’s concern s ,             people.They demanded that the
                                               Congress wrote and adopted                   document state their rights—
                                               the first ten amendments of                  what the government could
                                               the Constitution, known as                   and couldn’t do.There was
                                               the Bill of Rights. The Bill of              precedent in the Magna Carta
                                               Rights tells the story of how                (1215) and the English Bill of
                                               the Bill of Rights came to be                Rights (1689).Virginia already
                                               and what specific rights they                had a bill of rights, which was
                                               do and don’t protect.The book                a model for the amendments
                                               highlights the basic freedoms                eventually added to the
                                               of all citizens, the rights of               Constitution in 1791.The Bill
                                               the accused, and the limits of               of Rights applies only to actions
                                               federal power.                               of the federal government.

  Learning Objectives

  Genre/Text Feature s Reading Skills               Writing Skills                          Social Studies Skills
  •   expository           Skill Focus              Skill Focus                             •   explain why the Bill of Rights was
  •   chapter titles and   • compare and contrast   • write a skit (narrative)                  added to the Constitution
      subheads             • use context clues      S u p p o rting Skills                  •   describe the basic rights protected
  •   primary source       S u p p o rting Skills   • prewrite                                  by the Bill of Rights
  •   photographs and      • retell                 • conduct research                      •   compare and contrast your life
      captions             • identify main ideas    • organize information systematically       now with how it might be without
  •   contents, index,     • make predictions                                                   the Bill of Rights
      and glossary         • use images to aid                                              •   analyze and interpret photographs
                                                    • present a skit
  •   sidebars                comprehension                                                 •   identify the legacy of the Bill of Rights

34 The Bill of Rights
Focus on Reading
Before Reading                               P review                                         Vo c a b u l a ry Strategy:
                                             Give students time to preview                    Use context clues
Activate Prior Knowledge                     the book. Have them read                    Activity Master, Page 38
Ask students to name some                    the Introduction and On                     Have students turn to page 5.
of the rights that they have.                Display.Then tell them to                   Point out the term Bill of Rights
Write their ideas on the board.              read the ch apter titles and the            and have a volunteer read the
Point out that the law protects              introduction to each ch apter.              sentence with that term. Ask:
the basic rights of individuals,             Ask:
unless those rights endanger                                                              Can you figure out what the
                                               What is the Bill of Rights?                term Bill of Rights means by
larger groups of people. Have
students suggest which of the                  What can you learn from                    reading the sentence that contains
                                               reading the chapter titles and             the term?
rights they have named might
be protected by law.                           descriptions?                             Ask students to explain how
                                               What are some of the rights               they figured out the definition.
Tell students that the Bill of
                                               you will be reading about?                Explain that using context clues
Rights was added to the
                                                                                         is a good strategy for defining
Constitution because the                     Set Purpose
                                                                                         words. Tell students that reading
people demanded it. Review                   Help students set a purpose
                                                                                         the sentences before and after
reasons why the American                     for reading. Ask:
                                                                                         the sentence in which the word
colonies had fought the war                    What are some of the things               appears is often helpful.Then
for independence. Discuss why                  you think you will learn by               have students use The Bill of
the people might have wanted                   reading this book? Why are                Rights to complete the Activity
to make sure their new U.S.                    they important?                           Master on page 38.
gove rnment wasn’t so powerful
                                             Encourage students to give                  Students can use the glossary
that it could take away their
                                             reasons for their answers.                  to check their answers for
rights. Have students c reate a
ch a rt . As they read, they can             Model your own purpose for                  these words:
fill in some of the reasons                  reading for students.                        amendment               militia
why the people wanted their                                                               civil lawsuit           persecuted
rights protected.                                                                         discrimination          prejudice
                                                                                          express                 testify

Correlation to National Standards

Language Arts                            Social Studies         Geography                  State/Local
• read to be informed and for pleasure   • time, continuity,    •   places and regions
• apply a wide range of strategies         and change               (5, 6)
  to comprehend and interpret texts      • individual                                      ____________________________
• use different writing process            development and                                 ____________________________
  elements                                 identity
• conduct research and synthesize        • power, authority,                               ____________________________
  data                                     and governance
• use spoken and written language        • civic ideals and                                               See Standards Chart
  to exchange information                  practice                                                       on page 58.

                                                                                                        The Bill of Rights 35
 Focus on Reading (continued)

 During Reading                       After Reading                          Have groups of students write
                                                                             a skit describing a typical
      Read Strategically:             Responding                             scene in which citizens are
      Compare and Contrast            Initiate a class discussion to         discussing their rights and
 Activity Master, Page 39             assess reading comprehension.          their new fo rm of government.
 Assign each ch apter of the          Ask questions such as:                 How can ordinary citizens
 book as independent reading.           What is the Bill of Rights?          limit the power of their
 As students read, have them use        (identify main ideas)                gove rnment and protect their
 the Activity Master on page 39                                              rights? Students should use
                                        What might have happened if
 to compare and contrast their          the Congress hadn’t agreed to
                                                                             the Activity Master to plan
 lives now with how their lives         a dd the Bill of Rights to the       and write their skit. Suggest
 might have been without the            Constitution? (make predictions)     that they use the student book
 Bill of Rights.You may wish                                                 and other resources, s u ch
                                        In what two ways does the First      as books, encyclopedias, or
 to work through one example
                                        Amendment protect religious
 with them.                                                                  the Intern e t , to find out more
                                        freedom? (make generalizations)
                                                                             about their topic.
 Strategy Tip: Retell                   Why is freedom of speech
 If students have difficulty            sometimes called freedom of          Communicating: Speaking/listening
 understanding any parts of the         expression? (draw conclusions)       Present skits
 story, suggest that they retell,                                            Students can present their skits
                                        How do the Fifth, Sixth, and
 or restate in their own words,                                              to the rest of the class.
                                        S e venth Amendments uphold the
 those parts to partners. When          principle of “innocent until         Students acting out their skits
 students attempt to retell what        proven guilty”? (summarize)          should
 they’ve read, it is often easy to
                                                                             ✓ speak clearly
 pinpoint passages that are                Writing and Research:
                                           Write a skit                      ✓ be in character
 unclear and that might be
 clarified during class discussion.   Activity Master, Page 40               ✓ adopt speech as appropriate
                                      Tell students that they are citizens   Listeners should
      Meeting                                                                ✓ listen politely
      Individual Needs                of the United States in the late
                                      1700s.They might be legislators,       ✓ determine the main idea of the skit
 For specific strategies on
                                      farmers, businessmen, or their         ✓ ask questions to clarify ideas they
 meeting individual needs, see
                                      wives. How do they feel                  didn’t understand
 pages 50–55.
                                      about protecting their rights or
                                      about how mu ch power their
                                      government should have?
                                      How do they feel about adding
                                      a Bill of Rights to the new

36 The Bill of Rights
Extend and Assess
Focus on Social Studies                  Questions                                Cross-Curricular Connection
                                         Ask the following questions
Individual Rights                        during individual conferences,           Science
Have students work in small              or ask students to write the             The original Bill of Rights and
groups to select one amendment           answers independently in their           other documents of freedom
in the Bill of Rights, using the         notebooks:                               are important symbols of
display at                                                      America’s history. Great care
                                         1 When is freedom of speech not
Students should prepare a poster           protected?                             has been taken to keep them
or bulletin board display that           2 What is included in “the media”?
                                                                                  safe and free from damage so
describes                                                                         that future generations can see
                                         3 What rights does the Fifth
✓ why early U.S. citizens wanted the       Amendment mention?                     them. Have students re s e a r ch
  rights in that amendment protected     4 What is the purpose of the Ninth and
                                                                                  the possible sources of damage,
✓ what historical or current issues or     Tenth Amendments?                      s u ch as heat, light, folding,
  court cases involve that amendment     5 Who decides how the Bill of Rights     mold, and moisture. Students
✓ what activities are and are not          applies to current situations that     should use the Internet and
  protected by the amendment               aren’t mentioned in the document?      other sources to determ i n e
                                                                                  how the documents are
Displays should be colorful,             Assessment Activity
with pictures that illustrate                                                     treated and stored to prevent
                                         Students create a booklet that
the amendment in action.                                                          f u rther damage.
                                         summarizes the Bill of Rights.
Students can write bri e f               The booklet should have four             Home-School Connection
summaries to explain the                 pages and should discuss the
right and the pictures.                  following:                               Students can make a list of the
Provide time for students                Page 1   Why a Bill of Rights?           rights protected by the Bill of
to share their info rm ation.            Page 2   Basic Freedoms                  Rights. With family members,
     Analyze                             Page 3   Rights of the Accused           they can discuss times in our
     Photographs                         Page 4   How the Bill of Rights          own history, or in the history
Activity Master, Page 41                          Affects Me                      of other countri e s , when those
Students can use the ch a rt on                                                   rights have been threatened.
                                         Students may include drawings,           Use the news,TV stories, and
the Activity Master, page 41,            diagrams, or pictures from
to record their responses to                                                      movies as examples. Some
                                         magazines to help                        family members may know
selected photographs from the            communicate their knowledge.
book. Students will identify the                                                  about how the rights of
subject of each photograph and           Booklets should                          people in other countries are
explain how the photograph               ✓ p resent information clearly           different from those granted
relates to the rights protected          ✓ include important ideas                to Americans by the Bill of
by the Bill of Rights.                   ✓ use correct grammar and mechanics      Rights. With the help of
                                                                                  family members, students can
Assessment Options                       Multiple-Choice Test                     compare and contrast their
                                         Use themu l t i p l e - choice test on   rights with those of ch i l d ren
Use the following assessment             page 66.                                 in other countri e s.
options to assess students’
understanding of The Bill
of Rights.

                                                                                              The Bill of Rights 37
Name     ____________________________________________                      The Bill of Rights
 Vocabulary: Use Context Clues
The words below are from The Bill of Rights. Find each word in the student
book and read the sentence that contains the word, and the sentences before
and after it. In the spaces provided below, write what you think the word
means, based on how it is used. Then use the glossary to check your answers.

 Word                       Meaning from Context        Definition from Glossary

 amendment (page 5)

 persecuted (page 8)

 e x p ress (page 10)

 p rejudice (page 14)

 (page 14)

 militia (page 18)

 testify (page 23)

 civil lawsuits (page 26)

38   Activity Master                                                               Vocabulary
Name    ____________________________________________                            The Bill of Rights
 Reading: Compare and Contrast
How is your life different because of the Bill of Rights? As you re a d
The Bill of Rights, c o m p a re and contrast the rights of American citizens
befo re the Bill of Rights was written with the rights you and other
citizens enjoy today.

 Category                  Before the Bill of Rights          Today
1. The Practice
   of Religion

2. F reedom of Speech

3. F reedom of the

4. Right of Privacy

5. Rights of the

Reading Strategies                                                              Activity Master   39
Name     ____________________________________________                               The Bill of Rights
 Writing: Prewriting
 A Skit About the Bill of Rights

With several other students, you are to write a skit about the Bill of Rights.
Your skit will be written as dialogue—what people say to one another. Who
a re the characters in your skit? How do they feel about their rights and their
new gove rnment? You may want to use other resources, in addition to the
book, to gather info rm ation about how different people, such as James Madison,
members of the Congress, and common people, felt. Plan your skit below.

     Setting W h e re and when does your skit take place? Are the characters in a house,
     on the street, in Congress, or in a restaurant or shop?



     Main Characters (Name and describe)



     “Extras” (Name and describe)



     Plot How does the scene start? What caused the characters to discuss the issue of rights?
     Do the characters agree or disagree? What happens during the skit?



     Resolution How does the skit end? Do the characters decide to do anything?



40   Activity Master                                                                         Writing
Name    ____________________________________________                          The Bill of Rights
 Social Studies: Analyze Photographs
Choose five photographs from The Bill of Rights. Study each photograph
carefully. Write the subject of the photograph and how the photograph relates
to the rights protected in the Bill of Rights. An example is provided.

 Page               Subject of the Photograph         How the Subject Relates to Rights

 7                  The Bill of Rights document       This document lists the rights
                                                      that must be protected.

Social Studies Skills                                                          Activity Master   41

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