Civics – Bill of Rights

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10190

You know what the Statue of Liberty looks like, but do you know what "liberty" means? Using video and challenging online games and activities, learn about the Bill of Rights of the U. S. Constitution!


Civics, United States

learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Imagine what it would be like if you were arrested for your religion or lack of it, for disagreeing with the government, or owning a gun, and you were locked up at the whim of an unjust judge.

The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution is intended to keep us free from those and other abuses of power.

The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States, ratified in 1781. The states remained independent under the Articles of Confederation.

It soon became clear that the United States would need a strong central government to levy taxes and negotiate with large foreign powers.

In 1787, twelve of the thirteen states gathered in secrecy in Philadelphia to write a new Constitution. This Constitutional Convention lasted 55 days. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest member at the age of 81.

The United States Constitution is the oldest constitution still in use today!

The three major components of the Constitution are the Preamble, the Articles, and the Bill of Rights.

  • Did you know James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights, drawing heavily on Virginia's Declaration of Rights?
  • Did you know the original Bill of Rights included 12 amendments, but only 10 became law?

In this lesson, you will explore and study the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

First, watch the TEDEd video below and take notes based on the following questions:

  • What is the Bill of Rights?
  • When was the Bill of Rights ratified?
  • How would you explain each of the first 10 Amendments?

A 3-minute guide to the Bill of Rights - Belinda Stutzman:

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Next, read the Bill of Rights at the Bill of Rights Institute.

Then, take this quiz to see how much you remember!

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Great job reviewing what you learned!

Imagine what your life would be like without one of the following freedoms and write a paragraph describing it:

  • freedom of speech
  • freedom of religion
  • freedom of the press
  • freedom of assembly

When you are finished, continue on to the Got It? section.

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