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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.

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HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

December 15

Bill of Rights Day is observed.

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Bill of Rights Day is observed.

Grades 5 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Holiday & School Celebration

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

The Bill of Rights was ratified by three-fourths of the newly formed United States in 1791 to ensure individual rights that were not addressed in the United States Constitution. These first 10 amendments to the Constitution enumerate and protect many of our rights, including freedom of speech, worship, the press, and assembly.

 

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Bill of Rights Day is a good opportunity for students to explore a variety of students' rights issues. Ask students to identify an issue that has come up in your school, such as dress codes, drug testing, zero tolerance, privacy, religion, or freedom of expression. Have them explore the ways in which the Bill of Rights protects and does not protect students, as well as some of the past and recent challenges to students' rights. Have students write position papers or debate individuals or teams of students with opposing points of view. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Student Rights page has information and articles about recent court cases focused on students' rights.

Students can continue to explore the Bill of Rights by examining the ways in which it applies to current events and issues such as homeland security, prisoners' rights, the death penalty, and more. Provide access to a daily newspaper. Then ask students to construct a scrapbook or bulletin board display of articles that address Bill of Rights issues.

 

WEBSITES

 

 

RELATED RESOURCES

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Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Freedom of Speech and Automatic Language: Examining the Pledge of Allegiance

This lesson has students explore freedom of speech by examining the Pledge of Allegiance from a historical and personal perspective and in relationship to fictional situations in novels.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Exploring Free Speech and Persuasion with Nothing But the Truth

Students read Avi’s Nothing But the Truth and examine the First Amendment and student rights, and then decide whether the rights of the novel's protagonist, Philip, are violated.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

That's Not Fair! Examining Civil Liberties With the U.S. Supreme Court

Students have the right to have fun in this lesson in which they create a PowerPoint presentation about civil rights and the Supreme Court.

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

What Are My Rights? Exploring and Writing About the Constitution

Students speak up in this lesson about rights, examining the Constitution in the context of issues that affect their everyday lives.

 

Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Sí, Se Puede: Making a Difference, One Letter at a Time

After reading the book ¡Si, Se Puede!/Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A., students learn about labor unions, strikes, and organizing for change. Students interview staff members in their school to learn about their daily work life, and write persuasive advocacy letters.