Bill of Rights

For students of 5th to 9th grade.

Subject: Government
Title: Reduction of the Bill of Rights
Grade Level: 8th Grade
Length: 40 minutes
Objective: Students will understand the importance of the Bill of Rights and be able to support their importance with personal reflection.
Materials: Butcher Paper, Overhead of the Bill of Rights, pencils, paper
Montana Content Standard 1: Students access, synthesize, and evaluate information to communicate and apply social studies knowledge to real world situations.

Anticipatory Set: Imagine you are in the middle of a debate over the addition of a Bill of Rights during the Continental Congress.  You are being pressured to state your opinion by fellow members of the Congress.  You stand up to argue your point to include a Bill of Rights - what is your argument?
Allow several students to voice their arguments.  Mention to students that they will be asked the same question at the end of the lesson.

Procedures:   Review the Bill of Rights with students and the implications of each.  Explain to the students that in order to see the importance of each amendment they must try to imagine their world without one or more of these rights.
Break students into groups of four and explain that their task is to eliminate three of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights.
To do this, each student will have a job:
	
Student #1: Reads the Amendments

Student #2: Records the which amendments will be eliminated

Student #3: Participation Recorder - tallies constructive responses/comments for the group

Student #4: Reporter - Presents the eliminated amendments with reasons to the class.

Allow students about 10-15 minutes to come to their conclusions.
Reporters from each group will report to the class the choices of their group, along with their reasons.  Use the butcher paper to graph the choices of the students as a visual aid.

Closure: Discuss with students the consequences of eliminating the most popular amendments.  Also, ask students why they did not choose to eliminate the remainder. 

Essential questions discussed during closure- What do you think is the most important amendment and why?  What do you think was the least important amendment?  Why do think there were ten amendments to the Bill of Rights and not more or less?  What process did you use to eliminate three of the amendments?

Assessment: Participation and cooperation in groups through tallies and teacher observation.

Extensions: Have students write a prediction of what life would possibly be like without a Bill of Rights.

Adaptations: Students work individually and provide their own reasoning.