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Bill of Rights: Common Core Reading and Social Studies Mini-Unit: Grades 5-8
Description of this mini-unit:
Are you looking for engaging, thought-provoking Bill of Rights activities for your students? This is the packet for you! These activities use the original text of the Bill of Rights and are appropriate for 5th through 8th grade students.
Contents of this packet:
Page 3: Original text of the Bill of Rights
Pages 4-7: Unwrapping the Bill of Rights- I listed each Amendment and defined difficult words. Students are asked to review each Amendment and re-write it in their own words.
Pages 8-9: “My Rights” Newsletter- Students will determine and write about ways in which their lives have been impacted by the Amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Pages 10-14: Draw-A-Right Game- This game is somewhat similar to the classic game of Pictionary. Students will divide into teams where they will draw and guess rights. This is always a favorite with my students and it is a wonderful way to review the Bill of Rights!
Pages 15-17: Don’t Violate My Rights- Scenario Activity- Students will read 10 scenarios, attach the Amendment related to each scenario, and tell whether the person’s rights were respected or not. Students will explain their answers. My students love reading the scenarios. This activity always sparks interesting conversation!
Pages 18-24: Bill of Rights Project: “Create a Rights Book”- One measure of mastery of a topic is the ability to explain a complex idea in simpler language. That is what the “Rights Book” activity asks of students.
Page 25: Answer Key
Bill of Rights: Facebook Simulation
Description of this simulation:
This activity is definitely a student favorite! I created this Bill of Rights Facebook simulation when I noticed that my students were frequently discussing their activity on Facebook whenever they had a free minute. I thought it would be fun to integrate my students’ interest in Facebook with a thought-provoking Bill of Rights activity. My students had a blast with this simulation!
Steps for the Bill of Rights Facebook Activity:
1. Prepare a bulletin board or display area. You could even line the status pages down the hallway. Use the Facebook decorations if you want to make the display look more like a Facebook page.
2. Staple or tape the status update sheets to the bulletin board or display area. There are a total of 25 status update sheets. Each sheet has a status that demonstrates a little confusion or controversy concerning the Bill of Rights. Students will “comment” on statuses to demonstrate their understanding of the Bill of Rights or argue their position on an issue.
3. Give each student a comment strips page. There are 20 different “doodle faces.” Try to match boy outlines with male students and girl outlines with female students. It’s ok if you must use doodle outlines more than once. The doodle faces will look different when students draw on them.
4. Ask students to read some of the status updates and prepare comments for 5 of them. Ask students to attach the comments with staples, tape, or glue.
This activity leads to excellent discussions and debates. Most years, my students passionately debate a few of the status updates through their comments. The train of comments extends all the way down the wall sometimes. I love to see my students get excited and use critical thinking skills to argue a subject, especially critical pieces of the Bill of Rights. They certainly remembered those rights on assignments and tests! Yay for fun learning activities!
Bill of Rights Task Cards- 5th Grade and Higher
Description of these task cards:
What are Task Cards? Task cards are a great resource for teachers! Don’t assign a worksheet with 30 questions… break the assignment into task cards! Students may work on one task or a few tasks at a time.
Uses for these Bill of Rights Task Cards:
1. Individual work
2. Use as a “Scoot” game- Place one numbered task card and one answer sheet at each desk. At each desk, students will write their answers for the numbered task cards on the correct numbered spots of the answer sheet. When the teacher says, “scoot,” students move to the next desk and repeat the process.
3. Cooperative Group Work- Each group of students will discuss a few task cards at a time and record answers on the answer sheet. They will trade task cards with other groups until they have answered all of the task cards.
4. Walking Gallery- Place the task cards in various places around
the room or tape task cards to the walls. Students will place their answer sheets on clipboards and visit the different task cards.
5. Work for early finishers
This activity is not included in the bundle, but you should check it out!
Bill of Rights: Sort-Trade-Sort Game (Promotes Active Classroom Engagement)
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