This goes through the beginning of our government, outlining the Convention meetings and decisions, moving into our Bill of Rights and a few other important amendments, and our citizenship handbook. For fun, I print out a Citizenship test (you can find a whole bunch online) and we take that to begin this lesson. Some of the students think it is crazy that someone applying for citizenship has to know more than they know as current citizens. You will also need a copy of Federalist #51 (James Madison) and Opposition to the Constitution (George Mason).
When you get to the amendments, we do a lot of different lessons. For amendment 5, I have included a Miranda Rights doodlenote. It moves along with the PowerPoint so that the students better understand the rights of an accused person. From there, they will answer the scenarios on the Miranda Rights worksheet, asking when it is acceptable or not to read someone these rights.
For amendments 5 and 6ish, we debate the OJ Simpson trial. You can use the debate doodlenote page for this. I assign a group of students trying to convict OJ and a group trying to defend OJ. They have to do the research and come up with their own theories. Based on their evidence they present, I take notes, and give them the sentence based on the evidence they presented. Then we talk about why it is important to go before a jury and not just a judge, why there is no such thing as double jeopardy, etc. We really have a lot of fun with this one.
For amendment 8, we use the debate doodlenote again. Only this time they personally choose a side. I present them with the .pdf file (.pdf file comes from www.deathpenaltyinfo.org and is available as a free printable to the public) that shows facts about the death penalty and they have to weigh the pros and cons and come up with their own stance on the issue. From there, we split up into two groups and have a general debate and move from there into a Socrative debate. Just like in the Constitutional Convention, they must accept all sides to a situation and they have the right to switch sides at any time.
You can use the doodlenotes as notes that go through the PowerPoint or you can use it as a webquest activity for students to research their own notes. As a group, we are working on being presented with a lot of information and picking out what is important. That is why there are some words on the PowerPoint in yellow and some in white. The words in yellow are what I feel the students need to get down because they will help them later on. From time to time, I take out the yellow and see how we're going with picking out what is important.
The kids love this unit.
*Note: The format for the PowerPoint may need to be changed because it was created with a Google Slides. If you upload the PowerPoint onto your Google Drive and open with Slides, the format will return to normal. If the format looks off, it's because PowerPoint didn't transfer in the bullet points. If you highlight the text and add the bullet points, it will fix the formatting. I'm sorry for this small inconvenience.
42 slides, 11 doodlenotes, 1 debate sheet, 1 worksheet