The Bill of Rights


Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Introduction

News Flash!!! NBC News has just reported that a Congressional Committee in Washington has met and decided to recommend to the House of Representatives that the Bill of Rights be removed as part of the U.S. Constitution. The committee also announced that it will hear testimony from anyone wishing to speak in defense of the Bill of Rights and argue to keep it. As a citizen, you must be shocked and horrified. Call your Congressman immediately, and ask him what he is planning to do about this situation.What position do you want him to take?

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Task
You must form a political action group to help in your fight to save the Bill of Rights. Your group must choose a strategy from the list below to develop your fight against the potential action of the Congressional Committee.

1. You know of a friend that has had a close call with the law. Explore the ramifications of his/her situation as if there had been no Bill of Rights. Explain what happened because of our Bill of Rights and what could have happened if there had been no Bill of Rights.

2. As citizens there are specific rights that you believe very strongly in. Your group should select three rights of the ten and give an example of the use or misuse of each in real life situations. Be sure to list all ten rights that citizens are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

3. Your group tells your Congressman that they would like him to speak out in support of the Bill of Rights. He is to present the history of the Bill of Rights, from its British and Colonial roots. Be sure to explain to your Congressman that he should stress the importance of the Bill of Rights in protecting the rights of the American citizens.

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Process

Here's where you spell out the steps and provide all the resources.

1. The class will assemble into 4 teams to prepare to testify before the Congressional Committee.

2. All members of the group will be responsible for researching the topics and gathering information.

3. Each member of the team will be responsible for completing one of the following part of the presentation. Your grade will be based on the completion of the following tasks:

A. Preparing a written report explaining one of the strategies from the "Tasks" above.

B. Research and prepare a written report on three of the "Founding Fathers". Be sure to present biographical data on the three and explain their contributions to our government.

C. Prepare a poster or visual aid to enhance your postion when you present to the committee. Each poster or visual aid must be focused on your area of exploration.

D. Prepare a Power Point presentation of your arguement.

Resources

Bill of Rights Cases

US Constitution

Supreme Court Cases

Bill of Rights - Encarta

Charters of Freedom - Constitution and Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights - Cornell Law School

Early America - The Bill of Rights

Findlaw - The First Amendment Cases

George Mason, the Forgotten Founder

Founding Fathers

Concord.com - The Founding Fathers

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Evaluation

Here's where you show the criterion for grading. Rubrics are often used.

The project will be evaluated based upon the Rubric below:

Category Possible Points Excellent Very Good Good Poor Unsatisfactory
Written Paper 20 Points Completely covers the topic; no spelling/grammatical errors (18-20) Typed; Paper follows the outline; 1-3 spelling /grammar mistakes. Covers all subtopicsand includes 1-2 additional pts. about each subtopics (14-17 Pts.) Typed; Paper differs from the outline slightly; 4-6 spelling/grammar mistakes; Does not cover 2 -3 of the subtopics; Mentions each the subtopics, but does not expand upon them. (10-13 pts.) Typed or handwritten: paper does not follow the outline; 7-9 spelling/grammar mistakes; Does not cover the more than 3-4 of the subtopics. (7-9 pts.) Handwritten; Paper does not follow the outline; 10 or more spelling/grammar mistakes; Does not cover themore than 4 of the subtopics. (5 pts.)
Founding Fathers 10 Points Biographic data on Founding Fathers was complete; Completely explained their contributions to US Constitution (9-10)

Biographic data was compete; Explained a few of their contributions to the US Consitution. (7-8 pts.)

 

Biographic data was complete, but did not explain their contributions to the US Constitution. (5-6 pts.) Biographic data was incomplete and explained a few of their contributions to the US Constitutions (3-4 pts.) Few biographic facts and very little on their contributions to the US Constitution. (1-2pts)
Visual Aid 20 Points Completely covered the topic; was clear and useful in the presentation (18-20) Covers most of the topic; was clear and useful in the presentation (15 pts.) Covers at least 1/2 of the points in the topic; Was used in part of the presentation (10pts.) Covers some of the points in the topic; was used very little in the presentation. (5 pts.) Covers a few of the points; incomplete; was not used in the presentation. (0-4 pts.)
Power Point Presentation 20 Points Well planned and coherent; Completely covers the topic (18-20) Well planned and coherent; Covers most the topic (15 pts.)

 

Unorganized and coherent; Covers at least 1/2 of the topic (10 pts.) Unorganized and hard to follow; Covers the topic less than 1/2 of the major points in the topic. (0 - 5 pts.)
Group Work 10 Points Always on task; worked well together to complete the assignment (9-10) N/A Almost always on task; Worked well together most of the time to complete the assignment (7-8 pts.) Had to be reminded by the teacher to be on task at least three times; Assignment was not completed on time. (4-6 pts.) Frequently had to be reminded by the teacher to remain on task; Asignment was not completed on time; did not help each other to complete all phases of the assignment. (1-3 pts.)

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


Conclusion

Here's where you wrap it up. Enrichment and/or springboard activities are often used.

To discover the history of the Bill of Rights you must search the net, find where the document came from and why it was written. The man who wrote the document was part of a group of people that wanted to help our country get started. After the war, our Founding Fathers wanted to prevent many of the injustices we had suffered as colonists from ever happening again. Take a look at one very important right. If you are ever accused of a crime, innocent or not, you will discover its importance.

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion