I am in the midst of a unit on our constitutional rights, but this year has been hectic on snow days, and I feel like my discussion of the Bill of Rights in general was very light.
Made me think, what is out there that I may consider next year? Here is my list. Hope you enjoy.
ConSource: The Amendments as Proposed
I take a fair amount of time to remind my kids that while J.Madi originally thought that a Bill of Rights (like the English version (1689) many of the colonists were familar with) were paper chains on a sovereign monarch... and that the best impediment is to fracture the powers of legislature, executive, and judicial amongst three co-dependent and equal branches... he ended up caving under pressure from the Anti-Feds and penning a BoR anyways. It was kind of like the first campaign promise; that a Bill of Rights would be written... in order to get the Constitution passed.
But J.Madi wrote 19 amendments pretty much by himself in his first action as House Floor Leader.
Here is a great resource that has all 19 of them spelled out. Thanks, ConSource.
Constitution Center: Traveling History!
I haven't taken students to Philadelphia in quite some time... it's been eight years, actually. (Mental note; I really should. The Constitution Center and Constitution Hall is AWESOME.)
I was playing around on their website today, and was SUPER EXCITED to see that they come to us! What? YES! Their program is called Traveling History, and has materials and programs for all grades, (K-12).
I think my favorite possible opportunity is the "We the Jury" activity.
In addition to this awesome opportunity, they also have a very cute game (that is geared towards 6-8th grade, but I can see used as a hook activity) covering the Bill of Rights.
**And when you have time, here is a great link to a BoR online RPG for the kids to play.
Bill of Rights Downloadable AP DBQs
More mad props to the BoRI for their great, ready to go DBQs on case law.
They do lots of training to support their materials, so look at their website for dates and times for training, and they are nation-wide. Plus, all the heavy lifting is done for you. It's plug and play.
DBQs combine writing and accessing primary and secondary resources. Students have to be crafty in synthesizing original thought after their exposure to the topics. The great thing about these is that they are all FREE. :)
And while I am on the topic of DBQs... you can try these resources, too:
Additional on-line stuff
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan