Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

The Bill of Rights
Lesson 3
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Learners will describe important protections afforded citizens by the Bill of Rights and illustrate how those protections encourage citizens to act on behalf of the common good.


Two Fifty-Minute Class Periods


The learner will:

  • identify protections granted by the Bill of Rights.
  • describe how philanthropy is enabled by the Bill of Rights.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.



Learner copies of Bill of Rights Worksheet ( Attachment One )

Handout 1
Bill of Rights Worksheet

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:

Put the words “Miranda rights” on the chalkboard. Ask the learners if they can recite the familiar words they have heard television and movie police use to inform persons of their rights as they are being arrested. Explain that these rights were not granted until 1966 when they were recognized by the United States Supreme Court as being an important protection given by the Fifth Amendment. That amendment says that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.

  • Day One: Divide the class into teams of three. Distribute the Bill of Rights Worksheet ( Attachment One ). Explain that the Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution. They were added on to the Constitution by the First Congress because some people had criticized the proposed Constitution for not protecting the rights of the people .
  • Read the amendments aloud and go over vocabulary terms with which the learners may be unfamiliar. Working in teams, have the learners go through each amendment, putting into their own words the protections afforded by each amendment. Have the teams report on their findings.
  • For homework, have the learners each select one amendment to illustrate and identify. On the back of the drawing should be a paragraph explaining the importance of having the protections of this amendment. Learners should share this information with a member of their household and ask one of their family members to list another important protection he or she believes is important.
  • Day Two: Display the homework illustrations. Which amendments or protections were recognized by most of the learners?
  • Ask the learners to give examples of how they believe the common good is helped through the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights. How do the protections given by the Bill of Rights ensure that citizens can act philanthropically, if they wish?


The worksheets, homework illustrations/essays and class discussions may be used as an assessment of learning.

School/Home Connection:

  • Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
    Have the learners illustrate the right that they value the most. Then have the students explain to a family member the right they selected. The family member should select another right that is important and list it on the back of the drawing.

Lesson Developed By:

Steve Hicks
Eaton Intermediate School District
Charlotte, MI 48813


Handout 1Print Handout 1

Bill of Rights Worksheet

Directions: In your own words in the second column list the protections granted by each amendment.



Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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