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

Dancing and Singing through the Bill of Rights
Lesson 3
printEmail this Lesson
Lesson
Handouts
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework

Purpose:

In this lesson, students analyze the Bill of Rights and explore the importance of the issues involved. The students employ their musical and kinesthetic intelligences in a creative performancesinging and dancingto learn and teach the Bill of Rights. They perform the Bill of Rights in familiar vocabulary to their parents and members of the community (senior citizens).

Duration:

Four Forty-Five-Minute Class Periods

Objectives:

The learners will:
  • read and analyze the “Bill of Rights” using the Frayer model.

  • write a four-question survey.

  • survey family members and compile data.

  • recite and sing the “Bill of Rights” in familiar language.

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.

The teacher arranges a field trip to a retirement home (or a younger classroom in the school). The students share their song as a performance. (Other appropriate related projects can be part of the performance.)

Materials:

  • Student copies of the “Bill of Rights”
  • Copies of the Frayer Model (Attachments One and Five--Spanish Version)
  • Constitutional Amendment Poster Pages (Attachment Three) printed on poster board and displayed for students to see from their seats
  • Song sheets for each child (Attachment Two: The Amendment Song)
Handout 1
The Frayer Model Amendment #_______
Handout 2
The Amendment Song (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas)
Handout 3
Constitutional Amendment Poster Pages
Handout 4
The Amendment Song
Handout 5
La Enmienda Modelo Frayer # ______

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Pass out copies of the “Bill of Rights.” Ask the students to recall what the “Bill of Rights” is and why the amendments are important. Read the amendments aloud as a group.

  • Place students into ten cooperative groups (2-3 students per group). Assign each group one of the amendments in the “Bill of Rights.” Hand out the Frayer Model (Attachment One). Each group completes the Frayer model for the amendment assigned. After 15 to 20 minutes, have each group present its model to the rest of the class. These responses can then be hung in the classroom.

    Teacher Note: The Frayer Model is a tool used to help students develop their vocabulary. Frayer believes that students develop a stronger understanding of concepts when they study them in a relational manner. Students write a particular word in the middle of a box and proceed to list characteristics, examples, non-examples, and a definition in other quadrants of the box. They can proceed in any order: using the examples and characteristics to help them formulate a definition, or using the definition to determine examples and non-examples.

  • Each group collaboratively writes a four-question survey related to the “Bill of Rights.” The questions should generate answers that can be grouped and graphed. Examples: Which amendment do you think is most important? Do you think Amendment Two is as important today as it was at the time it was written?

  • Provide each group computer access to type the survey. They print out enough copies for each group member (and the teacher) and save the survey to a master disk.

  • Groups bring home their surveys (and copies of the “Bill of Rights”) and complete it with their families. The survey results are brought back the following day. Encourage the students to talk with their families about their responses to further understand their opinions and recognize the importance of the amendments to the Constitution.

    Day Two:
  • Groups review and compare results from the survey. The groups decide how they will compile, organize, and display the data gathered, such as in a bar graph, circle graph, chart, etc. The students display their data neatly and creatively. The groups should add a paragraph describing the results of their survey.

  • All groups present their data to the class. The class discusses any trends evident from the surveys.

    Day Three:
  • Place the students in the same ten cooperative groups from day one. The groups will have the same amendment from the first day (used in the Frayer model). The facilitator hands out the posters of Attachment Three: Constitutional Amendment Poster Pages to the appropriate groups. These posters are written in language which is “user friendly,” or more modern for the students.

  • Give the groups fifteen minutes to come up with an action or dance move that shows the meaning of the assigned amendment.

  • Pass out copies of Attachment Two: The Amendment Song. Lead the class through the song to the tune of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” After one time through, have a representative from each group teach the class the creative movement to match each amendment. Sing the song through again with the new movements. Practice several times until everyone knows the song and the motions.

    Day Four (may be several days later):
  • Take the class on a field trip to a local retirement home to share their song (and any related projects/performances) with members of the community. Bring along a poster with the lyrics to allow the residents to join in and sing along.

Assessment:

Assess whether the students know the amendments by passing out blank copies of The Amendment Song (Attachment Four). The teacher should decide in advance whether the students fill in either the lyrics to the song or use their own words.

School/Home Connection:

  • Interactive Parent / Student Homework:
    Student groups create a four-question survey related to the Bill of Rights. The students bring home the survey to get family input. They may invite family members to join in on the trip to the retirement home, encouraging more community participation.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

View the Schoolhouse Rock videos of “The Three-Ring Government” and “I’m Only a Bill.” Have the students write a brief research paper on the Legislative Branch of the Government. These short videos are on a compilation video about the forming of the United States of America, called America Rock. See Bibliographical References.

Bibliographical References:

Lesson Developed By:

Michelle Eifert
Hamtramck Public Schools
Dickinson West Elementary
Hamtramck, MI 48167

Handouts:

Handout 1Print Handout 1

The Frayer Model Amendment #_______

Write the amendment in the center circle. Write a definition of the amendment. Write some characteristics of the amendment. Give some examples and non-examples of the amendment.

 

Handout 2Print Handout 2

The Amendment Song (sung to the 12 Days of Christmas)

The First Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
Freedom of religion, speech and press
The Second Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
Right to bear arms,
The Third Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
No soldiers in our homes now,
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
Where’s your warrant please?
The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
Don’t rat on yourself,
The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
Right to a quick trial,
The Seventh Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
Jury of your peers,
The first part of the Eighth Amendment says . . . .
They can’t raise your bail,
The second part of the Eighth Amendment says . . . .
The cops aren’t allowed to beat ya,
The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
We have lots of rights,
The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .
We the people have the say,
The rest of the Amendments of the Constitution say . . . .
All people are created equal.

Credit should be given to screenwriter Douglas McGrath for the mnemonic device he devised to remember the Constitutional amendments in the 1993 version of the film "Born Yesterday" on which this version, adapted by Chelly Eifert, was based.


Handout 3Print Handout 3

Constitutional Amendment Poster Pages

FREEDOM OF
RELIGION, SPEECH
AND PRESS

 

RIGHT
TO BEAR ARMS

 

NO SOLDIERS
IN OUR HOMES NOW

 

WHERE’S YOUR
WARRANT PLEASE?

 

DON’T RAT ON
YOURSELF

 

 

RIGHT TO A QUICK TRIAL

 

JURY OF YOUR PEERS

 

THEY CAN’T RAISE
YOUR BAIL

 

THE COPS AREN’T
ALLOWED TO BEAT YA!

 

 

WE HAVE LOTS
OF RIGHTS

 

WE THE PEOPLE
HAVE THE SAY

 

ALL PEOPLE ARE
CREATED EQUAL

Handout 4Print Handout 4

The Amendment Song

The First Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Second Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Third Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Seventh Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The first part of the Eighth Amendment says . . . .

The second part of the Eighth Amendment says . . . .

The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution says . . . .

The rest of the Amendments of the Constitution say . . . .

Credit should be given to screenwriter Douglas McGrath for the brilliant mnemonic device he devised to remember the Constitutional amendments in the 1993 version of the film "Born Yesterday" on which this version was based.

Handout 5Print Handout 5

La Enmienda Modelo Frayer # ______

  

Philanthropy Framework:

Comments

Evelyn, Teacher – Muskegon, MI10/13/2007 12:47:31 PM

Putting the Bill of Rights Ammendments into music form was an interesting and effective way to learn.

Beth, Teacher – Spring Lake, MI10/13/2007 12:48:45 PM

Very kid-friendly. The kids loved singing.

Jason, Teacher – Ypsilanti, MI10/13/2007 12:50:27 PM

The students had the opportunity to make a very complex concept like the Bill of Rights simple. They thoroughly enjoyed singing The Amendment song and singing about this information allowed them to remember and understand the Bill of Rights in a creative way.

Submit a Comment

Unit Contents:

Overview:We the Kids—The Three Branches and Me Summary

Lessons:

1.
Building the Foundation
2.
No Joke—My Voice Counts!
3.
Dancing and Singing through the Bill of Rights
4.
Kid-Friendly CDVs

All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.