Dancing and Singing through the Bill of Rights

3, 4, 5

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 performance singing and dancing to 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).

Lesson Rating 
Four Forty-Five-Minute Class Periods

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.

  • 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)
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.



  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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:
  6. 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.
  7. All groups present their data to the class. The class discusses any trends evident from the surveys.Day Three:
  8. 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.
  9. Give the groups fifteen minutes to come up with an action or dance move that shows the meaning of the assigned amendment.
  10. 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):
  11. 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.

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.

Cross Curriculum 

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.)

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify why rules are important and how not all behaviors are addressed by rules.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.

Academic Standards

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