Dancing and Singing through the Bill of Rights

Grades: 
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 
0
Duration 
PrintFour 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.
Materials 
  • Student copies of the “Bill of Rights”
  • Copies of the Frayer Model (includes Spanish Version)
  • Constitutional Amendment Poster Pages (handout) printed on poster board and displayed for students to see from their seats
  • Song sheets for each child (handout 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.

Bibliography 

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Project a copy 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. 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. Brainstorm questions to find out what people outside the classroom value about the “Bill of Rights.” Select one or two of the best questions that for homework all students ask a few people at home.

  4. The question 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.

  5. Day Two

    Discuss what students found out at home about what people value about the Amendments to the Constitution. 

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  7. 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 Handout 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.

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

  9. Pass out copies of 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. 

Assessment 

Assess whether the students know the amendments by passing out blank copies of The Amendment Song. 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.