• Identify the general provisions of the Bill of Rights

  • Explain how civil rights expanded to include more people

  • Understand how African Americans and women gained the right to vote

Key Concept

  • Through Constitutional amendments, civil rights in the United States have extended to more people.


Tier 3 Provision
Test Words civil liberty
civil right

Evidence-Based Reading

  • Partner Reading: Have students form pairs and take turns reading aloud to one another two paragraphs from this page. Tell them that the partner who is listening should not read along in the book as they listen to the text. After listening, that partner should read the text in such a way as to clarify any sections of the text he or she found difficult to understand. Each student should read the text at least twice.

Real World Connection

  • Apply Your Experience: Ask students to name rights that they exercise on a regular basis. Suggest things like freedom of speech or freedom to assemble. Ask students to think carefully about how their lives would be different without these rights. When students have completed their essays, have them exchange papers with a partner. Then have them examine their partner’s essay to identify the right being discussed, identify clues to the author’s point of view, and identify facts, details, and experiences that support the writer’s arguments.

Writing Practice

  • Tell students to use chronology (the arrangement of events in the order they occurred) to help them fill in their cause-and-effect charts. Events that came first are likely to be causes of events that followed. As students complete their charts, make sure each chart has an appropriate - title, a Cause column, an Effect column, and logical cause-and-effect relationships between the items listed in each row.

Before Lesson

Students have read how the Bill of Rights was written to reassure states that the Constitution would protect the basic rights of individuals. Ask student s which of these basic rights and freedoms they recall, and list their answers on the board. (Sample answers: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure) Tell students that in this lesson, they will learn more about the Bill of Rights and other amendments to the Constitution.


Tell students that despite the Bill of Rights, certain groups in the United States have had to fight for their rights. Ask students to suggest some of these groups. (Sample answers: African Americans, women) List groups on the board and invite volunteers to say what they know about these struggles. While students read this lesson, have them identify how the Constitution has changed to guarantee civil rights to various groups.

Guided Practice

  • The Expansion of Civil Liberties
    • Gains and Losses in African American Suffrage
    • Women Gain the Right to Vote
    • Civil Rights for African Americans
    • Civic Responsibilities

Core Skill

Identify Cause-and-Effect Relationships: Have students write cause-and-effect paragraphs based on their charts. Remind them to use words like because, since, therefore, and if… Then to indicate cause-and-effect relationships.

Identify Point of View: Provide students with an editorial to read. Work with students to identify the writer’s point of view. If known, provide the writer’s age, location, and gender. Ask students how details about the writer may have influenced his or her point of view. As students write their own sentences, encourage them to use details about the time period and civil rights in their writing.


Use Visuals to Support Text: Ask students to look at the chart on page SO and compare it to the second and fourth paragraphs on the same page Have them identify the relationship between the chart and the text. With students, discuss how the chart makes the information easier to understand.

Summarize: Have students investigate and interpret data regarding a person, document, or issue presented in the lesson. For example, students might investigate the Declaration of Sentiments or the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, case and decision. Then have students summarize their findings and present them to the class in the form of a short oral report

Lesson Review