• CCB Social Studies, pages 26-31, 48-53

  • CCA Social Studies, pages 40-47

  • GED Exercise, pages

  • HiSET Exercise, pages

  • Bill of Rights

  • I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr. (“Audio”, “Text”)



  • 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


Tier 2 Civil Liberty
Civil Right
Tier 3 Persevere
Test Words Point of View

Before the 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.

Guided Practice

Identify Point of View: Relate point of view to the “I have a Dream” speech. Write the following questions on the board:

  • What was Martin Luther King, Jr., trying to tell you in his speech?
  • Why was he telling you this?
  • How did he make his ideas clear?
  • Suppose you were giving the speech. What would you say?
  • Have students discuss the answers to these questions in small groups. Encourage them to identify words that show King’s feelings about the subject and any comparisons that help make his point


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.

Paraphrase and Summarize: Have students paraphrase:

Constitutional amendments and new laws have helped extend civil rights to more people in the United States.

Then ask them to summarize the Fourteenth Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and to explain how these amendments prove the above statement.

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.

Analyze How Changes Have Affected People: Have students investigate Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, or some other key woman civil rights leader. Students should identify the person’s role, the effectiveness of her actions and those who followed her, how she helped the civil rights / women’s rights movement, and the effect their efforts have had on students’ lives today. Have students present their findings to the class. Suggest they use presentation software to present their information.

Lesson Review