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Curriculum
The First Amendment
Grade: 6-8
Subject(s): Civics
Required products: Tool Factory Word Processor
Materials
  • Tool Factory Word Processor
  • Text of the Bill of Rights (may be viewed on website)
  • A dictionary
  • A thesaurus
    Overview
    Students select one of the freedoms or rights defined by the First Amendment and gather information about it on the web. They then write a persuasive essay in which they express their personal views about the importance of that freedom or right in today's world.
    Instructions
    1) Students open the "First Amendment Vocabulary" worksheet and save it as their own.
    2) After reading the text of the First Amendment, students look up the key vocabulary words given in blue.
    3) Students type in definitions for each word, making sure the definition they choose is the one most suited for the context of the word.
    4) Remind students to save their work.
    5) Students open the "First Amendment Persuasive Essay Directions" worksheet. It may be helpful to print this worksheet out.
    6) Students may use the websites provided and/or any other appropriate sites they may find for researching a First Amendment right.
    7) When ready to compose the first draft of their essay, students create a new document in Tool Factory Word Processor and begin typing. Remind students to save often.
    8) Instruct students to write their persuasive essay with a particular audience in mind. They should try to anticipate any counter-arguments to their essay as they compose it.
    9) Students should type and save as many drafts of their essay as possible. The spell-check should be used before the final draft is saved and printed.
    Printable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • First Amendment Vocabulary
  • First Amendment Vocabulary Answer Key
  • First Amendment Persuasive Essay Directions
  • First Amendment Persuasive Essay Template
    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • First Amendment Vocabulary
  • First Amendment Vocabulary Answer Key
  • First Amendment Persuasive Essay Directions
  • First Amendment Persuasive Essay Template
    Weblinks
  • Bill of Rights
  • Freedom of Speech
  • ACLU Free Speech Website
  • Banned Books On-line
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Freedom of Expression
    Correlation
    Choose your standard:
    McREL Standard: Civics Standards 8, Level 3, #4: The student understands how specific provisions of the United States Constitution (including the Bill of Rights) limit the powers of government in order to protect the rights of individuals ( e.g. habeas corpus; trial by jury, ex post facto; freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly, equal protection of the law, due process of law, right to consul).