Grade 11, 12 Bill of Rights

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject   Issues in Government            

Grade   11&12

Unit      Bill of Rights                                     

Pacing: 1st Mp (3 weeks)

Essential Question(s):

1.     How are individual rights protected by our system of government?

2.     Are the First Amendment rights absolute?

3.     How does the Bill of Rights protect the rights of the accused?

Big Idea(s):

  1. Supreme Court decisions and Bill of Rights guarantee individual rights.
  2. First Amendment rights can be restricted by our government.
  3. Accused persons are guaranteed a number of protections under the Bill of Rights.

CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards

1.8.1 Describe examples of laws that have been modified to meet the needs of changing needs of society.

1.1.2  Trace the evolving nature of citizens’ rights.

2.4.3 Ask relevant questions related to social studies/history to initiate, extend, or debate a point of view during discussion.

“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)


  • First Amendment rights
  • Second Amendment rights
  • Third amendment rights
  • Fourth Amendment Rights
  • Fifth Amendment Rights
  • Sixth Amendment Rights
  • Seventh Amendment rights
  • Seventh Amendment Rights
  • Eighth Amendment Rights
  • Ninth Amendment Rights
  • Tenth Amendment Rights
  • First Amendment: Texas v. Johnson, Engel v. Vitale, Hazelwood v.Kuhlmeier, Tinker v. Des Moines, Morse v.Frederick, Doninger v. Niehoff



  • Second Amendment: District of Columbia v. Heller


  • Fourth Amendment: Mapp v. Ohio, T.L.O. v. New Jersey


  • Fifth Amendment: Kelo v. New London, Miranda v. Arizona


  • Sixth Amendment: Gideon v. Wainright






  • Freedom of speech, religion, assembly, gun ownership, search and seizure in school.



  • Create a visual significant right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.



  • Explain rights guaranteed













  • Describe how laws and court proceedings changed to meet the needs of society.


  • Describe examples of Bill of Rights in action.









  • Debate the need to limit certain rights


  • Defend a point of view
































Common Formative Pre- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis):

* see attached

“Dipsticks” (Informal Progress Monitoring Checks):

“quick quiz” (attached) on terms form Bill of Rights lecture


Common Formative Post- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis):

* See attached

Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:

·        Bill of Rights Worksheet (Pelatowski)

·        Handout “Ranking Rights and Freedoms”

·        Copy of Bill of Rights/Text

·        DVD: “Eminent Domain” (with questions)

·        Trip to Capital

·        Contemporary articles illustrating Bill of Rights being protected & denied.

· (breaks down cases into 3 reading levels)

·        Article: “Homeowners Win Round in Eminent Domain Fight”

·        Article “Strip search of Arizona teenager illegal, court says”

·        Article “ Should student led prayers be allowed before school games?”

·        Article “Should ther be Bible classes in public schools?” (Upfront)

·        Article “10 Supreme Court Cases Every Teen Should Know”

·        Article “Should the high court restrict a suspect’s right to remain silent?” (Upfront)

·        Article “We the Jury”

·        Article “Can kids learn basic rights denied them?” (Doninger case)

·        Handout “Ranking Rights and Freedoms”

·        Article packet on gun control

·        The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide (workbook)


Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:

·        Lecture (Powerpoint)

·        Create Wheel or Flipchart on the Bill of Rights (in pairs)

·        Debate (gun control, search and seizure, First Amendment) – mini debates in small groups

·        Field trip to State Capital 

Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections

·        Supreme Court

·        Citizen’s rights

·        Freedoms of: speech, press, religion, petition, bear arms, quartering of troops, unreasonable searches and seizures

·        Trial by jury, trial by grand jury

·        Eminent domain

·        Double jeopardy

·        Self-incrimination

·        Double jeopardy

·        Due process of law

·        Speedy and public trial

·        Impartial jury

·        militia

·        Confrontation of witnesses

·        Representation by attorney

·        Civil trial, preponderance of the evidence

·        Criminal trial, beyond a reasonable doubt

·        Excessive fines and bail

·        Cruel and unusual punishment

·        Unenumerated rights

·        States rights

·        First Amendment Essay Contest

·        Select a case from “The Innocence Project”

·        Research and prepare a report on  local examples of eminent domain cases.


·        Analyze DNA research with Forensics Class and Biology.