Grade: Senior

#913. Bill Of Rights Interpretation

Social Studies, level: Senior
Posted Fri Dec 11 13:50:08 PST 2009 by Emma Paton (Emma Paton).
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Materials Required: Computer/Internet; Inspiration Technology
Activity Time: 1 Week
Concepts Taught: Reliable Sources, Survey Reliability


Student Teacher's Name: Emma Paton Date: December 11, 2009

Grade Level 12 Topic/Unit: Bill of Rights Interpretation School: District:


This lesson is about interpreting one of the amendments from the Bill of Rights. Then the student is to survey people, research online and find out if people agree with their interpretation or disagree. This is to teach them how to find useful information on the internet and how to gather and evaluate surveys and their accuracy. The student will then present their findings to the class.


Each student will be measured based on how they interpreted the Bill of Rights, and because of that interpretation they either did or did not find support for it. The student will also be graded on whether or not they understand if their information is trustworthy and a good representation of the whole population, or do they understand that the whole point of the project was to better understand what makes things facts and how surveys are very difficult to get an equal representation out of meaning that the student has to be careful to use facts in their presentation not other people's opinions.

Learning Resources and Materials

Students will need:
Inspiration to help them organize their projects
Computers with internet to find information and to perform online surveys
Paper to conduct surveys of their peers

Development of Lesson


Prepare students for learning by having a lecture on Wikipedia and how any person can put any answer in, therefore making it not reliable for information.

Focus their attention and interest on the topic by explaining the Bill of Rights and give examples of different court cases that interpreted the laws differently than we would anticipate.

Use example of them "mis-interpreting" a rule that their parents gave them and what the consequences were. Then relate it back to how a person could mis-interpret the law.


I will explain that the class should get into groups of two. The pairs are then to interpret the amendment assigned to them from the Bill of Rights in two different ways. The students will each take an interpretation and asked to use surveys (online and in person) as well as research to figure out if their interpretation is agreed on by others. Students will have several days in class to find out if they interpreted the amendment correctly or not based on people's opinions, if the research they are finding is reliable or not and what the "right" interpretation of the amendment should be.


Each student will step by step show me what they are working on and will be able to ask me questions throughout the entire project. For students with different learning levels, I can have a list of websites that could help them find the answers they are looking for. Step by step I will be making note of whether or not the students are realizing that there in not much reliable information, and for those students who say as much, then they will get higher grades. For feedback I will constantly be asking if the sources are reliable and will continue to push the idea that interpretations and personal opinions are not facts. Any student that mentions in their presentation that reliable information is hard to come by, or that their results are not very accurate because of opinions or surveys that don't represent the population, then they will get an A. And every grade will be lowered based on how much they understood was not reliable about their project.


Did the student understand the difference between reliable information and non reliable information.
Did the student use all their time wisely and ask for help as it was needed.
Did the student think outside the box to try to find information that would prove the interpretation right or wrong.
How confident in their interpretation was the student.
These are the things that will be evaluated for the student's project.


After all the presentations are given talk as a class about how hard reliable information is to find. Talk about how much more believable an interpretation is when it has facts supporting it. Talk about how to recognize opinions versus facts and recap on how students need to be careful about taking websites as experts on a subject.

Teacher Reflection

Three thing that went well in the lesson?
Was this lesson successful?
Did the students get the content goal out of the assignment?
What would you change before doing the assignment again?
Was this assignment helpful to the students or just a huge frusteration?