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60-90 minutes
  • Constitution
  • Politics
  • 6-12

  1. Review the Federalist and Antifederalist positions on a bill of rights.
    • You may wish to refer to the essay in the “Debating a Bill of Rights” lesson and essay for an explanation of each position and key players.
  2. Tell students to use their imagination: It is the 1780s but you have access to modern technology, such as a computer and internet access. You have decided to start a blog to get people thinking and talking about a bill of rights for the Constitution — and especially to get your point of view heard.
  3. Your students’ job is to design a web page and write the first blog entry.
  4. Hand out the blog post guidelines, template and worksheet. Students may sketch their blog post on the attached template or use a free online tool like Tackk or Google Sites to create a live blog post. Remind students that their goal is to write an accurate, persuasive article from either a Federalist’s or Antifederalist’s point of view. In their blogs, students should address the following questions:

                - Why did your framer support a bill of rights?

               - What did your framer do to promote it?

               - How did he counter arguments against a bill of rights?

5. Have students research their arguments online. They will need at least three resources. (The essay can count as one, if desired.)

  • Blogging the Bill of Rights worksheet (download), one per student or small group
  • Internet access for research purposes

After designing their blogs, have students present their work to the class for feedback and review. Questions for general discussion include:

  • Do you think the framers of the First Amendment would have used the internet — if it were available back then — to get their messages out to people? Why or why not?
  • What ideas do you think were most important in the debate on a bill of rights?

Questions for peer review include:

  • Did the author accurately convey their framer’s position? How do you know?
  • Do the visuals support the argument? Why or why not?
  • What are some elements of the blog post you find particularly creative?
  • What is one written or visual element the author can revise to strengthen the blog post?

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