Making the Most of the Five Freedoms
Students build on research from "The First Amendment in Action Today" lesson to create create, execute and document a plan of action to address a community issue.
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(Note: For more support, see expanded procedure in downloadable lesson plan.)
- In advance, select one student report from The First Amendment in Action Today (lesson plan 2) that features a project your students could continue or build on.
- Tell the class they will analyze the actions of advocacy groups they studied in the previous lesson plan.
- Assign one of the student reports from lesson plan 2 to each small group and have students complete Part I of the Making the Most of the First Amendment worksheet. Note: Students may have to look up additional articles about their advocacy group to complete their analyses of the group’s actions.
- When the worksheet is complete, ask if the group achieved or fell short of its goal(s). Depending on their answer, ask them to complete Option A or Option B of Part II.
- In pairs, students share their action plans, give feedback and revise their work.
- As a class, vote on three actions to pursue and create an implementation plan for doing so.
- Execute and document the action plan.
- Making the Most of the Five Freedoms worksheet (download), one per small group
- Internet access
Have your students share their projects at a school assembly or invite parents to a class presentation. They should tell the audience:
- What was your issue?
- What did your class do to address the issue? Why did you choose that action?
- How was your action different from what the original group/individual you studied had done?
- What was the result of your class’ actions? What worked as planned? What didn’t?
- Were you satisfied with the results?
- What would you do differently for future projects?
- What elements of your plan involved the First Amendment? Could your project have succeeded without the five freedoms? Why or why not?
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
ISTE: 3a. Knowledge ConstructorStudents plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources.
ISTE: 3c. Knowledge ConstructorStudents create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
National Center for History in the Schools: NCHS.Historical Thinking.5A. Identify issues and problems in the past. B. Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances. C. Identify relevant historical antecedents. D. Evaluate alternative courses of action. E. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue. F. Evaluate the implementation of a decision.
Center for Civic Education: CCE.VA. What is citizenship? B. What are the rights of citizens? C. What are the responsibilities of citizens? D. What civic dispositions or traits of private and public character are important to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy? E. How can citizens take part in civic life?
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 1Learners will understand how human beings create, learn, share and adapt to culture.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 2Learners examine the institutions, values and beliefs of people in the past, acquire skills in historical inquiry and interpretation, and gain an understanding of how important historical events and developments have shaped the modern world.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 5Students know how institutions are formed, maintained and changed, and understand how they influence individuals, groups and other institutions.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 6Learners will develop an understanding of the principles, processes, structures and institutions of government, and examine how power and authority are or have been obtained in various systems of government.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 10Learning how to apply civic ideals to inform civic action is essential to participation in a democracy and support for the common good.