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The Illustrated Bill of Rights

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Keywords: Social Studies, amendments, Bill of Rights
Subject(s): History, Civics, Social Studies
Grades 11 through 12
School: Garfield Cont High School, San Diego, CA
Planned By: Ross Warfel
Original Author: Ross Warfel, San Diego
California Standard 12.5: Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the Constitution and its amendments.

Students, over the course of two weeks, are taught the Bill of Rights to include real life examples of their application by the Supreme Court. Groups of 2-3 students are then assigned an amendment or a clause of an amendment to explain and illustrate with a scene they act out themselves or with a video clip downloaded from the Internet. The scenes would be video taped/filmed.

Students who are assigned the fourth amendment might write a scene in which one of them reads and gives a verbal explanation of its meaning. The students then might act out a situation in which one of them plays a police officer attempting to search the other student's house. The homeowner would refuse unless the officer supplied a warrant.

The scenes would be short. Digitally filmed scenes would be downloaded and saved on a computer.

In the next phase of the project, students would learn the basics of PowerPoint and be assigned to produce a two to three slide presentation with the exact wording of their amendment on one or two slides and their video attached or a hyperlinked to a video clip on the Internet.

The presentations would be linked together and shown to the whole class. With class approval, the finished project could be shared with another American Government class.

Materials: Slideshow, Word Processor, Digital SLR
Other Items: 1 Large external hard drive
1 Compatible Microsoft Software (especially Office)
1 iLife Software
1 Mac laptop w/ a large internal drive
3 Digital Video Cameras